7 March 2009

Bitter Medicine by Sara Paretsky: A Review

Title: Bitter Medicine
Author: Sara Paretsky
Publisher: Penguin
Copyright: 1987

During a hot August month in Chicago, private detective V. I. Warshawski investigates a murder which may have been triggered by a tragic event. In the course of her work, she runs into street gangs, pro-lifers, her ex-husband and the shady side of private medical care.

In this novel, the fourth featuring VIW, Paretsky has an accomplished, no-nonsense style befitting her tough-as-nails protagonist. Paretsky's style does make VIW seem a little cold blooded and sometimes a bit petty. It also makes VIW appear to be inordinately concerned about dressing correctly, which probably makes sense given that she usually relies on other characters' preconceptions to gain evidence.

One weakness is that the villain hardly features in the novel and, given what we are told, it makes the motivation for the crime a little far-fetched. Still, the pages turn quickly, there's some suspenseful moments and all loose ends are tied up in the end.

Stars: 3 out of 5
Kam-Hung Soh
6 March 2009

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