Thursday, November 3, 2011

Book Review: City of Whispers

As always, Marcia Muller really delivers the goods. City of Whispers is one of the best she’s written. Her private investigator Sharon McCone just keeps getting better and better. Several stories overlap here, and Muller has returned to intertwining Sharon's first person account with third-person narratives from other characters around her, a style she has used in her last two books as well. It works in her books, and allows the reader to get deeper into the layers that she weaves in her story.

Sharon’s half brother Darcy Blackhawk, who has emotional as well as drug problems, has sent her an email telling her he is in trouble and needs help. When she discovers he sent the message from an internet cafe in San Francisco, she is sure he is in grave danger since he’s never been to the city and is unfamiliar with it. As she searches for him, she finds herself enmeshed in a two-year-old unsolved murder, infidelity, child abuse and kidnapping. All of this keeps Sharon on the move and wears her out as she is still recovering from her locked in state dealt with in her last two novels Locked In and Coming Back.

One of the things I love most about Muller is what an intelligent writer she is. She never, ever, writes down to her readers. I can't remember when I haven't had to reach for a dictionary a time or two when reading her books. City of Whispers has layers of things going on and people to explore that make this a rich, deep novel. I love that! And as much as I think I've figured out the "who dunit" in her books, I never do. She is definitely a master at her craft. If you like detective/mystery stories, you need to put her on your reading shelf.

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