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Download Hardball Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample Hardball, by Sara Paretsky Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (2,006 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Sara Paretsky Narrator: Susan Erickse Publisher: Brilliance Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Related: The V. I. Warshawski Series Release Date:
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Chicago’s unique brand of ball is sixteen-inch slow pitch, played in leagues all over the city for more than a century. But in politics, in business, and in law enforcement, the game is hardball. When V.I. Warshawski is asked to find Lamont Gadsden, a man who’s been missing for four decades, a search that she figured would be futile turns lethal. Old skeletons from the city’s racially charged history, as well as haunting family secrets — her own and those of the elderly sisters who hired her — rise up to brush her back from the plate with a vengeance. To complicate matters, Petra, a young cousin whom V.I. has never met, arrives from Kansas City to work on a political campaign. It does not take long for the high-spirited yet likable Petra to win over V.I.’s affections. When Petra goes missing after a break-in at the office, V.I. is determined to find her beloved cousin. As the search to locate Petra becomes more desperate, V.I. is also having difficulties tracking down Lamont Gadsden. Unable to catch a break, she learns that a nun who marched with Martin Luther King, Jr., has died before she can reveal crucial evidence. V.I. herself almost dies in a blazing fire, and new information has emerged about her father’s role in a politically and racially charged trial almost forty years ago. Afraid to discover that her adored father might have been a bent cop, V.I. takes the investigation all the way to its frightening end.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “The thing about Sara Paretsky is, she’s tough—not because she observes the bone-breaker conventions of the private-eye genre but because she doesn’t flinch from examining old social injustices others might find too shameful (and too painful) to dig up…There's a real sting to both the anger of a black man who took care of a friend beaten to insensibility by racist cops and the grief of an old white woman displaced from her family home. Voices like these can ring in your ears for—oh, forty years and more.”

    New York Times

  • “Packed with Chicago history and racial and personal conflict, this story picks up quickly and is a finely honed mystery with serious depth.”

    Library Journal

  • “An ambitious novel layered in the grit of recent American racial history. Paretsky has always written intelligent mysteries, but sometimes…she strives for more, realizing the potential of the homegrown hard-boiled detective genre to investigate the more troubling mysteries at the heart of our national identity…V.I. may be graying and sometimes a tad grim, but she's still the gal you want beside you in a fight, be it short, dirty and physical or a longer campaign for social justice. In Hardball—a standout, nuanced mystery about civil rights struggles past and present—V.I. demonstrates, once again, that when push comes to shove, the scrappiest street fighters are from Chicago.”

    Washington Post

  • Selected for the November 2009 Indie Next List
  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Jeannie Scheirman | 1/19/2014

    " This is Paretsky's first book in a while. I had not read any of her other novels, but saw a review in the paper and had to be on the waiting list for about a month to get this book. It was great! I couldn't wait to see what was going to happen next. V.I.Warshawski is a detective who gets involved in a 40 yr. old disappearance of a client's nephew. It gets tangled with her family ties and looks bleak, but V.I comes through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Vanessa | 1/13/2014

    " The beginning is a bit confusing and it takes long to develop but otherwise it's fantastic! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Mary Jane | 1/8/2014

    " I enjoy reading mystery novels now and then. Am not sure if I ever read a Paretsky book before. It was very entertaining - good plot, good characters, good background work by the author. Read the last 150 pages during our powerless October snowstorm. Enjoyable! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Virginia Walter | 12/29/2013

    " V.I. searches for a man who has been missing for more than 40 years and stirs up memories and consequences of racial animosity. One of her best. "

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