cover image Coming Back

Coming Back

Marcia Muller, Grand Central, $24.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-446-58106-6

In Muller's brisk, carefully crafted 28th Sharon McCone mystery, the San Francisco PI, who's recovering from a debilitating bullet wound to the head suffered in 2009's Locked In, becomes alarmed when a close friend, Piper Quinn, abruptly stops coming to their rehab center. When McCone visits Quinn, whose husband was killed in Iraq, she finds her semi-conscious, watched over by a sinister and evasive caregiver. A further visit by Adah Joslyn, McCone's office manager, finds Piper gone and her apartment scrupulously and professionally cleaned. Shortly afterward, Adah herself vanishes. When McCone Investigations' shrewd employees pool their impressive abilities and connections to find the two missing women, early evidence suggests that a malevolent and clandestine intelligence agency might be deeply involved. Each chapter neatly dovetails with the next and each supporting character plays a key small role as the action builds to a gripping conclusion. (Oct.)