3 out of 5 stars to Total Recall, the 10th book in the “VI Warshawski” mystery series, written in 2001 by Sara Paretsky. In this book, Paretsky tackles a prominent social issue surrounding the impact of the Nazis and the Holocaust, the war in Afghanistan and the best way to help a friend through what may seem to be a simple problem (but never is!). I always enjoy her books as it’s not just a mystery about made-up characters whom you really enjoy; it’s also a commentary on what’s wrong and right in the world and in history. And for that reason alone, this is a great book; however, I’m a little squeamish about the topic, as it is painful to read about. One of the better parts of this book is the exploration of Lotty’s and VI’s friendship. We’ve seen it thru 9 books at this point, but in this one, Paretsky breathes life into their past, and in particular, where Lotty comes form. And VI is determined to protect her friend and mentor. If I based my review alone on that component, it’d be a solid 4, but the plot unravels too much towards the end and I didn’t feel satisfied with the outcome and the connections VI shares with everyone involved. Especially given it’s the first time we really see / hear about her dating life. As a result, I knocked it down to a 3, but I’ll still keep reading this series. There’s no one like VI!
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