New York Times bestselling author Marcia Muller is at her page-turning best in The Breakers, as she digs into a particularly disturbing corner of San Francisco's history--one that Sharon McCone may not escape alive.
Sharon gets a request from her former neighbors the Curleys. Their usually dependable daughter, Chelle, hasn't answered their calls in over a week. Would Sharon check on her?
Chelle, a house flipper, has been living at her latest rehab project: a Prohibition-era nightclub known as the Breakers, formerly a favored watering hole for San Francisco's elite, now converted into a run-down apartment building. There's something sinister about the quirky space, and Sharon quickly discovers why. Lurking in a secret room between two floors is a ghastly art gallery: photos and drawings of mass murderers, long ago and recent. Jack the Ripper. The Zodiac and Zebra killers. Charles Manson. What, an alarmed Sharon wonders, was Chelle doing in this chamber of horrors?
And as Sharon begins to suspect that the ghoulish collage may be more than just a leftover relic of the Breakers' checkered history, her search for Chelle becomes a desperate race against the clock before a killer strikes again.
"[Marcia Muller's] stories crackle like few others on the mystery landscape." -- San Francisco Examiner & Chronicle
"Muller undoubtedly remains one of today's best mystery writers." -- Associated Press
In MWA Grand Master Muller's underwhelming 35th novel featuring San Francisco PI Sharon McCone (after 2017's The Color of Fear), McCone is dismayed to learn that 23-year-old Chelle Curley, a daughter of friends who restores old buildings, has disappeared from the Breakers, a former nightclub that Chelle was renovating to turn into a service center for disabled veterans. Interviews with Chelle's friends lead nowhere, but McCone is intrigued that the nook where Chelle was camping out in the Breakers was next to a wall covered with news clippings about killers such as Jack the Ripper and Charles Manson. The case gets even weirder when Zack Kaplan, one of the building's tenant's acquaintances, asks McCone to come over right away; disturbingly, Zack is nowhere to be found, but the PI finds a note in Chelle's handwriting, stating, "I've got a right to disappear." Developments in McCone's personal life don't add much, and the solution will strike some as so improbable as to undercut the notion that her investigative work is realistic. Muller has done better.)