cover image Where Echoes Lives

Where Echoes Lives

Marcia Muller. Mysterious Press, $28 (264pp) ISBN 978-0-89296-418-5

Incorporating current ecological concerns and a flavorsome Western setting, this 12th Sharon McCone story ( Trophies and Dead Things ) is top-notch. An investigator for the San Francisco-based All Souls Legal Coop, McCone is asked by former colleague and friend Anne-Marie Altman to look into the strange events taking place at Tufa Lake, modeled after Mono Lake in Yosemite. The Transpacific Corporation has bought the mineral rights to the lake, and the members of the California Coalition for Environmental Protection, for which Altman now works, believe the corporation plans to begin full-scale gold mining--which would endanger the area's fragile ecosystem as well as the historic buildings of a nearby ghost town. Meanwhile, the prospector who sold Transpacific the land is missing and Coalition cabins have been broken into. A murder and a kidnapping soon follow. McCone realizes that she must get to the bottom of the land deal before another killing occurs. Muller intertwines McCone's subliminal dissatisfaction with her current boyfriend and her mother's quest for a life of her own into this suspenseful and fully fashioned tale. Author tour. (July)