In this the 12th installment of the Private eye V.I. Warshawski series, V.I. (Vic ) volunteers to fill in for her old high school basketball coach on Chicago's South Side. Vic starts her volunteer stint looking for a team sponsor at a large department store By-Smart, whose founder, Buffalo Bill Bysen, is a fellow alum. Of all Bysen's cutthroat, cost-cutting family, only idealist 19-year-old Billy shows any interest in helping the team. When he disappears, his frustrated father hires Vic to find him. The mother of a high school basketball player also hires Vic to investigate sabotage at the flag factory where she works—an investigation cut short when the factory blows up before Vic's eyes killing the owner. Vic risks life and limb as she winds her way chasing down clues from a fundamentalist church, where the pastor goes to extremes for his flock, to the city dump, where villains try to bury their secrets.
This book is well written, has a good plot and I like the author's writing style. In this book Paretsky uses the mystery genre venue to explore the struggles of the working poor and the schemes of the rich and infamous. The book is fast paced. This book will appeal to V.I. fans and those interested in classism and racism.