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Coming Back (Sharon McCone Mysteries) Hardcover – October 28, 2010


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Editorial Reviews

Review

On LOCKED IN:
"Throughout her many McCone novels, Muller has displayed a knack both for keeping the series fresh and for allowing her character to grow. She accomplishes both goals this time by taking McCone out of the spotlight but giving her fans a chance to root for her to recover. After all these years, Muller's series remains a gold standard for female detective stories." (Kirkus, starred review)

"Top-notch mystery and more from one of the genre's Grand Masters." (Library Journal)

"Seeing Sharon McCone come back is a special pleasure-don't miss it." (Library Journal, starred review)

About the Author

MARCIA MULLER has written many novels and short stories. Her novel WOLF IN THE SHADOWS won the Anthony Boucher Award. The recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award--their highest accolade--she lives in northern California with her husband, mystery writer Bill Pronzini.
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Product Details

  • Series: Sharon McCone Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (October 28, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446581062
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446581066
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,196,075 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARCIA MULLER has written many novels and short stories. Her novel "Wolf in the Shadows" won the Anthony Boucher Award. The recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award - their highest accolade - she lives in northern California with her husband, mystery writer Bill Pronzini.

Customer Reviews

4.1 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

124 of 133 people found the following review helpful By Julia Walker VINE VOICE on October 15, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I've grown up and grown old with the daughters of Sisters in Crime.

Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, Marcia Muller, these three constitute the holy trinity of feminist mystery writers and are the founders of the venerable professional organization, Sisters in Crime. Their detectives were the first women to be tough, to carry guns and use them, to get shot and beaten up, to fight back, to wreck cars, to sleep with more than one man a decade. All readers and most writers of contemporary mystery fiction owe them a huge debt.

But Marcia Muller was first of the first. Her 1977 Edward of the Iron Shoes introduces Sharon McCone, anticipating the debuts of Kinsey Milhone and VI Warshawski by five years. And Muller's detective has developed into the most interesting and credible of the three protagonists.

While I love Vic Warshawski best, or did for many years, she hasn't aged well. She still lives hand-to-mouth, still takes stupid risks (no, not all risks are stupid, but most of Vic's are, willfully so); she still hurts the people she loves - both of them - and has failed to form any adult friendships, having instead surrogates whose shins she can kick: a mother and a dog-sharing grandpa. And Vic never thinks about things. Well, yes, she follows causes, sometimes of her own choosing, sometimes those of others, but she never thinks about those issues in the abstract or big-picture sorts of ways. She doesn't read, except for newspapers. And what passes for self-awareness is generally just "I'll-show-them" justification. All this was acceptable in the mid-80s when she was in her 30's. Thirty years on she's turned into the sort of old acquaintance you'd leave a coffee shop to avoid.
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29 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Linda Holman VINE VOICE on October 16, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I am a huge fan of Marcia Muller's series featuring Sharon Mccone. She is on my go to list for authors I buy from and usually do not check the synopsis of the story before buying. I have to admit, I was hesitant this time around since her previous book entitled Locked In dealt with her being shot and in a coma for quite a while and the slow agonizing challenge of ever being able to communicate with words or physical aids, let alone being a hard hitting, brilliant detective running a quite successful and highly reputable PI agency.

I was also thinking the book would pick up with her still having inpatient care and all her frustrations of being a patient and not being able to do things for herself; i.e. asking for help,which was never her strong suit to begin with!

Well, I was not disappointed one bit with this latest installment. While Sharon gets off to a slow start in her efforts to be part of the agency in a more physical and leadership role, she ends up getting involved in a case that could either make her or break her, and cause serious problems in all her relationships.

The format of the book is written in the style of switching back and forth between all the employees and her husband, Hy, and their thoughts and feelings revolving around a case that at first was a simple missing person, who Sharon had become attached to while going through her rigorous physical and speech therapy needed for her recovery. It quickly becomes far reaching with a multiple sub-plot, including political cover ups, and higher ups which could and does bring dangerous consequences to all the players from the agency, including her spouse, Hy. I normally don't care for this type of format, switching back and forth but in this book, it worked perfectly and was very easy to follow.
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Format: Hardcover
Muller freely employs what I think of as the "James Patterson Effect" to propel her tale of kidnapping and cover-up, chapters than run from 3-4 pages. In Coming Back, Muller features a number of characters, at least six, to develop a plot that begins with PI Sharon McCone's rehabilitation from a bullet in the head and culminates with the attempted rescue of two hostages. Locating the hostages is a group effort for McCone's team of investigators, untangling the intricate web of criminal enterprise that smack of professions. My disappointment with this Muller novel- my first-is that it never quite goes all in: we learn of McCone's brain injury and the terrifying "locked-in syndrome" she endures, only to throw herself into the investigation without incident; the characters, like the chapters, jump from one to another, none fully developed; and the threat to McCone and her team is never quite dangerous enough to jeopardize their lives.

McCone's horrific experience of "locked-in syndrome" slips conveniently into irrelevance as she powers through the doubts of coworkers in pursuit of the culprits with her crack investigators, supported by a technologically savvy staff and the resources of her husband's private security business. That isn't to say no one gets killed- they do- but there is no real build up of tension to suggest the missing patient from McCone's rehab hospital and the kidnapped former SFPD homicide detective won't survive the machinations of a well-organized criminal conspiracy. The result is a thriller that fails to thrill, only hints at a promise it fails to keep. This patchwork of people and actions almost succeeds, but the author relies too heavily on formula and not enough on her own instinct. Luan Gaines/2010.
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