Review: Total Recall

Total Recall Book Review
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!

About Me
For those new to me or my reviews… here’s the scoop: I read A LOT. I write A LOT. And now I blog A LOT. First the book review goes on Goodreads, and then I send it on over to my WordPress blog at, where you’ll also find TV & Film reviews, the revealing and introspective 365 Daily Challenge and lots of blogging about places I’ve visited all over the world. And you can find all my social media profiles to get the details on the who/what/when/where and my pictures. Leave a comment and let me know what you think. Vote in the poll and ratings. Thanks for stopping by.

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    • This is one of those series where you can skip around with minimal confusion. A few people died and a few friendships change, but nothing too significant where it would ruin the books. This one is a safe one to read out of order… you’d at most be missing the history with Lotty and VI, and why they are such close friends.

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  1. I have childhood memories of World War 11 and the Nazi. I find it extremely hard to read books about. It bothers me tremendously to her a young person call someone a Nazi as they have no idea what they were like.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I can’t imagine what it was like for you or anyone at that time. Were you in the US at that time, or in Europe? I have a hard time reading books about this topic too, but I have no personal experience with it. I agree with you… some words have an original meaning and they shouldn’t be applied to anything but that first meaning — either when it’s positive or negative.

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      • I was about 10 years old and living in Boise. I remember it all Pearl Harbor was shocked. We got news on radio and saw the news feel when went to movies. I can still heard Rossevelt say “The DAY WILL LOVE IN INFINITY!” It hasn’t as so many have no memory . My generation is probably the last to remember. How shocked we were about how open the first gulf war. You didn’t get any news. Letters were censor, rationing, war bonds, blackouts The Gold Star Mothers began, the Japanese were treated great badly, German prisoners of war has much better. People destroy anything from Japan in the streets. I remember the trains carrying the Japanese to the camps in Eastern Idaho. They travel through Boise at night.
        VE days was painful yet a relief.

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      • If 9/11 shocked you, Pearl Harbor was worse. The Japanese ambassador was meeting Roosevelt in Washington, DC. All military leaves were cancelled. Troop movements began to passed through towns. The recruitment office was swamp. The country pulled together as one nation.

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