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Dead Midnight [Mass Market Paperback]

Marcia Muller
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2003 Sharon McCone Mysteries
Stretching flat across the water, the San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge is a popular spot...for jumpers. Roger Nagasawa, a brilliant employee at a popular Internet magazine, is its latest "suicide" and veteran P. I. Sharon McCone's new case. But instead of getting closure for his family, McCone uncovers more questions than answers: Roger's stark apartment...his aloof parents, who had wanted an investigation and now refuse to talk...a cutthroat workplace...a cache of secrets in a shady waterfront deal. It's a puzzle within a puzzle with a deadly game at its heart. For the elusive, twisted trail is about to circle back into Sharon McCone's own life-and bring the danger home.

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From Amazon

Sharon McCone, Marcia Muller's street-smart, San Francisco PI, is still dealing with the emotional aftermath of her brother Joey's suicide when she's hired by Roger Nagasawa's parents to prove that their son died of overwork, and that he was driven to kill himself by the brutal, high-pressure atmosphere at Insite, the hip online magazine that employed him. Enlisting the help of her reporter friend J.D., McCone learns that the magazine is failing, despite the millions in venture capital that's supposedly financing it. The mystery deepens when she retrieves deleted files from Roger's computer suggesting that he knew who was sabotaging the magazine and shared that information, which he characterized as "insurance," with Jody Houston, a close friend, before he jumped off the Bay Bridge. Tracking Houston to an isolated cabin on the Oregon coast, McCone stumbles over the dead body of her friend J.D., and then finds herself framed for his murder. By the time she uncovers the truth about Roger's suicide and unmasks J.D.'s killer, she's confronted her remorse over Joey's death and put a painful part of her own past behind her. As usual, Muller turns in a solidly plotted, well-paced mystery with a heroine who grows in self-awareness and complexity with every new adventure. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

Muller and her private eye Sharon McCone have come a long way since Edwin of the Iron Shoes (1977), which introduced McCone and inspired a generation of female mystery writers. Since then Muller's writing has become richer and her novels more complex, with many startling changes in the socially conscious San Francisco detective's life. This is Muller's best yet, with a case that parallels a personal tragedy McCone is trying to understand her brother Joey's recent suicide. Roger Nagasawa, scion of a wealthy Japanese-American family, has killed himself. Roger's heartbroken parents plan to sue his employer, a hip online magazine, for wrongful death because of rumored brutal working conditions. As usual in McCone mysteries, greed and corruption lie beneath the surface. First, Jody Houston, Roger's friend to whom he'd revealed illegal financial activities at the magazine, disappears. Then Max Engstrom, Roger's maniacal boss, tells Sharon that someone is sabotaging his business and one of his backers has vanished. More deaths ensue. After McCone retrieves Roger's computer files detailing his discoveries, she's almost killed. Muller deftly uses familiar devices electronic embezzlement and shady real estate deals in a convoluted but provocative plot. Her love of San Francisco is evident from her vivid descriptions of the city and its history. Although her villains are often obvious, she delves deeply into the human psyche for motivation. Readers will be thoroughly satisfied.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars McCone continues to grow in this series. Dec 28 2003
Not only does Muller not allow her series to become stale, I really am of the opinion that each successive book in the Sharon McCone series is better than the last. McCone is a satisfying heroine who has grown into her success as the head of her own investigative agency in San Francisco. Unmarried, McCone has not fallen prey to the lack of family ties and relationships that many other females in detective series seem to have in common. McCone's family is large and seems to be in a state of crisis, as most real families are.
In Dead Midnight, Sharon must investigate a suicide before she has fully recovered from her reaction to her own brother Joey's suicide just one week before. The Nagasawa family has decided to open an inquiry into the apparent suicide of their son Roger, some two months after his death. Their actions are provoked by a friend of Roger's, Jody Houston, who claims Roger's employers at magazine "InSite" were somehow entwined with the reasons Roger's life was ended.
Through Roger's journal and the eyes of his family and friends, McCone comes to know a self-absorbed young man who is over his head in the secrets that permeate the Insite company. Working with investigative reporter and friend J.D. Smith, McCone unveils unethical business practices, petty office hierarchies and eventually, the reason for Roger's death. Along the way, brief appearances from McCone's cast of comrades (Hy, Ricky and Rae, Charlotte and Mick, and the gang) help her stay grounded while narrowing the search, and trying not to shoulder the blame for Joey's death.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Series Continues: Dead Midnight by Marcia Muller Dec 19 2003
Regret over the past has always been a major theme in Sharon McCone novels. Some of the regret is due to things she has done; while some is due to events she could not control but yet feels responsible for. The same is true in her recent offering, Dead Midnight.
As the book opens, Sharon has just discovered that her brother Joey has committed suicide. Joey went his own way, different from the family and because of various events detailed in earlier novels, Sharon was never close to him. Yet, he was her brother and she feels tremendous guilt over not being able to see the signs and prevent his death.
With that fresh in her mind, she is asked by a good friend who also happens to a lawyer who throws a lot of work her way, to investigate another suicide. This is the last thing she wants to do but finds it impossible to follow through on her initial refusal. Glen Solomon is a hotshot lawyer in San Francisco and he has been hired by the parents of Roger Nagasaw who was the suicide. Roger has committed suicide and the family using a new tactic that has recently succeeded in Japan want to sue his employer, Insite. Insite is an online magazine that purported to chronicle what was new and hip in the bay area and in so doing, the employees worked tremendous amounts of hours as well as being abused by the magazine's management. The question becomes did overwork drive him to suicide as the family alleges, or was something going on internally that pushed him to leap off a local bridge?
Sharon takes the case out of a sense of guilt and regret and soon finds that Insite is much worse than she ever dreamed. Without Hy at her side, Sharon is unprepared to deal with the various problems of the case as well as the emotional loss of her very distant brother.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Light-weight enjoyable who-done-it... March 14 2003
Oh well, another female protagonist bites the dust! Meaning their author is struggling to keep up the interest and enthusiasm way too far into the genre. Don't get me wrong, Muller is better at this stuff then many, even this far into her series. I enjoy the characterizations she does, and I especially enjoy getting reacquainted with my native home, the San Francisco Bay Area, which I have not seen for at least seventeen years. I had no idea the stupid double-decker highway around the Embarcadaro had pancaked during the 1989 earthquake and that they razed it. I thought it was ugly when they put it up way back when in the 70's, and it most assuredly ruined the waterfront view! Maybe someone learned something that time around...I sure hope so, since my father would normally have been on the Bay Bridge during the time of the quake, coming home...and on the bottom deck. One of the many reasons California is a good place to visit, but not live...
The downfall of the high tech industry that took California and the nation by an economic storm, and then left everyone broke makes it way into Sharon McCone's life via a suicide. In the process of solving the mystery of why this young man committed suicide, she struggles to come to terms with a family suicide. Very few people see these things coming, it's only in hindsight we recognize the symptoms. Muller deals carefully with this topic, because the reasons for suicides abound, and the impact on remaining family members is always profound.
Unlike some other reviewers, I didn't automatically know who was the 'one'. It didn't particularly catch me by surprise either, but the read was a decent 'mind-reliever-book', in a particularly stressful week.
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Most recent customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Not up to par
I just finished reading this book and it took me a month. I kept expecting it to get better but it never did. I would put it down for days before I would pick it back up. Read more
Published on Feb. 25 2004
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead Midnight
"Dead Midnight" is the 22nd Sharon McCone novel by Marcia Muller. Shortly after learning of the suicide of her brother Joey, Sharon is hired to investigate the apparent... Read more
Published on Oct. 16 2003 by Ricky N.
4.0 out of 5 stars The whys of suicide
Sharon McCone's brother Joey commits suicide, and the death ties in to a case involving another suicide, that of a young man who was maybe harassed to death by an online magazine. Read more
Published on Sept. 19 2003 by Peggy Vincent
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing & Frustrating
I usually enjoy Marcia Muller's books, but as a mystery fan I find few things as frustrating as a mystery novel that doesn't solve the mystery--or mysteries, as the case may be. Read more
Published on July 22 2003
3.0 out of 5 stars Dead dulll
I've been faithful to Marcia Muller for years because she is considered to have given us the first American female P.I. Read more
Published on March 3 2003 by Laurie Fletcher
2.0 out of 5 stars easy
Yes, this is an easy-reading book from Muller, so it will appeal
to many readers, but her writing about P.I. Sharon McCone
has become almost a formula-like exercise. Read more
Published on Jan. 23 2003 by bill runyon
4.0 out of 5 stars Suicides haunt Sharon McCone
Sharon McCone's brother Joey has not been heard of for some time, and when his suicide is discovered, the mystery of his disappearance is tragically solved. Read more
Published on Oct. 17 2002 by Karen Potts
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent drama and swift action provide satisfying plots
San Francisco P.I. Sharon McCone returns: this time with the personal crisis of her brother's suicide to cope with in the midst of the usual crime scenes at work. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2002 by Midwest Book Review
5.0 out of 5 stars Muller Scores Again
Marcia Muller is the mother of the modern female private eye. Sharon McCone has evolved in fascinating ways since her debut in Edwin of the Iron Shoes. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2002 by MystMan
3.0 out of 5 stars Better than last
This was okay. Not my favorite, not the most engrossing. I was totally disappointed in the last Sharon McCone mystery (the one set in Hawaii) and felt totally ripped off. Read more
Published on Aug. 23 2002 by D. Reece
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