Wednesday, April 21, 2004

It's No Mystery for Mystery Lovers

I am not much of a mystery reader myself but my mom is. One of her favorite writers is Sara Paretsky. In These Times has an article/review of Paretsky's most recent book Blacklist. They make it sound so interesting I might just have to give it a perusal:

In previous books, her characters confronted the Holocaust, homelessness and corruption in the prison system. And although she didn’t set out to write an overtly political book this time, her latest novel, Blacklist, takes place soon after the U.S. invasion of Afghanistan. Paretsky originally intended to write about a crime committed during the McCarthy era but was pulled toward the overwhelming parallels between that time and the current political climate. With America still reeling from 9/11, in Blacklist Warshawski confronts the USA Patriot Act, hides a young fugitive accused of terrorism and ducks the FBI. “I started writing it right about the time of the attack on the World Trade Center,” Paretsky explains. “I was pretty much like everyone else in the country, in a state of shock and numbness and having a hard time getting moving. So I started a story that would let me retreat a little from the present … but as I was working on the novel, of course, the events of the day were not remote.” During the last half of the novel, Warshawski contends with the state threatening her constitutional rights—searching her home, tapping her phone and following her car, all without a warrant. As the P.I. evades the FBI, readers are confronted with the ways the government can invade one’s privacy—as much in fiction as in real life.