Friday, August 21, 2015
Review of Deadlock by Sara Paretsky (1984, Ballantine)
Deadlock is the second book in the popular V.I. Warshawski series that presently has seventeen instalments. The story is engaging and there’s plenty of action throughout. However, I struggled with the plot devices used to propel the tale along. V.I. Warshawski’s modus operandi in Deadlock is largely the bull in the china shop approach, thrashing around unsubtly to see what emerges, and she fails to document anything or confide in anyone and seems largely immune to the fate of others (such as collateral deaths and job losses) as long as she solves the initial case. The cops are stupid and obstinate and refuse to either listen to V.I. or join the dots between cases that are obviously linked and are clearly not accidents. The credibility of both sets of investigations is pretty much nil, but enable V.I. to barrel her way through a set of scrapes as she seeks the identity of the killer. On the other hand, it’s nonetheless an entertaining jaunt, with an interesting context in terms of the Great Lakes shipping industry. As long as you can suspend disbelief it’ll pass a few hours.