But now our Vic is back for her ninth adventure--a wee bit older, a tad more jaded, and as broke as ever. It all begins when Warshawski weasels an invitation to the hottest event in town, a glitzy party celebrating television's brightest new star, Lacey Dowell, or, as she's better known, the Mad Virgin. Vic's old pal and one-time fling Murray Ryerson now works for Global Enterprises, the corporate giant behind the Lacey sensation.
On the way back from the party, Vic almost runs over a woman lying in the middle of the road, her Mad Virgin T-shirt soaked in blood from an earlier beating. The victim, Nicola Aguinaldo, dies in hospital, and Vic quickly realizes that a particularly nasty cop, Detective Lemour, intends to frame her for vehicular homicide.
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Her anger at these absurd charges hits the boiling point when Nicola's body disappears from the morgue before an autopsy can be carried out. Why was this woman, an escapee from the local Coolis prison, so important to Lemour? And why does the whole Mad Virgin phenomenon smell so rotten? They have enough clout to have V. But incarceration gives the resourceful Vic a perfect opportunity to snoop into Nicola's last days there--and uncover a sensational scandal. As she has done throughout the series, Paretsky brilliantly juxtaposes strikingly different environments.
Here she contrasts the dilapidated environs of the jail with the exorbitant homes of Chicago's filthy rich. In fact, readers who have anxiously awaited V. Warshawski's return will be glad to find that little has changed in her world. Mitch and Peppy the wonder dogs are as endearing as ever, her landlord, Mr. Contreras, is his normal fearless self, and V. It really is like coming home. Praise for Sara Paretsky: "Paretsky's books are beautifully paced and plotted, and the dialogue is fresh and smart.
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BNCTucsonbooks ships daily. Proceeds from the sales of books support an endowed scholarship to Brandeis University, Waltham Mass. Seller Inventory mon Seller Inventory M Book Description Delacorte Press , First Edition. The fictional V. She is not kept dangling on a string.
All the men in her life and the women too complain that she is too independent. No lover of hers has ever had a key to her apartment, none will come uninvited, the way Murray Ryerson does in the film. The character of Murray is especially badly chosen.
He is a recurring character in the books. The typical interaction between them is V. In the final line of the film, V. This can only be done by picking up a good-looking man, which is also totally out of character. The whole scene is extremely heavy-handed.
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His death was a deeply felt loss, after that of her parents, leaving her with almost no family. The film-makers must have thought that the death of a cousin was not a strong enough incentive to undertake an investigation. Why else would V.
The fictional heroine would not do it, especially for someone she hardly knows and who does not give her a choice. The character of Kat is borrowed from Indemnity Only , except that, in the book, Jill is a nice girl whom V. For the same reason, V. She walks around on the docks, the scene of the crime, in her black evening dress, covered by her bathrobe This is the kind of comedy that ridicules and minimises, that is meant to comfort endangered certainties.
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How could someone thus attired be threatening or strong or even clever? In the same way, later on, V.
At the beginning of the film, V. Again, there is emphasis on the body the bare legs rather than the brain. Again, the likelihood of V. Comedy has to have the upper hand but it diminishes the stature of the detective by making her work look like a game, since she involves a child, and by emphasising the motherly side of her character. At one point she wonders wistfully if she would make a good mother.
This is a question that crops up sometimes in the books but in context and it is discussed and analysed. Here, it just points out that a woman without children is not complete. But what is funny is her comments on people and society, V. They are there in the film too, but too often with vulgar, coarse innuendoes, as when she says of a potential client in the meat-packing business that he needs her to look after his sausage.
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Again, in case we missed the hint later on, we get a scene at the beginning with the leering client the sort of leer that could be seen in silent films on a background of sausages hanging on a wall. According to the script, V. It would have destroyed completely the essence of the character. In the scene of the confrontation with the murderer s , Murray is reluctant to handle a gun he does not know how to , wounded, unable to do anything except watch the fight and push a gun towards V.
So, there is unusual role-reversal in the film. In the same way, when the girl, Kat, is dropped into the water, unconscious, a male passer-by was supposed to jump in and rescue her but Kathleen Turner insisted, successfully, on V. And that is the appeal and the strength of the character. The cinema loves few things better than two women fighting. In the books, V. And it seems that the authors of the film could not let her kill a man; a woman can only kill a woman whose life, no doubt, is worth less.
What would the world be coming to if women started killing men or, to be more accurate, if good women started killing even bad men? Certainly, she would never make ethnic jokes, nor disparage people on account of their ethnic origin. Being herself a second-generation immigrant, she is very class and race conscious. The film, again, plays on cheap, racist feelings.
Warshawski the way Kanew does is like presenting Simone de Beauvoir as a schoolteacher or Marie Curie as a lab assistant. It is part of who they are but not the whole picture, far from it. The subject must be upsetting enough to have prompted at least two other feminists to write about it Klein; Jones. It could be said that criticising Kanew is a bit like shooting at a hearse but it takes some nerve for someone whose sole claim to fame is a film called Revenge of the Nerds to tackle the best of feminist crime fiction.
What possessed him to attempt the adaptation? Grape , J.
Nehr eds. Klein , K. Jones , M. Klein ed.
Novak , R.