cover image Burn Out

Burn Out

Marcia Muller, . . Grand Central, $24.99 (309pp) ISBN 978-0-446-58107-3

After the travails of The Ever-Running Man (2007), Sharon McCone retreats to her high desert ranch near Yosemite in MWA Grand Master Muller's fine 26th novel to feature the San Francisco PI. Depressed, bored and uncertain about her future in a dangerous business, McCone is unwittingly drawn into a local case—the murder of Hayley Perez, the estranged niece of ranch manager Ramon Perez, and the disappearance of Hayley's teenage sister, Amy, and their alcoholic mother, Miri. As she looks into the Perezes' relationships, McCone uncovers secrets that hint at more than simply family dysfunction. Two more murders and a suicide add to the confusion, which McCone can only untangle, with the help of her husband and her Shoshone birth relatives, by tracing the victims' complex past. By the upbeat ending, McCone has learned that with judicious use of both her investigative and executive skills she can reshape her life. (Oct.)