Overall, I was very pleased by Indemnity Only. I loved all of the courageous female characters, including Jill and Anita, who really knew how to hold their own. It was nice to have a female lead for a change, especially one as smart as Vic. I loved in the end scene how she’s still being so snappy to these guys who could potentially be holding her life in their hands. Throughout the novel, she never loses her smarts or even her willingness to shove it in whoever’s face, which is an admirable trait in itself. I enjoyed little Jill’s character also, especially in the same scene where she ends up being a pivotal point in getting the bad guys in the end. Same with Anita, when you take her life’s events into account, it’s very respectable how she kept a rational enough head to take the quick action she did that ended up keeping her from being killed. Not only did I love the characters, but the crime and style of writing were enough to keep me reading. Double Indemnity is right up there with Ask the Dust for me.
We know that this took place during the 1970s, which was a big time of world peace movements mostly as an opposition to the Vietnam War. This also resulted in lots of rallies and defiance against big corporations and authority figures. Reading about this reminded me of the McGraw’s life with the union and how Anita also attended the women’s activists groups. Not to mention that this is the time period where woman’s roles in society began to change more drastically and feminism was on the rise. We see this in our strong female characters as well as their actions, which seemed like a point Paretsky was trying to get across. We discussed the idea of the gym in class, but environmentalism and youth suffrage were more prominent along with feminism. It seems that the 70s was a time for people to focus on the finer things in life that had been ignored before due to epidemic turmoil.