Synopsis: V. I. Warshawski, lawyer and private investigator, is hired to find a missing man, Lamont Gadsgen. In the meantime her cousin Petra disappears, possibly abducted while visiting Warshawksi's office with two unknown men. The security cameras capture the three blurred figures on film. Warshawski has to find Lamont, who has been missing for many years, and also try to find Petra and calm down her father, who blames her for Petra's mysterious disappearance. The plot ties into the history of Chicago in the 1960s.
I like a cleaner, more focused mystery than the current one by Paretsky, however. Maybe I'm too familiar with Chicago, but I felt that Paretsky tried to cram as much of Chicago as possible into her book, more than the plot warranted. Chicago's southside urban ghettos and its gangs and the 1967 race riots in Marquette Park are central to the plot, but the author also throws in Navy Pier, the Polish community, more than enough Chicago politics, and lots of landmarks. I found it distracting.
Also, I was put off by the number of different characters introduced at the beginning. I didn't know who to focus on. The book would have been better had the writing and plot been more streamlined. Even then, you really can't describe all aspects of this city in one book.
I also found it interesting that Warshawski's love interest is named Morell. The name reminded me too much of Stephanie Plum's on-and-off-again boyfriend Morelli in the Janet Evanovich mystery series. Another unfortunate distraction!
Thanks to the publisher for an ARC for review.