PI Sharon McCone has barely had time to appreciate the hard-won success of her firm when one of her operatives is arrested, putting the whole agency at risk. Is reserved, almost standoffish Julia Rafael, who has a juvenile record, guilty? If not, why in the world would Alex Aguilar, one of San Francisco's up-and-coming Hispanic politicians, accuse her of stealing his credit card? It doesn't take Sharon long to recognize that it's up to her to sort out the mess, and when she begins digging into Aguilar's past, she finds that he has some unpleasant secrets--one of which leads her to the realization that a vengeful killer is out there, and Julia isn't the real target. Muller's plotting isn't quite as tidy as usual (she has to stretch pretty far to bring everything in line by the end), but once again she gives us a solid slice of a San Francisco community and a protagonist with character. Fans of the sturdy, ongoing series will be especially pleased with the final scene, which opens the way for a new chapter in McCone's personal life.
In Muller's 23rd page-turner about scrappy, smart PI Sharon McCone (Dead Midnight, etc.), McCone now heads her own firm, McCone Investigations, a successful, established agency with a growing staff and more work than they can keep up with. But someone from her past would like to see her fail and is willing to take out her close associates to do so. When Julia Rafael, a young investigator whom McCone decided to take on despite her checkered youth, is accused of stealing the credit card of Supervisor Alex Aguilar, the man being groomed to be San Francisco's first Hispanic mayor, the criminal investigation could have dire implications for McCone Investigations. McCone's initial doubts about her employee quickly give way to a determination to discover who's trying to sabotage her company. Muller has a knack for painting a full picture of McCone's life without getting too cutesy (even when discussing cat health care), and readers with a taste for romance will enjoy the direction her relationship with the dashing Hy Ripinsky is taking. While the plot is a bit by-the-book and the high-stakes confrontations could be more compelling, fans should be well satisfied.
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Grand Central Publishing
May 31, 2005
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