Hardball is the first VI Warshawski book I've read. I believe it may be the 13th or 15th in the series. Based on this book, I don't feel especially compelled to read the other books in the series.
This book never really grabbed me, or put me in a position where I just couldn't put it down. In fact, about mid-way through, I considered not even finishing the book because I didn't care what happened next.
VI is a private detective, and she's trying to find someone who disappeared thirty years or forty years earlier. But as soon as she begins the investigation, people start coming after her. Then you find out that her cousin is involved and her uncle and her dad, and it all seems a bit too coincidental and absurd. There's lots of action -- bad guys attacking her and fires and break-ins, but none of it feels very natural. As I read it, I found myself thinking, over and over again that it all seems a bit ridiculous.
I tend to prefer British mysteries, which involve a lot more brain power to solve the crime, less jumping out of windows and hiding in cases for musical instruments and frequent stays in hospitals.
Despite all that action, it all seemed a bit boring, or rather a lot boring. I didn't care about the characters very much. None of them -- except for the neighbor downstairs -- seemed like people I would ever want to meet or be around. So it didn't matter to me if they got hurt, or lost or went missing forever.
Maybe if I'd read the other books in the series, I would care more. But there are so many other books I'd rather read, going to stay away from these in the future.
finished reading: August 29, 2010