Sunday, January 23, 2011

"Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is ...the reason so few engage in it." Henry Ford

There is a body artist who works in a Chicago night club. She permits customers to paint her naked body on stage. Her image is posted on a web-cam which she later sells to the public.

V. I. Warshawski witnesses an ugly incident where an intoxicated man makes accusations and is asked to leave the club. Then, there is a second shouting match outside the club, also witnessed by Vic.

Later, that woman is murdered and the man, Chad Visneski, is accused and arrested for the crime.

Chad is a veteran who fought in Iraq. His father tells Vic that Chad suffers from PTSD but Chad's father doesn't believe that his son would kill a defenseless woman and hires Vic to get the answers.

Vic finds that the owner of the club, Olympia Koilada, was having financial troubles and that Anton Kystarnik of Rest EZ may have loaned her money and used the loan to gain interest in her nightclub.

Vic turns up a lead on Karin Buckley's true identity. She is the body artist and Vic wants to find her to learn what Karin knows about what went on at the club.

The plot is complex and tightly connected so that the reader will be entertained.

Spoiler (Vic hires her niece to help and a number of Iraq vets. The story takes an interesting turn as events that happened in Iraq are detailed. There is also the question that U.S. contractors might have issued faulty equipment to their employees and sold some of this equipment to the government. Then tried to bribe the families of fallen employees so they wouldn't discuss what went on in Iraq.)

The minor characters are also interesting as one of the Iraq vets is staff sergeant Marty Jepson. Another old friend is at the scene as Vic's elderly friend and protector, Mr. Contreras makes an appearance and his manner adds a realistic and personal touch as does young Clara Guaman, who is a character who we see develop through the course of the story.

The story was overly long and could stand a bit of tightening up, I would give it a 3 1/2 star rating and move the rating up to the finely interwoven plot and interesting characters.
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