This is the sixth best-selling adventure of Chicago private eye V.I. Warshawski. The knock on her door at 3:00 a.m. announces the arrival of her crazy aunt, Elena. The sleazy hotel where Elena has been living has just burned down, so she has come to stay with her niece. When the woman' s boozy conversations indicate that the fire may have been arson, V.I. is pulled into the grim underworld of Chicago' s homeless population to investigate even more serious crimes. " V.I. resolutely forges her own trail, maintaining the spunk and humor that have earned her a large, devoted following."-- Publishers Weekly " Victoria, sweetie, you look terrific!" With those words-- and the sour yeasty smell of stale beer-- Elena, V.I. Warshawski' s derelict aunt, re-enters her niece' s life at three in the morning. Burned out of her SRO hotel, Elena has turned to V.I. for a place to stay. V.I. vows that it will be a short visit and uses some old political contacts to find Elena a room. When V.I. is hired to investigate the fire at the hotel, her aunt disappears, and her aunt' s young friend is found dead at a construction site. V.I. is warned off the case by both a high-ranking police officer and a major Chicago developer-- who also happens to be a close friend of the chairman of the Cook County Board. After three terrifying attempts on her life, V.I. doesn' t know whether it' s the politicians, the police, or the developers who are after her. As this, her sixth investigation, takes her deep into the workings of both the construction business and Cook County politics, V.I. discovers a connection between the two that brings her to a confrontation where the line between friend and enemy is redrawn to frightening effect.
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by Sara Paretsky
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