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Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1)
Indemnity Only - V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1
Author: Sara Paretsky
Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling  summer night is asking for trouble. But trouble is Chicago private eye V.I. Warshwski's specialty.   — Her client says he's the prominent banker, John Thayer. Turns out he's not. He says his son's  girlfriend, Anita Hill, is missing. Turns out ...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780440210696
ISBN-10: 0440210690
Publication Date: 6/1/1991
Pages: 336
  • Currently 3.6/5 Stars.

3.6 stars, based on 110 ratings
Publisher: Dell
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 588 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
very good
reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
early warshawski, with the fun that entails.
reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 59 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This Sara Paretsky book is a good beginning for what has become an awesome series. I hate to give up my copies of them but it is time to make room on my book shelves. Indemnity Only is the second of the VI Warshawski detective series and takes place during one of those sizzling humid Chicago summers. The heat isn't the only trouble VI runs into as she tries to solve a case that is based on a house of cards, one lie after another.
reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This is quite a classic PI story, with an interesting angle since the tough PI carrying a gun and getting into fights that end up in bruised eyes and broken bones is a chick. A great read for a vacation or just for fun, the story is maingly superficial but the author does capture (I think) the inner workings and contradictions of a tough chick. Interesting read for a woman, then, but also for a guy.
reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 103 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
In Sara Paretsky's first novel, she lays the foundation for Chicago Private Detective V.I. Warshawski's character. Her writing here is not as polished as in her later books, but V.I. in all her imperfection feels real. If you're a V.I. fan, this is worth the read.
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bolgai avatar reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 109 more book reviews
2012 marks the 30 year anniversary of the first publication of Sara Paretsky's debut novel and after listening to the BBC World Book Club program where she was the guest I decided to pick it up.
You can definitely see that Indemnity Only is a debut novel. There is the minute detail often present in authors' first works, from what exactly their characters wore to what they ate. There are inconsistencies in quantities of family heirlooms and thorough accounts of habits and routines. Things like this could do a book in if there is enough of them and not enough of what keeps the reader turning the pages and rooting for the protagonist. In Paretsky's case the balance was in her favor and she went on to write 14 more V.I. Warshawski novels.
So what was it that tipped the scales? For me it was the characters, the setting and that none of it got lost in those details. V.I., Vic to friends, is a badass with a soft underbelly. She knows martial arts, runs a 7.5 minute mile and isn't afraid to use her fists when the circumstances call for it, she'll help those in need with a complete disregard for her own safety or bottom line. She bristles when anyone questions her choice of profession or competence because she is a woman, but is realistic about her chances against a strong male opponent in single combat. In short V.I. Warshawski is a believable and relatable female character who is just as relevant today as she was 30 years ago, even if her environment is definitely outdated. She actually reminds me of Maria Bello's character in last year's Prime Suspect, I think Vic and Jane would get along.
Secondary characters easily hold their own, even though they don't have quite as much time on the page and more often than not we don't know what they're wearing. I can't decide if my favorite is Lotty of McGraw, a spitfire doctor unfazed by any surprise or a conflicted man comparing himself to King Midas. Or maybe it's Bobby Mallory, who keeps trying to protect his friend's daughter and nearly blows a gasket every time she won't let him.
Another thing to Paretsky's advantage is her ability to establish a sense of the world in which V.I. operates. The book is filled with social issues of the day - women's movement, tensions between the radically-inclined and the police, the divide between classes and the lack of acceptance of those who aren't of the same ancestry across all levels of society. With Vic being firmly working class and not particularly fond of the rich it would have been easy to make her just one of the not-too-priviledged and be done with it, but Paretsky makes her straddle the line in a way. Vic judges people by their actions, not their wealth or position, regardless of where they stand on social issues or how unpopular her opinion. It's clear of course that she is rooting for the little guy, just as Paretsky is, and it's no surprise that it's the working class characters who are the more sympathetic ones, but Warshawski isn't blindly prejudiced and justice and truth are her goals every step of the way. All this makes the story resonate more, makes it more personal, makes one think about how much the world has changed in the last 30 years and how much it hasn't.
I read some V.I. Warshawski novels when I was in high school and remember enjoying them enough to blow through a half-dozen paperbacks in a couple of weeks, but I don't remember particularly noticing the elements that impressed me most this time around. Maybe I should revisit Warshawski before too much time passes, watch her catch some bad guys and learn something about the past while I'm at it.
Linda avatar reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 770 more book reviews
Meeting an anonymous client late on a sizzling summer night is asking for trouble.
reviewed Indemnity Only (V.I. Warshawski, Bk 1) on + 517 more book reviews
I like V.I. and this book was not a disappointment. I think it is one of this authors earliest stories and is very well written. Good book