Monday, January 9, 2012

City of Whispers (Sharon McCone #28) by Marcia Muller

Title: City of Whispers (Sharon Mccone Mysteries) Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Mystery
Format: Hardcover, 272 pages
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (October 26, 2011)
ISBN-10: 0446573337
ISBN-13: 978-0446573337
Author's Website:

The message was brief: "Help me. I'm in SF."

Sharon Mccone is a private eye. A year prior, she almost died when she ended up with a bullet in her head. She was conscious, yet unable to communicate in any way except by blinking. Now after intense therapy she was almost back to her old self. Things were starting to get back to normal when her half-brother, Darcy, left her a vague message asking for help. He'd hacked into their mom's account to leave the message. With no other information to go by, she uses her associates to try to track him down. The last thing she heard about her brother was that he was living under a bridge in Idaho.

Darcy suffered from a troubled past and a long standing drug addiction he couldn't kick. Unable to hold down a job for very long he'd reached rock bottom and became one of the homeless which plagues almost every city. Without much to go on, Sharon asks Mick, a computer whiz, to uncover where the email was sent from. Slowly, as she attempts to track him down, she uncovers a dangerous plot that could leave her brother dead if she can't find him in time.   

This was my first book by Marcia Muller, and I really truly enjoyed it. I didn't feel lost even though this was the 28th book in the series. I loved how the author keeps us sitting at the edge of our seats trying to figure out what exactly is going on. Slowly Darcy's path is uncovered, and clues are unraveled as to what kind of danger he is in.

I enjoyed the way Ms. Muller portrayed Darcy. The muddle that was his mind, in the chapters she gave voice to him, made me truly feel for him. The moments when his thoughts would be somewhat coherent as the drugs that were pumped into his system started to wear off seemed to truly mimic what an addicts mind would be like. I truly thought she did a good job with this.

I liked how Sharon didn't give up on her brother even though he seemed like a lost cause. I liked how she pieced things together with a little help from her friends. I have a feeling if I'd been with this series from the beginning, I'd probably would have given this a higher rating, but even so I loved the story.

Favorite quote, "Secrets, I thought. Most said money was the root of all evil, but in my experience it was secrets--many of them not involving cold, hard cash."

Where did the book get its name? Well, I believe it comes from that fact that at the beginning of the book Marcia writes,
'Sometimes when I'm alone and can't sleep I listen to the sounds of the city.'....
'But mostly what I listen to is whispers.'
Hence, the City of Whispers. I liked how the "whispers" she listed after those words were the first and last words of Darcy's chapters. The whispers Sharon heard were the whispers of her brother. I thought this was a brilliant tie in of the title to the story and had never seen anything like this done before. She reinforces the title again at the end with the following statement,
"And so many whispers have haunted me during the long city night".
That was followed by the book wrapping up nicely with Sharon's whispers which echo her thoughts and feelings relating to Darcy. 

Overall, I gave this one a 4 out of 5 roses. It kept my attention, had me wondering till the end what was going on, and had an interesting cast of characters.

P.S. I usually would list the series in order from first to last, but 28 books is a bit much and blogger only allows for so many to be listed. First book in the series is entitled 'Edwin of the Iron Shoes'.

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