In Locked In, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone was shot in the head and suffered from locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but with an alert, conscious mind. Now, as Sharon struggles to regain control over her body, she wants everything to go back to normal, but realizes that it may not be possible to return to her old life. Meanwhile, Sharon's relationships are suffering. Her husband is impatient with her refusal to accept help and some of her colleagues doubt her abilities after the accident. But when Sharon's friend from physical therapy goes missing, she must call upon those closest to her to find out the truth behind the disappearance. The investigation soon points to issues of national security and proves to be the most dangerous and critical case yet for Sharon and her colleagues.
In Muller's brisk, carefully crafted 28th Sharon McCone mystery, the San Francisco PI, who's recovering from a debilitating bullet wound to the head suffered in 2009's Locked In, becomes alarmed when a close friend, Piper Quinn, abruptly stops coming to their rehab center. When McCone visits Quinn, whose husband was killed in Iraq, she finds her semi-conscious, watched over by a sinister and evasive caregiver. A further visit by Adah Joslyn, McCone's office manager, finds Piper gone and her apartment scrupulously and professionally cleaned. Shortly afterward, Adah herself vanishes. When McCone Investigations' shrewd employees pool their impressive abilities and connections to find the two missing women, early evidence suggests that a malevolent and clandestine intelligence agency might be deeply involved. Each chapter neatly dovetails with the next and each supporting character plays a key small role as the action builds to a gripping conclusion.
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I have read all the books in the Sharon McCone series. Marcia Muller is one of my favorite mystery writers. However, I was disappointed that her liberal views were so transparent in this book. The book is supposed to be fictional, but Obama is specifically mentioned and the "past administration" is brought up a number of times throughout the book - and not in a nice way. The storyline was excellent; but I feel this very talented author could have found a way to tell the story without bashing President Bush. I wish I didn't waste my money on it. Shame on you, Ms. Muller.