Locked In (Sharon McCone Series #26)

Locked In (Sharon McCone Series #26)

3.7 24
by Marcia Muller
     
 

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Shot in the head by an unknown assailant, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone finds herself trapped by locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind. Since the late-night attack occurred at her agency's offices, the natural conclusion was that it was connected to one of the firm's cases. As Sharon lies in her hospital bed,

Overview

Shot in the head by an unknown assailant, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone finds herself trapped by locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind. Since the late-night attack occurred at her agency's offices, the natural conclusion was that it was connected to one of the firm's cases. As Sharon lies in her hospital bed, furiously trying to break out of her body's prison and discover her attacker's identity, all the members of her agency fan out to find the reason why she was assaulted. Meanwhile, Sharon becomes a locked-in detective, evaluating the clues from her staff's separate investigations and discovering unsettling truths that could put her life in jeopardy again. As the case draws to a surprising and even shocking conclusion, Sharon's husband, Hy, must decide whether or not to surrender to his own violent past and exact fatal vengeance when the person responsible is identified.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Muller's harrowing 27th mystery to feature San Francisco PI Sharon McCone (after 2008's Burn Out) opens with a bang: returning to her office late one night, McCone is shot while interrupting a burglary. When she wakes up in the hospital, McCone is fully conscious but “locked in.” Paralyzed, she can communicate only by blinking her eyes. Muller articulates this chilling conceit with painful realism, even citing the popular French memoir about the locked-in syndrome, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly. Narrative duty falls on McCone's motley crew of co-workers and other series regulars like her husband, Hy Ripinsky. Each chapter, told from a different perspective, provides another clue in a convoluted case that includes multiple murders, a sex scandal in city government and the inevitable coverup. While this approach can be hard to follow at times, it provides Muller ample opportunity to showcase her strength at characterization. (Oct.)
Library Journal
Returning to her office at night to retrieve her forgotten cell phone, Sharon McCone (Burn Out) is shot by an intruder, the bullet lodging near her brain stem. Totally immobile but fully cognizant, she's diagnosed with Locked-In Syndrome and given an uncertain prognosis. Trying to find the assailant, the staff at McCone Investigations reviews current cases, working with McCone's husband, Hy Ripinsky, and with McCone herself, as she communicates with blinks of her eyes. As several cases become intertwined, a portrait of abuse, prostitution, blackmail, and betrayal involving San Francisco city officials is revealed, resulting in multiple murders and suicide. McCone is buoyed by being involved with her agency's work until her condition suddenly worsens and she's whisked into surgery. McCone's interspersed interior dialog about her condition adds depth to what might have been just another complicated case to solve, and while readers won't be surprised at the outcome, they may end up more appreciative of life. VERDICT Top-notch mystery and more from one of the genre's Grand Masters.—Michele Leber, Arlington, VA
Kirkus Reviews
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.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780446581059
Publisher:
Grand Central Publishing
Publication date:
10/15/2009
Series:
Sharon McCone Series , #26
Pages:
281
Product dimensions:
5.90(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Meet the Author

MARCIA MULLER has written many novels and short stories. Her novel WOLF IN THE SHADOWS won the Anthony Boucher Award. The recipient of the Private Eye Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award and the Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Award--their highest accolade--she lives in northern California with her husband, mystery writer Bill Pronzini.

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Locked In (Sharon McCone Series #26) 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 24 reviews.
GailCooke More than 1 year ago
There is no doubt that Marcia Muller is one of the top mystery writers working today. She has the Grand Masters Award from the Mystery Writers of America plus a host of other honors to prove it. However, her army of readers don't need these affirmations to know that a Muller book is going to intrigue and entertain them. Best known for stories featuring private investigator Sharon McCone this author suprises us with her latest, Locked In. McCone has been a top favorite since her debut in 1977; we think we know her pretty well. Nonetheless, this title's opener is a real shocker: on a misty July night in San Francisco McCone's vintage MG runs out of gas. Fortunately, she's not too far from her office on the Pier and she takes off for it on foot. Once at the security grille to the Pier she called for the security guard, Lewis, a problem alcoholic. He's not to be found. She uses her security code to open the door to the Pier's entrance, climbs the stairs to the office's catwalk, and finds the door unlocked. It's dark inside, there's a sudden motion -she is shot. The bullet has entered her brain leaving her in a comatose state known as locked-in syndrome. She cannot speak or move, totally paralyzed and can communicate only by blinking her eyes in response to a question. So, for once McCone is not at the leader of a crime investigation but the center of it as her team rallies, scurrying for clues, determined to find out who shot McCone and why. What this scenario does in the talented hands of author Muller is allow the reader not only to be fascinated as the reasons for the shooting are revealed but also to become better acquainted with the major players in this series as each one turns over every rock searching for the assailant. Of course, McCone series readers are familiar with Hy Ripinsky, partner and husband to McCone yet here he is revealed in utter anguish as he remembers his past and articulates his hopes for a future with McCone. There is Latina Julia Rafael who'd "been hooking and dealing on the tough streets of the Mission district when she was a teenager,"but McCone saw so much more and placed confidence in her, helping Julia to turn her life around. There's Mick Savage, McCone's nephew who had pulled some pretty dumb stunts, but his aunt "had been solid as a rock, taking him seriously, treating him like a man when he was only a kid." He loved her and he owed her. These and others are united by their determination to catch whoever had almost killed McCone. Revelations of what they are finding are interspersed with thoughts running through McCone's mind as she is by turns discouraged, enraged, and bent on somehow escaping the prison that her body has become. For this reader Locked In is the best of the McCone series, and that's saying quite a bit! - Gail Cooke
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JustReadJ More than 1 year ago
Different twist in the book but still an enjoyable Marcia Muller read.
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ROWDY821 More than 1 year ago
Marcia Muller continues to produce excellent Sharon McCone adventures. Keep them coming!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love the San Francisco area? This is the book for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Avid_ReaderCA More than 1 year ago
I liked the story idea however the execution was poorly done. The regular characters rarely interacted with each other. Each new chapter, which was about 2-3 pages each, was from each persons own point of view, which detracted from the flow of the book. There was little conversation throughout the book so you were primarily reading what each person was thinking. It was difficult to get into the story when every 2-3 pages you had to change tracks and see what someone else was thinking. This could have been a great read if she had not written it this way and stuck with her usual style and spent more time on McCone's character and her syndrome. Personally I do not care for this style of writing where each chapter is from one characters point of view, it feels like you are jumping around too much to really get into the book. The story did not easily flow; at times it was a little confusing because there was no depth to the secondary characters, and then seemed rushed at the end. It was easy to put the book down and walk a way for a few days. I was disappointed only in that I was looking forward to her book and it did not deliver for me since it was so far from her usual style, but if you like her then definitely get the book.
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Slessman More than 1 year ago
LOCKED IN Marcia Muller Grand Central Publishing $24.99 - Hardback 288 Pages ISBN: 978-0446-58105-4 Reviewer: Annie Slessman Fans of Marcia Muller's Sharon McCone mysteries will find Muller's latest, LOCKED IN, one of her best written novels. As the story begins Sharon is headed for her office when she is shot in the head and left for dead. In the hospital, Sharon awakens to find she is a prisoner in her own body unable to speak or move. Suffering from Locked-In Syndrome, Sharon struggles to let those around her know she is not in a coma and can understand everything going on around her. Only when Hy, her husband, finally looks into her eyes does he discover that Sharon is very much alive and ready to assist her team in finding out who shot her. Unable to speak, Sharon communicates with blinking eyes and can answer yes and no questions. While this may seem limited to most, Sharon makes the most of this small ability and her team and Hy set about their chase for Sharon's assailant. As always, Muller has woven an intricate story and manages to do a fantastic job of characterization and bringing it all together. No one builds a better character than Muller. She is an apt observer who can pin down a character to the last hair. Muller is the winner of the 2005 Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America. It is an honor that is well deserved. Will Sharon McCone every move or speak again? Will Ty kill the person who attempted to murder her when found? Will her team, once again, succeed in their search? Buy this book and find out. It is not only worth the money but worth the read as well!
The_Reading_Reviewer More than 1 year ago
Sharon "Shar" McCone has worked so many cases from Private Investigation firm she owns and always thought the best case was the resolved case. But she never thought that she would solve the case that involved her own shooting and all this without a voice but being she is pivotal to solving this crime. This nightmare all starts one night when Shar being at the wrong place at the wrong time results in receiving a bullet to the head. Though her team is frantic for answers and at first scramble for direction they never lose the focus of finding whoever did this to her. While they have to watch Shar in a medically frozen condition known as "locked-in" syndrome where she has rational thought but cannot move or communicate in any fashion. But even without an ability of physical movement or a voice it is apparent that she was going to help them solve the crime and Shar is trying very hard to get someone; especially her husband Hy to hear her and figure out that she has a voice even without words. What Shar has filled her life with multi-faceted family member and friends who she has over the years help save and reconstruct their own lives. Now that it is her turn to be the victim and the crime to be solved everyone in the agency from the top down strives to find the person who shot Shar and bring them to justice one way or another. There is no one on her team from her nephew Mick, her complicated biological and adoptive parents to everyone one at the office. They all share bloodlines whether by relation or devotion to one another. But every time an answer seems to reveal itself another problem arises and when the individual pieces of the case collide headlong into each other it appears there may be more than embezzlement problems at city hall to investigate there may be a traitor amongst the team. How could someone slip past the background check, is it possible that a devoted employee is really a snake in the grass? This long running series has always been a winner but this book has so many twists and a story within the story that you are totally enthralled with the way everything plays out. You go down one road only to hit a dead end but that dead end takes you through the woods where you find evidence that may lead to yet another clue. The multiple point-of-views may distract at first from following the plot but trust me there is not one moment where you feel you are missing any of the action because there is so much of it and allot of people to tell the story. For Shar to go from case solver to the victim completely throws everyone off balance but every member of her team proves they are a group of individuals that can act as one. Mary Gramlich (The Reading Reviewer) www.marygramlich.com
harstan More than 1 year ago
In San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone is returning to her office late at night when she interrupts a burglary in progress. The thief shoots her. When she regains consciousness, McCone finds herself totally paralyzed in a bed at San Francisco General where she realizes she can only move her eyelids by blinking. The staff at her workplace McCone Investigations worries about their boss who is diagnosed with Locked-In Syndrome and taken to specialized Brandt Neurological Institute. Her crew and her spouse Hy Ripinsky look at the recent caseload and communicate with McCone through her use of her eyelids answering yes and no questions even as she is about to undergo emergency surgery. Although the ending is fully expected, this is one of the best McCone thrillers that Marcia Muller has ever written as the sleuth is LOCKED IN her body while trying to help her spouse and her employees solve the cases she was working on which includes the assault. The story line is fast-paced and filled with action, which affirms Marcia Muller's skills as much occurs in the hospital room with the paralyzed heroine. Fans will be spellbound by a frustrated McCone who can only blink her way to help solving the mysteries. Harriet Klausner