September 04, 2006

BOOKS: Vanishing Point, Marcia Muller (2006)

24th (!) in the Sharon McCone series.

I keep forgetting how large a supporting cast Muller has created around McCone in these books, but every now and then she brings them all together, as she does in the opening chapters here; Sharon's friends and family are celebrating her marriage to Hy Ripinsky. It's a marriage of people who understand one another's careers; she's a private investigator and he works for a somewhat mysterious private security firm.

But no matter how well people understand one another, marriages don't always work as well as you'd like to think they will; Sharon's case in this novel is a reminder of how complex marriages can be. She's asked to search for Laurel Greenwood, who disappeared 22 years ago; Laurel's daughter, Jennifer, is now in her 30s, but has always been haunted by the loss of her mother. (Cold cases really are the rage these days; Sue Grafton's last Kinsey Millhone mystery was also built around a long-unsolved crime.)

Muller, as always, provides an entertaining mystery with a range of interesting suspects and sources. If you're looking for a solidly written traditional private eye story, you can't go wrong with Muller; this it top-notch stuff.

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