Coming Back: A Sharon McCone Mystery by Marcia Muller (Grand Central Publishing; $24.99; 304 pages)
In this, the 28th mystery novel featuring San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone, author Marcia Muller explores the collateral damage wrought by McCone’s experience in a conscious vegetative state that resulted from a bullet to her brain. McCone’s chapters are in the first person and the reader is pulled along as she tries to resolve her need to get back in the action and maintain her relationship with her husband.
This reviewer’s lack of familiarity with the series made it difficult to appreciate just what sort of life McCone is struggling to maintain. The references to flying her husband’s private airplane, a vintage sports car, multiple homes on acreage and a staff at her beck and call made McCone less than the pitiable victim Muller tries to characterize.
The theme of the book seems to be that interfering in other people’s lives is a rewarding activity. Since there is no paying client, the reward must be purely emotional. Although the loosely developed story is set in San Francisco, there are action scenes that take place in Muir Woods, Walnut Creek and along the east side of the Bay. In each instance, the setting was well known to this reviewer and did not seem the least bit scary. Maybe that was Muller’s point – scary things can happen in ordinary places.
Perhaps it’s time to retire Sharon McCone to one of her getaway homes?
Quirkly and a bit interesting, but not much more.
A review copy was provided by the publisher.