PUBLISHED August 31, 2010
“Doctors take days off—why not PIs?” V.I. Warshawski demands. But when America’s hardest-working private eye goes clubbing, a stranger is shot, and dies in V.I.’s arms.
V.I. has been visiting Club Gouge, Chicago’s edgiest night spot, where a woman known as the Body Artist turns her naked body into a canvas for the audience to paint on. The show attracts all kinds of people, from a menacing off-duty cop, to Ukrainian mobsters, Iraqi war vets—and V.I.’s impetuous cousin Petra. A tormented young painter shows up, too, and the intricate designs she creates on the Body Artist drives one of the vets into a violent rage.
When the painter is shot, the cops figure it’s an easy collar—PTSD vet goes off the rails, stalks, then kills young woman. But the vet’s family hires V.I. to clear his name, and the detective uncovers a chain of ugly truths that stretch all the way from Iraq to Chicago’s south side.