Blood Shot by Sara Paretsky

17323869V.I. Warshawski isn’t crazy about going back to her old south Chicago neighbourhood but a promise is something she always keeps. Caroline, a  childhood friend, has a dying mother and a problem –  after twenty-five years she wants V.I. to find the father she never knew. But when V.I. starts probing into the past, she not only finds out where all the bodies are buried – she stumbles onto a very new corpse. Now she’s stirring up a deadly mix of big business and chemical corruption that may become a toxic shock to a snooper who knows too much.

Book group reads are very different from your generic, commercial fiction – well I think they are anyway – so the only reason I chose a very standard crime thriller was simply due to the fact that it was a Harrogate Big Read book. Books are given out in their hundreds to various library groups in the north east, and I think that this is a super idea. To make it even more superer (yes, that is a real word – honest) there are book group meetings specifically for this book in the run up to the Harrogate Crime Festival. Anything that promotes reading on a big scale is pretty fab in my eyes, so I jumped at the chance of reading this with my group and dishing out free books at the same time. Everyone loves a freebie!

However, what I wasn’t planning on was how poor the choice of book was this year (and I NEVER like to be negative about a book). This book has sold in the thousands – the series in the millions – and yet my eyes have need dried up so quickly as they did reading this novel. Boring would be an improvement to what my group had to say on this book. It really was a very bland and simple book that it would probably sit better on a creative writing course as an example of how not to write a novel.

It really was that bad.

So, I’m quite reluctant to write this blog as I really don’t like to rip apart any novel, but I’ll do my best to keep it succinct.

We hated it.

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About the group

The Tees Valley Book Group meets at Stockton Central Library at 6.30pm on the first Tuesday of the month.

If you would like more information about what the group is reading, please visit


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