Monday, November 4, 2013


There is only one problem with Sara Paretsky's V. I. Warshawski novels.  She can't write them fast enough for me.  Every time I think she's decide to abandon the series, finally another one is published and I'm happy again.

This one, Critical Mass, is her best yet in my opinion.  As usual, it takes place in Chicago and takes me back to that city I love.  However, there are flashbacks to Austria during WW II.  If you have read this series, you know that one of her best friends is Dr. Lotty Herschel who grew up in Vienna and escaped with many other children on the Kindertransport to London in 1939.  She lost her family in the Holocaust.  

Now Lotty is trying to help another woman, the daughter of another child who escaped with her.  She asks V. I. to help and with good reason.  What a messed up family.  The mother is a recluse who thinks evil people are after her.  The daughter is a drug addict.  Then there is a son, Martin, who is brilliant like his great-grandmother, Martina Saginor, a physicist.  He has disappeared suddenly and is probably in great danger.

I don't have room to go into the other people and companies involved in this great novel, but the story is gripping.  One truly evil character was a closet Nazi.  She delighted in torturing Jews such as Martina who were caught and imprisoned.  The last she knew, Martina was on a train bound for Sobibor for execution.  Whether you know the history of Austria during the Nazi occupation or not, you will be horrified.

One thing I enjoyed in this novel was getting to know Lotty better, as well as her friend Max.  It was edge of your seat time following V.I. as she tried to find Martin and learn the story of his family.  This story even takes V. I. and her musician boyfriend/neighbor to Vienna.

Highly recommended
Source:  LibraryThing win    

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