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Publisher's Summary

In Total Recall, Sara Paretsky brings together several disparate plots in one gripping story. This powerfully suspenseful novel confronts the machinations of a vast and corrupt industry that trades on the victims of Nazi terrorism; the strange and dubious phenomenon of "recovered memory;" and a personal story that brings V. I. Warshawski into the long-buried past of her dearest friend and mentor, Dr. Lotty Herschel.

Lotty was a child of nine when she came to England in 1939 as a refugee from Austria. Having lost her entire family to the Nazi terror, she grew up and completed her medical training in London - and there fell in love with a fellow refugee. She ended the affair when she discovered she was pregnant and bore the child in secrecy, giving it up for adoption. Now, that long-held secret may be exposed.

At a national conference in Chicago on Jews in Modern America, a man with recovered memories makes a dramatic appearance and claim - and his name brings consternation to Lotty. V.I. is retained to find out whether or not he is a surviving relative of Lotty's. It's a search that meshes stunningly with the pursuit of another case she is on - for what she uncovers, to her great peril, is brutal insurance fraud on an international scale.

Total Recall is Paretsky's most spectacular achievement to date, and takes V.I. to new heights of gusto, guts, passion for justice - and risk.

Catch all of our V.I. Warshawski titles.
(P)2004 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    57
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    25
  • 2 Stars
    11
  • 1 Stars
    2

Performance

  • 4 out of 5 stars
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    39
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    25
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    11
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Story

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

My favorite Sara Paretsky

I found this story to be emotionally satisfying, believable and gripping to the end. I have listened to it many times. This seems to me to be a deeper character study of the people who fans of Sara Paretsky have come to know.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

I love the entire VI Warshawski series.

Would you consider the audio edition of Total Recall to be better than the print version?

I used Whispersync to enhance my listening/reading enjoyment. I've read all the series but am going through the series again since it's been a while.

Who was your favorite character and why?

VI of course.

Did the narration match the pace of the story?

Overall for me the narrator's voice is "too nice." After listening to all the different V.I. voices in order I like Susan Ericksen, Kathleen Turner (movie), Jean Smart, Sandra Burr.

The pace matched the way I was reading the story so it worked for me. Sandra Burr just didn't have Chicago south side toughness. The accents were off for the characters in my mind anyway.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jennifer
  • Santa Cruz, US, Canada
  • 11-06-12

The history and mystery of loss and pain

Perhaps my favorite mystery ever. Mystery is supposed to involve the twists and turns of the unsaid, the buried, the never faced. The tenderness and intensity of Vic's love for Lotty and the care with which she pursues the source of her anguish is exquisitely presented. As always the actual plot twists together from different, seemingly unrelated sources, and this is just the price we have to pay for a good story, I guess. I'm so glad I ignored some of the reviews of this book and actually downloaded it. It did more than get me through a bunch of exercise sessions. It led me to reconsider the carefully suppressed pain of my own parents who were from an entirely different place and circumstance.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    1 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Narration does no favors to this book

Sandra Burr is just fine for some characters, but not for a street smart, tough as nails investigator. Susan Ericksen is perfect for the job. Jean Smart was certainly adequate. Sara Paretsky is one of my favorite authors, but I'll read the others narrated by Burr. For the book....another great story. Characters strong, VI as gutsy as ever. Great book!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Simpering VI voice

Would you listen to Total Recall again? Why?

No. I don't care for Sandra Burr's interpretation of V.I's voice. She has our hero too simpering for my taste.

Would you be willing to try another one of Sandra Burr’s performances?

Regretfully, she's the reader for the next two books in the series.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debra
  • San Jose, Ca, United States
  • 11-12-13

slow at first

If you could sum up Total Recall in three words, what would they be?

slow at first then-- like all of the VI Warsharsky stories they turn to predictable yet solid stories built on the lives and friends of VI.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Again, and Again

Where does Total Recall rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

.

Any additional comments?

I have herd this story multiple times. I enjoy it like it was the first time I listened to it.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

V.I. Characterization is Awful

I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.

(*Reposting this as some of my reviews seem to have been disassociated from my Audible account.)

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Scotia
  • Escondido, CA, United States
  • 07-09-10

V.I. Characterization is Awful

I purchased this one accidentally. I meant to get Hard Time which is narrated by Jean Smart. When I fired this one up the other day, I was in for a shock. Sandra Burr, who unfortunately seems to have narrated quite a few V.I. Warshawski audiobooks (which means I'm going to miss out on a lot of them), makes Vic sound like a wide-eyed little girl, or a Stepford Wife. The edge, the wit, and the tough as nails femininity is completely absent. She makes Vic sound like she's on mood stabilizers, and the mood of the story is ruined. When V.I. gets into a heated discussion with one of the other characters, she "shoots back" with a retort, but she could have been talking about how nice sunny days are when the sky is blue. Yes, it's that bad. Unless you're really hard up for a V.I. Warshawski novel, I suggest you skip this and pick up the ones by Jean Smart. Smart nails Vic perfectly.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • bethann
  • milwaukee, WI, United States
  • 10-16-10

predictable

I was intrigued during the first few hours, but as it went on, it became redundant, predictable and implausible. Couldn't even finish it, by the second download, it was getting painful to listen to...wish I would've left this one on the shelf.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Kindle Customer
  • 01-02-09

A Great Listen

I used to borrow all the VI Warshawski audiobooks from my local library. Those were read by Lorelei King who I think is a great narrator. Sandra Burr reads this well and keeps the pace quick. The great thing about Paretsky's work is that each book has a completely unique plot. Unlike some other crime/thriller authors it seems the only thing they change is the name of the killer and the title of the book. All the books give a vivid impression of Chicago seen through the eyes of a hard bitten female PI. Great.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Penny
  • 01-18-09

A cracking read,,,or should I say listen!

A well narrated book, with a mix of historical fact, for those interested in the events of the holocaust, particularly from the perspective of the way lives were affected outside of the camps and in later life, as well as being a darn good detective story.
To be recommended for a long car journey or in the gym!