Friday, September 11, 2009


Bitter Medicine, Sara Paretsky, William Morrow and Company Inc, 1987, 222 pp

Now the pace picks up. Sara Paretsky has always had consummate plotting skills. In her fourth book, she moves over into thriller mode. Bitter Medicine starts right out with action and never lets up.

At a for-profit hospital in suburban Chicago, a 16 year old girl dies of complications during childbirth, as does the infant. The next thing you know, one of the attending doctors is beaten to death and a group of anit-abortion fanatics stages a demonstration at the woman's clinic of Lottie Herschel, V I Warshawski's closest friend.

There is more, including injury to V I and a fling with another doctor. In between all the mayhem and romance, Paretsky also employs a biting wit, throwing in pithy comments about chauvinist males, slimy PR guys and government officials, not to mention remarks about what V I is wearing and why.

I was excited to learn that Paretsky has a new volume of this series coming out this month entitled Hard Ball, which has got to be about Chicago baseball. Can't wait.

(Bitter Medicine is available in paperback by special order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)

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