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The Night Searchers: A Sharon McCone Mystery    by Marcia Muller order for
Night Searchers
by Marcia Muller
Order:  USA  Can
Grand Central, 2014 (2014)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Night Searchers is the latest in Marcia Muller's long-running and very popular series starring San Francisco private investigator Sharon McCone. Though it's not a series I've followed - and it has accumulated quite a cast of characters by now - I found it easy to jump in and enjoy this episode.

At this stage in the series, Sharon is married to Hy Rapinsky. After Sharon's home for two decades was burnt to the ground in a previous episode, they bought a new Spanish mission style house together, and are starting over. Now, as Hy is called away to deal with a kidnapping, Sharon's friend, criminal defense attorney Glenn Solomon, has recommended Jay and Camilla Givens to her as new clients. They own a condo in Russian Hill.

Camilla relates to Sharon bizarre tales of devil worshippers and human sacrifices, while her husband mimes banging his head against the wall. Sharon wonders why he didn't consult a psychiatrist on his wife's behalf, but takes the case because Glenn tells her he sensed something hinky in the Givens' story. Sharon too finds herself wondering about the escalation of the incidents that Camilla has reported.

Sharon's investigation leads her to an urban treasure hunting group, The Night Searchers, which she and one of her operatives infiltrate. And she helps Hy with his case as well - but after she locates his missing client, she quickly finds herself in trouble with the law, and doesn't want to interrupt her own investigation to deal with it. She's attacked and threatened, but of course keeps on digging.

This is an engaging series with appealing characters and intriguing crimes. Though I expect I would have liked it even more if I had read enough earlier books to be familiar with all the players, I thoroughly enjoyed The Night Searchers.

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