Sunday, August 3, 2008

Burn Out-Marcia Muller

Burn Out
Marcia Muller
Grand Central, Oct 2008, $24.99
ISBN 9780446581073

Still struggling from her harrowing experience (see THE EVER RUNNING MAN), depressed San Francisco based private investigator Sharon McCone decides to get some R&R at her Yosemite ranch while musing about her future. McCone wonders if perhaps it is time to quit the field operations sleuthing business and become a 100 percent executive desk potato; she knows she is fortunate to be alive as she suffers from post traumatic stress disorder.

However, the ranch quickly proves tedious especially after the adrenaline higher than Nob Hill war she just fought. She soon gets involved in the case of her ranch manager Ramon Perez’s nieces and their mother. One niece Haley was murdered while the other Amy and their alcoholic mother Miri vanished. McCone looks at the dysfunctional interrelationships between the family, but soon looks wider when two more murders and an apparent suicide seemingly but loosely related occur.

BURN OUT is a perfect follow up to the excellent EVER RUNNING MAN; especially enlightening is McCone’s inner thoughts re field work as she remains shook up from the recent traumatic events. Her spouse Hy Ripinsky, who feels guilt over what he put his wife through in the EVER RUNNING MAN, assists her though he would prefer she retire; her Shoshone family also helps on the case as the story line turns into a solid whodunit while McCone remains hesitant between desk and field.
Harriet Klausner