Body Work, by Sara Paretsky
“Doctors take days off—why not P I’s?” 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.