Successful in her investigative work for All Souls Legal Cooperative, happy with her newly renovated house, and feeling somewhat more secure in her relationship with the mysterious environmental activist, Hy Ripinsky, Sharon is shocked to find herself suddenly faced with a wrenching ultimatum. No longer a small, informal co-op, All Souls has grown. New legal partners, exasperated with Sharon's free-wheeling ways, want to kick her upstairs with a raise, perks, and a "career opportunity" that will chain her to a desk forever. Offered a take-it-or-leave-it deal, Sharon is in turmoil. And to make matters worse, Hy has disappeared. His abandoned plane, wrecked rental car, and a road map point to RKI, a firm of international security consultants with a reputation for questionable, unorthodox tactics and clients engaged in controversial research. Sharon discovers that they hired Hy as a free-lance operative and that they, too, are looking for him. Determined to find out what has happened, Sharon pushes aside her career concerns at All Souls and plunges into a search that will force her to take unlikely sanctuary in her abandoned San Diego childhood home and find and unexpected ally in her wild, unpredictable brother John. From the drive-by hiring hall for illegal aliens in Imperial Beach to an opulent villa on the Mexican coast, she will track down every clue in a complex plot that builds to a breathtaking climax on the treacherous canyon trails that lead back across the border. There, in a no-man's-land where terrified pollos defy la migra in a desperate bid for freedom...and where decisions won't wait, Sharon must make the tough choices that put her own life, her own freedom, and everything she holds dear at deadly risk.
Alpha female of the pack of American PIs, San Francisco investigator Sharon McCone learns for herself how tough her readers have long known her to be in this, her 14th appearance. On a case that winds through her personal history, Sharon hides out in her childhood home near San Diego and crosses, not always legally, the U.S.-Mexican border to end up facing a future quite different than what she--or we--might have predicted. All Souls Legal Cooperative, long Sharon's employer, is assuming a corporate air; the partners want their unconventional investigator to move into a more administrative position. At the same time, her lover Hy Ripinsky disappears. She traces him to a slick security firm for whom he apparently agreed to deliver the $2 million ransom to the abductors of the CEO of a biotech company about to market a cancer drug. The drug, extracted from dolphin cartilage, has roused the fear and ire of environmentalist groups with whom Hy had once been associated. The high-tech security outfit is convinced Hy has stolen the ransom; Sharon, unsure of anything, says she'll find him and get back the money. Evading their suspicious operatives and the cops, she infiltrates southern California's community of illegals, makes some valuable friends and fierce enemies and learns in a final, breathtaking confrontation the full extent of her own resources. With a finely tuned secondary cast, well-drawn settings and a satisfyingly intricate plot held firmly in hand (except for a few moments of minor melodrama and some unnecessary foreshadowing), Muller keeps the spotlight on Sharon here. She shines. Mystery Guild selection .
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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June 29, 1994
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