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Listen to the Silence [Mass Market Paperback]

Marcia Muller
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1 2001 Sharon McCone Mysteries
After her father's death, San Francisco P.I. Sharon McCone finds a document that raises questions about her birth. The stunned investigator embarks on a search for answers, yet from Montana's Flathead Reservation to northern California, all she finds is an impregnable wall of lies and evasion. Now she must solve the greatest mystery of her life--who she really is.

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From Amazon

Sharon McCone (A Walk Through the Fire, McCone & Friends, Both Ends of the Night, etc.) is used to solving problems. She's been doing it for over 20 years in Marcia Muller's pioneering and acclaimed series about the San Francisco PI. And thanks to her extended and occasionally dysfunctional family, she's no stranger to the consequences of revealing the occasional skeleton in the closet. But her latest case is both personal and deeply devastating. After her father dies, Sharon discovers documents that have been hidden for her entire life and they launch her on a voyage of self-discovery. Intent on exploring her own past, Sharon travels from a Shoshone Indian reservation in Montana to a ghost town in northern California, and she becomes involved in a larger story of deceit--and murder.

Writing a series means treading delicately on a high wire between repetition and revelation. Having once created a character who will voyage through two or 10 or 10,000 books, an author must decide what facets of the character's life will reappear as touchstones in each book, what items may be left by the wayside, how the past will inform the present, and how the present will indicate the future. With each new novel, the author reaches out to readers who may be comfortably familiar with the series and to readers who may be discovering it for the first time. There is no shortage of mystery writers whose series are immensely rewarding (think Sara Paretsky or Sue Grafton), but it's a difficult balancing act nonetheless. With Listen to the Silence, Marcia Muller seems to stumble slightly, just enough to leave readers wondering whether a safety net is in order. It's as if the burden of the past becomes too heavy for either character or author to support. Sharon seems a trifle flat, and Muller's integration of family and familiarity seems forced and abrupt. A first-time reader would do well to seek out earlier volumes in the series, but confirmed Muller fans will still relish the intensity with which the novel plunges into deeply unsettling territory. --Kelly Flynn --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Boucher Award-winner Muller is back on form (after last year's somewhat disappointing and atypical A Walk Through Fire) in this latest entry in her deservedly popular series featuring PI Sharon McCone. In a personal twist, McCone has to crack one of her toughest cases yet: the mystery of her own life. Her father's death brings McCone not only sadness but the shocking revelation that she was adopted. The search for her birth parents takes her to a Shoshone reservation in Idaho, where an old man named Elwood Farmer offers cryptic advice. Armed with an old photograph in a buffalo-bone frame, McCone tracks down Saskia Blackhawk, the woman she believes to be her birth mother, only to see her put into a coma by a hit-and-run. Saskia, a lawyer, had been battling with Austin DeCarlo, a developer, over Spirit Lake, an area Modoc Indians consider sacred, but DeCarlo considers ripe for a resort. DeCarlo may be McCone's biological father, which would mean that her father may be trying to kill her mother. Meanwhile, professional troublemaker Jimmy D. Bearpaw seems happy to play on either side of the fence as long as he can make life hard for everybody. McCone must sort out the current legal tangles and ask some tough questions if she's to discover what really happened 40 years agoAand facing some important family truths may be harder than confronting a killer. Although Muller gives a long-ago murder curiously short shrift, she delivers an emotion-packed tale that adds new depth to her heroine. Mystery Guild main selection. (July)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
4.7 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Marvelous Evolution of Sharon McCone June 27 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Being a mystery writer whose first book is in its initial release, I have been fascinated by Marcia Muller's work and her evolving Sharon McCone character since I first began reading this series nearly two decades ago. Over the course of nearly two dozen books, Muller has allowed Sharon McCone to grow up and mature from a quasi-counter-culture twentysomething woman working as a PI for a nonprofit San Francisco legal clinic into the fortysomething owner of her own private investigation agency. Muller has pulled off this transformation more convincingly than I have seen in the works of any other mystery author.
In LISTEN TO THE SILENCE, Muller adds fresh twists to McCone's background. Upon the death of her father, McCone discovers why she is the only child in her family who appears to be Shoshone. The reason is simple and obvious. She was adopted by the McCones and her birth family's roots rest on a Native American reservation. McCone's discovery of her adoption launches her on one of her most fascinating investigations. I found this book engrossing, and I was once more amazed at how Marcia Muller manages to add new facets to one of the classic characters in contemporary mystery fiction. I recommend this book highly.
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5.0 out of 5 stars LIES, LIES, ALL LIES Oct. 12 2000
Sharon McCone has battled lies throughout her career as a private investigator. Her success in overcoming them has made her the most sought after sleuth in California. Now Sharon is challenged to unravel another lie for a client, herself.
A box of papers left after her father's death reveals her adopted status by the McCones. How this happened and the question of who she is propels Sharon on a search for her roots and identity. Come with her as he confronts relatives who refuse to supply her with any information regarding her birth parents. Feel her frustration as she must listen carefully to what is unsaid as well as to what is said. Most of all share her disappointment in the people whom she loved who failed to disclose the truth to her. Lying was much easier.
Listen to the Silence is a great and enjoyable novel as it explores the meaning of family and the unraveling of secrets long hid from our favorite female investigator. Join with her in this painful yet liberating quest into her past. You will love the various twists, turns and detours that Sharon must undergo before truth shines through. You will not be disappointed in another great Mccone Mystery Series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A Thought-Provoking Novel About What a Family Is Aug. 23 2000
By Donald Mitchell #1 HALL OF FAME TOP 50 REVIEWER
This distinguished series has been a favorite of mine for many years, but I found this novel to be the most rewarding to me. In other novels, Sharon McCone's character, wit, and action are stronger . . . but the underlying issues are much less fundamental. Here, she has to look squarely at the question of who she is in the broadest sense. To pull that off after so many novels is quite a feat. I heartily commend and thank Marcia Muller for writing this book.
I can't tell you very much about the plot without giving away things that will spoil the story for you. So I apologize for not giving you as much detail as I usually do.
Let me talk instead about how the plot is organized. Sharon McCone is off on a search for identity where one clue connects to another. So there is the usual mystery-unraveling aspect to the plot. The complications are above average in their extent, and provide satisfying revelations right up to the end.
As you may know from other Sharon McCone novels, Marcia Muller likes to work with mental dialogue as well as spoken dialogue. In this case, the internal dialogue is about listening for what people don't say, when they hesitate, or change the subject. From this interesting technique, you will probably become a better listener. Like most of us, Sharon McCone lets most of this information pass her by the first time she hears it. But upon further reflection, she sees missing elements. And then profitably focuses her attention on those. By this method, most of the plot is unraveled.
But the development of what a family is makes this a remarkable mystery.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, but July 8 2000
By A Customer
Okay, Sharon has always looked different from her brothers and sisters, but when she asked, she's told that she looks like her great-grandmother. Now she is going through her father's legal papers, and there in black and white - adoption papers. She goes off the deep end and starts a search for her "birth" parents. Her mother's worst fears appear to be coming true, her daughter doesn't want her anymore. That, of course, or thankfully, turns out not to be true, but it seems to me that it would be hardest on the adoptive parents who might see their child's search for a birth parent as rejecting the love they have shared with the child for its entire life.
The book is good, but as an adopted person myself, who has chosen not to look for "birth" parents because I suspect it would be too hard for my mother to accept, I think adopted children should be told from the get go that they were chosen and then get on with the daily part of living.
Anyway, read the book it is very well done.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Fast, Interesting Read
This was my first Muller book and I selected it because of the American Indian influence. Not sure how I'd like her others, but I wasn't disappointed in this. Read more
Published on April 3 2004 by Born to Read
2.0 out of 5 stars Mass Production
Marcia Muller writes like somebody who has just accomplished a 3 week seminar on how to become a "bestselling author". Read more
Published on March 28 2004 by shuwa
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharon seeks her roots
When Sharon McCone's father dies, he leaves a request that Sharon be the one to go through his papers. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2002 by Karen Potts
5.0 out of 5 stars Listen to the Silence
"Listen to the Silence" is the 21st Sharon McCone novel by Marcia Muller. I think that this novel is one of the best, if not the very best, of this long-running series. Read more
Published on July 7 2002 by Ricky N.
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fresh Side to Sharon McCone
Sharon McCone doesn't just look like a Shoshone. She is one. Throughout this highly successful mystery series, Marcia Muller has run this continuing tread of her private... Read more
Published on Dec 12 2001 by Edna H
4.0 out of 5 stars A new life for Sharon McCone
Sharon always knew that she was part Shoshone, growing up. She took a funny pride in realizing how much she looked like her Shoshone great-grandmother rather than the rest of the... Read more
Published on Sept. 15 2001 by frumiousb
5.0 out of 5 stars One of Marcia's best
I just finished reading this book and it was great. I was hooked by the 3rd page. Sharon found out she was adopted after her father dies and she sets out to find out who she really... Read more
Published on Jan. 29 2001
5.0 out of 5 stars Rez Lite
For a while, I was reminded of Yvette Melanson's true story "Looking for Lost Bird" and maybe that's where Marcia Muller got her inspiration for this fork in the Sharon McCone... Read more
Published on Jan. 17 2001 by TundraVision
5.0 out of 5 stars Tracing Native American heritage through lies
Private Detective Sharon McCone takes herself as a client when she learns she's adopted and determines to track down her birth family. Read more
Published on Nov. 11 2000 by booksforabuck
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read for McCone fans.
When Sharon McCone's father dies, he directs her to sort out his personal papers and effects. While doing this, she discovers her own adoption papers. Read more
Published on Aug. 4 2000 by Moe811
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