The Night Searchers

When I was 18 or 19, I discovered Marcia Muller’s Sharon McCone P.I. series. I wanted to read about a woman detective. At the time, Sue Grafton was getting really popular and I wanted to read more. The Night Searchers is Ms. Muller’s 31st Sharon McCone novel and to me, it’s as good as anything she’s ever written.

Sharon McCone is a San Francisco private investigator who has her own firm with several employees. Over the years, she has grown her business and married a man who is truly her soul mate. In this current book, she is approached by a couple who state that the wife has witnessed a “satanic sacrifice” of a baby in a vacant lot near their home. At the same time, her husband, Hy, who runs a security firm, has a client who is kidnapped and a ransom demand is made. The two seemingly separate cases come together in a surprising way. I thought I had this figured out, but I really didn’t.

What I loved about this book – and what I love about all her books – is Ms. Muller’s ability to set a scene. You feel through her descriptions, you are in San Francisco. Her descriptions are not flowery, but she has an amazing ability to convey a scene with an economy of words. The plotting is tight and her writing is solid. This book is a mystery in the truest sense of the word. You are compelled to turn the page to see what happens next.

If you like mysteries, this is a good series to read. You do not have to start from the beginning, but it is really amazing to see the evolution of Sharon McCone over the years. I had the opportunity to meet Ms. Muller and hear her speak about the McCone series and it was one of the best experiences I have had in a long time. I recommend this book and the entire series.

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