Feeling despondent over her brother Joey’s suicide and guilty that she didn’t know him well enough to thwart it, Sharon McCone, San Francisco’s female Lew Archer wannabe, is reluctant to handle an investigation into another suicide. Roger Nagasawa worked for InSite, a trendy Internet magazine staffed by edgy workaholics, among them Dinah Vardon, the former girlfriend who ditched him. As the case evolves, McCone learns Roger was planning some sort of exposé of InSite management. But where did he hide his notes? His neighbor Jody might know but won’t tell. McCone’s chum, reporter J.D. Smith, is on the right track to find them—until he’s murdered in a house in Eagle Rock, Oregon, where a very scared Jody’s been camping out. Assailed by even more grief and guilt, McCone rallies to search for Tessa Remington, the missing venture capitalist who had been bankrolling InSite until her disappearance dries up the funding, to the glee of Afton Development and one of InSite’s executive directors. McCone will get a chance to stop another suicide before the villain offers her a share of the billions stashed in a suitcase to forget what she knows. Of course, she turns it all down, calls the cops, and hightails it out to her new house with her lover, Hy Ripinsky.
Typical middling work from veteran Muller (Listen to the Silence, 2000, etc.): a tale that unfolds so rapidly that it’s over before you can complain it’s the mystery equivalent of fast food.