Tunnel Vision by Sara Paretsky

‘Tunnel Vision’ is Sara Paretsky’s 8th novel featuring the Chicago private detective, feminist and defender of the helpless V.I. Warshawski.

The decrepit building in which V.I. has her office is finally due to be closed down and demolished. What little maintenance was still being carried out has now stopped completely so V.I. does her own repairs when necessary. She is in the rat infested basement fixing the power (again) when she discovers Tamar Hawkins and her three young children. They are all filthy, sick and malnourished. But when V.I. offers to help, they vanish.

V.I. attends a dinner given in honour of her old university professor. It is at the home of Fabian Messenger, a lawyer with higher ambitions and his dutiful wife Deidre who does charity work with V.I. The dinner is everything that V.I. hates with self important people being seen with the right people. But it is the way that Fabian treats Deidre and his daughter Emily that upsets V.I. the most.

When Deidre is found murdered in V.I.’s office, V.I. would love nothing more than to find proof of Fabian’s guilt. But the evidence seems to be pointing in Emily’s direction.

Meanwhile, a female construction crew that V.I. knows have just lost a contract. When V.I. tries to find out why, doors start closing in her face. They are given another job as a sweetener, but V.I. can’t stop without getting to the bottom of the story.

V.I. soon finds herself in trouble with Fabian Messenger, bank executives, emergency accommodation providers and last but not least, the police. Emily has vanished and Fabian blames V.I.

When a series of tunnels under the city of Chicago starts to flood, V.I. finally thinks that she knows where Tamar and Emily have gone.


Once again, the plot of this book was fairly complicated but centred around greed and corruption. V.I., as usual, manages to upset a lot of people with her brash investigative style. She even alienates her policeman boyfriend Conrad.

The book was action packed and exciting and as usual V.I. managed to get the job done. She even managed to hang onto some of her friends.

I’m looking forward to seeing if she can keep up the pace in the next book – ‘Hard Time’.


Book Published 1994


See a full list of books by Sara Paretsky

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