Fire Sale: Sara Paretsky
Comments: Private Investigator V.I. Warshawski agrees to help out coaching her old school basketball team in a run-down neighbourhood in South Chicago. She quickly gets drawn into her charges' lives and starts investigating sabotage at the local factory. But the factory is burnt down in an arson attack, her contacts are running scared and the big conglomerate Buy-Smart starts muscling in.
The plot is thin, the characters are shallow and one-dimentional stereotypes and it's impossible to suspend belief. Also, I am really, really sick of crime novels where the female protagonist has to get physically assaulted at every turn. Paretsky knows how to write a page turner but I long for the more genteel and cerebal detective novels of old.