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Locked In    by Marcia Muller order for
Locked In
by Marcia Muller
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2009 (2009)
* * *   Reviewed by Lyn Seippel

Private Investigator Sharon McCone returns to her office to retrieve a forgotten cell phone and stumbles upon an intruder with a gun. Before she can get out of his way, he shoots her. She lives, but the bullet is lodged in her brain leaving her in what looks like a comatose state. She can't move except for her eyelids but she is fully aware of what is going on around her. The diagnosis is locked in syndrome and the doctors can't predict whether she will ever recover.

The McCone Agency goes to work full time to find out who the shooter is. He wasn't there to steal equipment, but was going through the agency files, so they are sure he was looking for something to do with an ongoing case. With just blinks to advise them, Sharon is still their touchstone. Separate cases turn out to be related but even when they are solved, Sharon's killer is still unknown.

Locked In is one of my favorite books from the McCone series. Marcia Muller keeps the series fresh with sharp plots and characters you want to return to. Her nephew, Mick Savage, is doing well after a motorcycle accident that almost killed him. Rae Kelleher, married to pop singer Rick Savage, is an author and still a detective at Sharon's agency. Julia Rafael, an ex-hooker on whom Sharon took a chance, tries to return her kindness by finding the person who shot Sharon. The list goes on and on. Muller has followed Sharon's life since she worked for All Souls Legal Cooperative giving all the supporting characters time to grown and change just as McCone has done.

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