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Dead Midnight

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Marcia Muller’s popular detective, Sharon McCone, faces a challenge when she is asked by the parents of Roger Nagasawa to investigate what they characterize as the wrongful death of their middle son from overwork at a hip internet ‘zine, InSite. They are interested in obtaining information that will prove that the punishing pace at the magazine drove their son to kill himself. Indeed, Roger appeared to have been a depressed young man, someone whose deep lows ultimately caused him to take his life by jumping from the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge.

As veteran investigator Sharon McCone begins digging into Roger’s private life and his experiences at InSite, however, she soon learns not only that there is more to Roger’s past and family history than his relatives are willing to admit to her, but she also begins to suspect that Roger’s death is intimately connected to the economic downturn at InSite. When McCone discovers Roger’s private journal, she tries to track down leads to confirm his suspicions about InSite. However, people suddenly either die, disappear, or refuse to have anything more to do with her. Once McCone sneaks into the premises of InSite, not only does she discover evidence that supports the dead Roger’s suspicions, but she also places herself in danger as she closes in on a tangled financial deception that affects many people involved with the on-line magazine.

Marcia Muller once again offers readers an exciting story set against a well-realized background of San Francisco locales. Sharon McCone is a tough-minded investigator who tenaciously follows clues despite the personal danger in which she finds herself. Readers accustomed to Muller’s earlier well-plotted accounts of Sharon McCone’s cases will not be disappointed by Dead Midnight.