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The Ever-Running Man (Sharon McCone Mysteries) Hardcover – July 12, 2007

4.4 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. After 25 books in 30 years, the novelty of a female private eye such as MWA Grand Master Muller's Sharon McCone has worn off, but McCone has only gained luster since her original appearance in Edwin of the Iron Shoes (1977). The San Francisco investigator is in top form as she unravels a case that may unravel her marriage. When Renshaw & Kessell International, a maverick corporate security firm dealing in contingency plans for kidnappings and hostage situations, hires McCone after a series of bombings has damaged its facilities, she starts by looking into the checkered pasts of the firm's co-owners. Readers may find the collateral damage that threatens to tear apart McCone's private life as involving as the search for the bomber, who soon moves from demolition to murder. Muller delivers the complete package, an absorbing mystery with a familiar and evolving cast and enough grit to give it satisfying substance. (July)
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From Booklist

*Starred Review* Someone is bombing the offices and safe houses of REI, a security firm headquartered in San Francisco, and Hy Ripinksy, one of the partners in the firm, hires Sharon McCone to investigate. A shadowy figure, dubbed the ever-running man, has been seen leaving each location where there has been an explosion. When another device is detonated at REI's home office, a security guard dies, and McCone narrowly escapes. Her investigation leads to the discovery of corruption and other dark secrets in the past of the firm's partners—revelations that may jeopardize her marriage, but McCone continues to probe, convinced that both her own and her husband's lives are at stake. Relatively few long-running mystery series succeed in dramatizing a hero's subtle changes over time, as he or she moves from one phase of life to another, but Muller's Sharon McCone novels excel in this regard (as do her husband Bill Pronzini's Nameless Detective novels). The marital tensions, as well as the suspenseful plot and the scenic locations along the California coast, make this one a surefire hit with McCone's many fans. Bibel, Barbara

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Product Details

  • Series: Sharon McCone Mysteries
  • Hardcover: 312 pages
  • Publisher: Warner Books; First Edition edition (July 12, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446582425
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446582421
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #471,466 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Dr. Cathy Goodwin TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 22, 2007
Format: Hardcover
When a series lasts as long as this one, I'm always afraid to pick up the next volume. Thankfully, my fears were groundless. I loved this book.

Marcia Muller is one of the few authors who actually grows and matures with her writing. Her characters evolve easily as we learn more about their backgrounds and watch their lives take unexpected (and always realistic) turns.

Here we see Sharon McCone in her toughest and most professional persona. She's agreed to help find the man who's killing off the leaders of RKI,the high-powered security agency that employes her husband, Hy Ripinsky. As the story develops, we learn more about Hy and we get caught up on Sharon and her far-flung family.

Muller is one of the few authors who successfully delivers all three ingredients of a murder mystery: scene, characters and plot. I've lived in San Francisco and felt a little homesick as I read about the urbanized Bay Area, the 101 to Healdsburg, and the East Bay. Her characters feel like people we know...although I'm not sure I'd be up for coffee with them.

Even the plot feels masterfully drawn. Without giving anything away, there's one situation othat seems puzzling. It could be coincidence. But later this bump in the narrative - so small that it might be missed by an unattentive reader - turns out to hold the key to the puzzle...but not the way that experienced mystery fans would anticipate. Clues are dropped masterfully so the end was a real surprise, yet the author plays fair.

Muller has developed her craft so she communicates potentially boring straightforward information -- the results of a series of interviews -- in a way that sounds fresh and interesting.

As close to a perfect mystery novel as I'll read in this lifetime.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You may think that you know people, but sometimes you don't, even when you have been acquainted with someone for a long period of time. McCone's agency is hired to investigate attacks on her husband's company. Someone seems to have a deadly grudge. People are killed. Shar escapes in the nick of time.

The trail leads into people's pasts - in some cases into shady dealings involving drugs and illegal arms sales. It is necessary to turn over some rocks to look for motives. There are a few subplots along the way including a lovers quarrel in the office (more than one if you count McCone's problems).

This was an interesting plot that kept me involved in the novel. The case is complex and hard to solve, and has a somewhat unexpected conclusion. People aren't always who you think they are.

It remains to be seen what happens to Hy's company, but that is left for another novel. There is that young, stranded girlfriend of one of the partners. That has possibilities, but we will have to see what develops in the next novel.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Lots of twists and turns and red herrings. Fast paced with multilevel storylines.
Hy's past unveiled too. Had me there for a while, well until the end really.
Don't know how I missed this one as I've read the majority of this series.
Looking forward to more.
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Format: Hardcover
Sharon McCone is looking for more than just the man who is leaving explosive devices at various offices used by her husband's security firm. She's digging into her husband's past and not liking what she's uncovering. Has she been wrong about him all this time?

The firm she's been hired to protect was built on corruption and secrets. Both of which have caught up with the founders and endangered the lives of innocent people, including the McCones. Taking this job will not only test her professional resolve, but could jeopardize her marriage as well.

Muller's spare writing style, at least in McCone's voice, keeps things crisp. There are no superfluous descriptions or emotions--you know, stuff you learn when privacy isn't an issue. As a reader, I sometimes miss those things--things I believe allow me to connect on a deeper level with a character. However, I have to admit her resolutions are unbeatable. And more--her characters are memorable in spite of what I perceive to be a limit to their dimensions (or maybe it's that privacy thing they insist upon). I know this is true because it's been a while since I've read a McCone mystery, but when, within the pages of The Ever-Running Man, Muller mentions secondary characters, I remember them like it was yesterday, and I smiled more than once.

There's been a huge hubbub in the world of mystery fans about McCone's marriage to Hy Ripinsky and whether or not it survives. I'm not sure I've ever seen anything quite like it. For many readers, it's clear they are on intimate terms with this--dare I say, fictitious--couple.

My advice? Get the book. Find out for yourself. And if it's been a while since you've seen some of the other people Sharon McCone has in her life, you'll be delighted to see them again. And you will not be disappointed in how Muller wraps up this mystery. Promise.

Armchair Interviews says: The Ever-Running Man is recommended.
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By A Customer on July 7, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Renshaw & Kessell International corporate security firm hires Sharon McCone to uncover who is responsible for the recent bombings of their facilities that has killed several employees and obviously has damaged their reputation. McCone accepts the case although she has reservations because her husband Hy Ripinsky works there. The partners Gage Renshaw and Dan Kessell explain to McCone that they need an outsider with a fresh perspective who solves crimes rather than prevents or negotiates as they do. They also mention the "ever-running man" is behind the bombings. As she leaves, the SF office is hit with security guard Jimmy Banks dead and McCone fortunate but now angry.

She realizes the ever-running man is nearby, but wonders how he knows the layouts of RKI except if he is or was an insider. She begins questioning management including an irate Hy about some of the historical questionable cases that he prefers left buried. As the married couple argues below the belt including comparisons to his first wife "Saint Julie".; the ever running man knows that McCone is investigating and decides she must die for not minding her business even if that is her business and Hy also must be killed for his role in the firm.

The ever running McCone mystery series remains as fresh and exciting although this is the twenty fifth entry. The story line plays out on two interrelated levels; the investigation and its impact on the relationship between Hy and Sharon that has exploded into acrimony. Fans will learn more about Hy's life that he does not want to divulge even to his spouse. The ever running man is a great villain as he plays cat and mouse with McCone whose professional and personal lives have mixed together with neither looking quite upbeat. Marcia Muller is at her best with this brisk McCone mystery.

Harriet Klausner
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