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LOCKED IN by Marcia Muller

LOCKED IN

By Marcia Muller

Pub Date: Oct. 15th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-446-58105-9
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Sharon McCone almost dies.

The bullet enters her occipital lobe, leaving bone fragments, a clot, pressure and vocal and physical paralysis. Sharon McCone, private eye extraordinaire, can communicate only by blinking once for yes, twice for no. She’s transferred from SF General to the Brandt Neurological Institute, where her husband, Hy Ripinsky, keeps vigil and her staff—Ted, Adah, Craig, Mick, Julia, Rae and Diane, the most recent hire—comb the agency caseload trying to figure out who shot her. McCone’s cases include a missing son and a newly discovered $100,000, the stabbing of the hooker daughter of a well-known politician, the staged murder/suicide of the president of the Board of Supervisors and a State Representative, the death of the mayor’s aide and the disfigurement of a junior executive in a financial management firm. As these diverse cases coalesce, there’ll be more death and yet another murder/suicide, not to mention plans made by Ripinsky for retribution, if only he can find McCone’s attacker. When bullet fragments in her brain shift, McCone’s condition turns critical and she’s scheduled for a four-hour surgery. Her staff holds a conference in her hospital room to update her. Despite her perilous prognosis, McCone makes an important connection. All cases are closed, leaving rehab and smoother sailing ahead.

Proficient and readable, but since very few authors who aren’t Nicolas Freeling kill off their franchise heroes, the prospect of McCone’s solving her 27th case (Burn Out, 2008, etc.) is never really in doubt.