Putnam, Aug 31 2010, $26.95
At Chicago's in Club Gouge, private investigator V.I. Warshawski is watching her troublesome younger cousin Petra. On stage, trendy performance artist Karen “The Body Artist” Buckley encourages her audience to join her in order to use her naked body as a canvas to paint on. One participant draws an elaborate design on the back of Karen; however, Iraqi War veteran Chad Vishneski is outraged with the picture and lets everyone knows as he shouts profanities.
Two nights later, the “Body Artist” whose body painting caused the outburst is shot dead near Club Gouge. The police name Chad a person of interest. His concerned estranged parents hire Warshawski to prove their troubled son did not kill the woman. Her inquiry drifts back and forth between the Chicago war zone and the Middle East theaters of operation, but each step the detective takes seems filled with IEDs.
The latest Warshawski Hardball noir is a strong entry as the kick butt sleuth takes no prisoners while working the mean streets of Chicago’s North Side. Action packed and tough on the case yet sensitive in her personal relationships, fans of the long running series will conclude V.I. Warshawski (and Sara Paretsky) still has it.