Wolf in the Shadows

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Sharon McCone is definitely not having a good day. It beganwith bad news about her newest partner and then grew to encompassa drastic alteration in her work environment. McCone is accustomedto expect reluctance on the part of Hy Ripinsky to speak of certainperiods in his past. But according to Ripinsky, the right toretain a sense of privacy about the past does not apply to hispresent with Sharon McCone. Thus, when McCone learns that Ripinskyhas gone missing she is determined to resolve this particularmystery.

Ripinsky’s disappearance is not the only trauma visited uponMcCone. In the beginning, the All Souls Legal Cooperative was aneighborhood organization staffed by dedicated professionalscommitted to providing low-cost legal services. In time, however,the original anarchic group evolved into a legal services plan withimpressive revenues and a corporate mentality. Needless to say, itis important for corporations to know exactly what people aredoing, what they expect to accomplish, and how much it will cost. This is not an approach which appeals to Sharon McCone, and sheexpects to leave the organization forthwith. But first she mustfind Ripinsky, avoid a host of lethal opponents, and come to gripswith her own feelings about her childhood and her future.

In the decade since the first Sharon McCone mystery appeared,the effect of circumstances realistic/contrived upon the factualMs. Muller/fictional Ms. McCone parallels the experience of many ofthose who avidly await each new volume. This development over timegives the series its distinctive appeal: here is a protagonist whochanges in response to outside pressures in the manner of an actualindividual.