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A Walk Through the Fire [Mass Market Paperback]

Marcia Muller
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

July 1 2000
ALOHA MURDER

Accidents are plaguing a documentary film crew on breathtakingly beautiful Kauai. Can San Francisco P.I. Sharon McCone ferret out possible sabotage behind the scenes? The job sounds like a breeze -- McCone envisions romantic, tropical nights with her lover, Hy Ripinsky. Instead, she finds a troubled paradise with rising tensions between native and non-native Hawaiians, a film going south fast, and a macabre ritual death. Then a mysterious local pilot rattles her commitment to Hy, and soon McCone is in danger herself...caught in the place Hawaiians call "ahi wela maka'u", the place between fire love and fire terror, the place where even a seasoned private eye can get burned.

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In the 20th Sharon McCone mystery, the San Francisco-based PI leaves her usual haunts for Hawaii. McCone's downstairs office neighbor, Glenna Stanleigh, is a documentary filmmaker with a project on the island of Kauai. Glenna and her partner, Peter Wellbright, are making a film about Hawaiian legends and myths, based on the writings of Peter's father, Elson Wellbright, a descendant of early missionaries to the islands. There have been a series of accidents on the film set, and Glenna suspects that someone is trying to kill her or a member of her crew. Can McCone help? McCone is not licensed to operate in Hawaii, so she takes along her lover, Hy Ripinsky, and finds a way to work with the local branch of his security company, RKI. As she delves into the curious circumstances on the set, McCone keeps running into trouble with the large, influential and badly dysfunctional Wellbright family. Two family membersAElson himself and his youngest sonAhave gone missing for some years, and nobody seems to care much. As her inquiries lead her inevitably into learning more about the local folklore and history, McCone falls under the spell of the islands. She also fights an attraction to Russ Tanner, a local helicopter pilot and distant relative of the Wellbrights. Along with a taut, expertly plotted story, Muller conveys the magical appeal of Kauai, as well as the long-simmering resentment of some of the islanders toward white settlers. The Hawaiian setting, so well employed by Muller, reinvigorates a veteran, if a consistently entertaining and imaginative, PI series.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-In this 20th book in the series, detective Sharon McCone and her lover Hy Ripinsky are called to Hawaii when a friend's film crew is plagued with accidents. The documentary he is making about the island's gods and goddesses has awakened the ire of someone or something, and it's up to McCone and Ripinsky to discover who or what is threatening this potentially award-winning work. As the PI delves into the accidents, she finds that the family of the film backer has more than its share of secrets, each of which could have an impact on the project. Smooth writing, an entertaining plot, and sustained suspense contribute to Muller's reputation as a top-notch writer of gumshoe mysteries.
Pam Spencer, Young Adult Literature Specialist, Virginia Beach, VA
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Forged by fire and cradled by water, the Hawaiian Islands are a study in extreme contrast. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Amateurish July 27 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Amateurish, stiff, thin, contrived--these are the adjectives I can think of to describe the novel best. Although I might add one more: disappointing. This is my first Marcia Muller mystery, and I expected more from a seasoned writer--too much, as it turned out. After reading Steve Hamilton, Bill Pronzini, Andrew Greeley, Tony Hillerman, Stuart Kaminsky, Les Roberts, and others of that level, this seems stale as yesterday's gruel.
There's no point in reviewing the plot details. Other reviewers have commented adequately on those. So I'll proceed to the other two major points of any mystery--atmosphere and characters. Set in Hawaii, for the most part, I just never quite got there, despite all the green vegetation, flowers and fiery volcanoes. Beautiful, beautiful, so what? The characters are pretty much standard fare for mysteries--too rich, too spoiled, too much alcohol and drugs. As for love affairs, mystery writers might do well to heed S.S. Van Dine's rule from decades ago and leave sex out of the work. If the mystery is thin, the romance won't thicken it. The murder and the detection are, after all, why we read crime fiction. If I want romance, I'll go with Bertrice Small.
In short, I doubt that I'll try another Marcia Muller book, at least, not for a long, long time. Sorry.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Sharon McCone goes to Kauai Sept. 24 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Private Investigator Sharon McCone gets tough duty in this 20th. book of the series when she is asked to go to Kauai. Glenna Stanleigh, a friend from San Francisco, has asked Sharon to investigate the strange happenings on the set of the documentary she is filming in Hawaii. Sharon takes the job and flies over with her significant other, Hy Ripinsky. When she arrives, she begins investigating the family whose patriarch is at the center of the film. Glenna has used his notes and research about some of the folk tales of the native Hawaiins as a starting point for her documentary. As Sharon's investigation proceeds, several skeletons begin to come out of the closet and family secrets are revealed. At the same time, Sharon is being romanced by a local helicoptor pilot and Hy leaves the island in order to give Sharon some time and room to consider her relationships with the two men. The plot has some intriguing twists and turns and at last all of the secrets are revealed. Marcia Muller and her heroine have matured over the 20-plus years that this series has been written, and this book does not disappoint.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The fire's out, only ashes remain. Aug. 9 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to admit never having read any of the other Sharon McCone series, nor have I read anything else by Marcia Muller (if indeed there is anything else). But I do enjoy detective fiction as entertaining reading, and I'm certainly not adverse to female detectives, thoroughly enjoying PI's from V.I. Warshawski to Stephanie Plum.
So apart from the expected issues of coming in late in a long-established series (the newcomer can't expect all the characterisation to start from scratch, and relationships and other details are often simply glossed to avoid boring the long-time followers) I had every reason to expect to enjoy this book. A writer doesn't often manage to get to a twenty-second book in a series without being reasonably articulate and entertaining (although Don Pendelton and the Mack Bolan series is definitely proof that this is a very fallible assumption). I'm sorry to report that while McCone and Miller are indeed reasonably articulate, they are certainly not (in this novel) exceptionally entertaining. Plot and characteristation were workmanlike at best, and there simply wasn't a lot here to hold the reader's attention. Miller seemed to be counting on the exotic locale of Hawaii to overcome the mundane story; but the 50th state is hardly exotic anymore to those of us who grew up on Hawaii Five-0 and it's followers. The romantic side-story never quite came together, either. McCone is supposed to be torn between her main squeeze and a handsome helicopter pilot, but we have no understanding about what the big attraction is to the new guy. Miller seems to prefer understatement--and it's just as well that there's no torrid sex in this novel--but A Walk Through the Fire is so understated that it failed almost entirely to interest me.
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3.0 out of 5 stars The fire's out, only ashes remain. Aug. 9 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have to admit never having read any of the other Sharon McCone series, nor have I read anything else by Marcia Muller (if indeed there is anything else). But I do enjoy detective fiction as entertaining reading, and I'm certainly not adverse to female detectives, thoroughly enjoying PI's from V.I. Warshawski to Stephanie Plum.
So apart from the expected issues of coming in late in a long-established series (the newcomer can't expect all the characterisation to start from scratch, and relationships and other details are often simply glossed to avoid boring the long-time followers) I had every reason to expect to enjoy this book. A writer doesn't often manage to get to a twenty-second book in a series without being reasonably articulate and entertaining (although Don Pendelton and the Mack Bolan series is definitely proof that this is a very fallible assumption). I'm sorry to report that while McCone and Miller are indeed reasonably articulate, they are certainly not (in this novel) exceptionally entertaining. Plot and characteristation were workmanlike at best, and there simply wasn't a lot here to hold the reader's attention. Miller seemed to be counting on the exotic locale of Hawaii to overcome the mundane story; but the 50th state is hardly exotic anymore to those of us who grew up on Hawaii Five-0 and it's followers. The romantic side-story never quite came together, either. McCone is supposed to be torn between her main squeeze and a handsome helicopter pilot, but we have no understanding about what the big attraction is to the new guy. Miller seems to prefer understatement--and it's just as well that there's no torrid sex in this novel--but A Walk Through the Fire is so understated that it failed almost entirely to interest me.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars A Walk through the Fire
"A Walk through the Fire" is the 20th Sharon McCone novel. ...I think this is one of the best of the Sharon McCone novels. Read more
Published on March 19 2002 by Ricky N.
3.0 out of 5 stars was Hy too noble?
Or did he know Muller had no intention of getting rid of him? The mystery part of this book was pretty good, but the torn-between two (almost) lovers part was just lame. Read more
Published on Sept. 8 2001
2.0 out of 5 stars A let-down
I have read all of Marcia Muller's books and this one was certainly a let down. During the past 2 weeks I got Listen to the Silence, Both Ends of the Night and this one out of the... Read more
Published on March 2 2001 by Parislexi
2.0 out of 5 stars More Like A Walk Through Boredom
Someone's trying to sabotage the making of a documentary. I thought it might be interesting. I'm sorry, I was wrong. Unfortunately, the book was downright predictable. Read more
Published on Dec 12 2000 by FictionAddiction.NET
5.0 out of 5 stars Muller is fantastic!
I have read all of Marcia Muller's books and this one was one of the best. I am never disappointed but A Walk Through Fire kept me on the edge of my seat. Read more
Published on Aug. 26 2000
2.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected weak effort from Muller
I'm a fan of Marcia Muller going back many years, but this installment in the Sharon McCone series was a disappointment. Not that all good authors can't stumble occasionally. Read more
Published on July 29 2000
1.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly unexciting.
I was glad to read that other reviewers considered this book below Marcia Muller's standards. Otherwise, I would be completely unable to understand how she had become a successful... Read more
Published on May 28 2000 by Leslie K. Pomeroy, Jr., Ph.D.
4.0 out of 5 stars A Slightly Different Sharon McCone Mystery.......
Some Sharon McCone readers may be put off by the plot for this book. Set in Hiawaii, it has many elements not commonly found in the McCone series. Read more
Published on Feb. 29 2000 by Jacqueline Bryan
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best, but enjoyable
I wait and I wait and then it arrives. Usually I plunge right in and read a new Muller the day I get it. I tried, but this one is a disappoinment. Read more
Published on July 18 1999
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