A V.I. Warshawski Novel

Book - 2003
Average Rating:
Rate this:
Penguin Putnam
From one of the most distinguished writers in American crime fiction - her most brilliant and daring novel yet.

This is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations-secrets political, social, sexual, financial: all of them with the power to kill. Eager for something physical to do in the spirit-exhausting wake of 9/11, V.I. accepts a request from an old client to check up on an empty family mansion; sub-sequently surprises an intruder in the dark; and, giving chase, topples into a pond. Grasping for something to hold on to, her fingers close around a lifeless human hand.

It is the body of a reporter who had been investigating events of forty-five years earlier, during the McCarthy era, and V.I.'s discovery quickly sucks her into the history of two great Chicago families-their fortunes intertwined by blood, sex, money, and the scandals that may or may not have resulted in murder all these years later. At the same time, she inadvertently becomes involved in the story of a missing Egyptian boy whose possible terrorist connections make him very much sought after by the government. As the two cases drive her forward-and then shockingly tumble together-she finds that wealth and privilege, too, bear a terrible price; and the past has no monopoly on patriotic scoundrels. Before everything is over, at least two more people will lie dead . . . and V.I. might even be one of them.

A novel as passionate, complex, and powerfully entertaining as its acclaimed heroine, Blacklist is a stunning achievement.

Baker & Taylor
Checking up on empty family mansions for an old client, V.I. discovers the body of a missing reporter who disappeared during the McCarthy era, a find that has links to two prestigious Chicago families.

Blackwell North Amer
Blacklist is a story of secrets and betrayals that stretch across four generations, but with particular resonance for today.
The secrets are many - political, social, sexual, and financial - and they all have the power to kill, as V.I. soon learns. Eager for physical action in the spirit-numbing wake of 9/11. V.I. is glad to take on a routine stake-out for her most important client, Darraugh Graham. His ninety-one-year-old mother sold the family estate when she could no longer manage it, and now that it's standing empty, Geraldine Graham keeps a fretful eye on it from a retirement apartment across the road. When the old woman sees lights on in the middle of the night, V.I. checks it out - and finds a dead man in the ornamental pond.
A reporter, it turns out, for an African-American publication, and as far as the suburban cops seem to feel, a black criminal who stumbled to a drunken death. Furious, the man's family hires V.I. to investigate - and that's when things begin to get complicated.
As she retraces the dead reporter's tracks, V.I. is sucked into the middle of a gothic tale of sex, money and power, the trail leading her back to the McCarthy-era blacklists, and forward to some of the darker aspects of the Patriot Act. As she scrambles desperately for a way to save herself and her clients, V.I. finds herself penned into a smaller and smaller space by an array of people trying to silence her, and before she can untangle the whole sordid truth, not only will two more people lie dead ... but her own life will hang in the balance.

& Taylor

Checking up on empty family mansions for an old client, V.I. surprises an intruder and subsequently discovers the dead body of a missing reporter who disappeared during the McCarthy era, a find that has links to two prestigious Chicago families and leads to her involvement in the search for a missing boy with terrorist connections. 175,000 first printing.

Publisher: New York : Putnam, c2003.
ISBN: 9780399150852
Characteristics: 415 p. ; 24 cm.


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Jan 22, 2019

I started reading her after finishing all the good writers. I'm still reading her books - just because. But every story has her getting beat up or losing a lover or ??? I just finished Total Recall (terrible book) - way too long and Blacklist. Again, way too long. Both have too many "extra" characters to try and keep track of.

Her main characters of which there are about 5-6 plus the dogs are easy to remember if you've read any. But when the story brings in 10 more and they are families with same last name, it's impossible to keep track of.

Jan 05, 2012

This was my first experience with this author. I found the writing flat and uninteresting and the story telling tedious. Surprising as I chose based on the authors mystery writing awards.


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.


Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further


Subject Headings


Find it at WCCLS

To Top