“V.I. Warshawski is back on the case. This investigation finds death at a local night club full of odd characters. From the artist who lets people draw art on her body to the burly thugs who hang out there and the young vets trying to keep their post-Iraq War demons at bay, Body Work is one terrific read. Highly recommended!”
— Linda Dewberry, Whodunit? Books, Olympia, WA
The thing about Sara Paretsky is, she's tough not because she observes the bone-breaker conventions of the private-eye genre but because she doesn t flinch from examining old social injustices others might find too shameful (and too painful) to dig up. The New York Times Book Review Doctors take days off why not PIs? V.I. Warshawski demands. But when America's hardest-working private eye goes clubbing, a stranger is shot and dies in her arms. V.I. has been visiting Club Gouge, Chicago's edgiest nightspot, where a woman known as the Body Artist turns her naked body into a canvas for the audience to paint on. The show attracts all kinds of people, from a menacing off-duty cop to Ukrainian mobsters and Iraq war vets and V.I.'s impetuous cousin, Petra. A tormented young painter shows up, too, and the intricate designs she creates on the Body Artist drive one of the vets into a violent rage. When the painter is shot, the cops figure it's an easy collar PTSD vet goes off the rails, stalks then kills young woman. But the vet's family hires V.I. to clear his name, and the detective uncovers a chain of ugly truths that stretches all the way from Iraq to Chicago's South Side.