Then Elisha went to Damascus, and Ben-Hadad king of Syria was sick; and it was told him, saying, "The man of God has come here." And the king said to Hazael, "Take a present in your hand, and go to meet the man of God, and inquire of the LORD by him, saying, 'Shall I recover from this disease?'" So Hazael went to meet him and took a present with him, of every good thing of Damascus, forty camel-loads; and he came and stood before him, and said, "Your son Ben-Hadad king of Syria has sent me to you, saying, 'Shall I recover from this disease?'" -- 2 Kings 8:7-9 (NKJV)
"Coming back was the hardest thing I've ever had to do." -- Sharon McCone
Marcia Muller is a fine writer first, and a wonderful mystery writer second. That's what makes her work so special. With Locked In, Ms. Muller began to explore how someone who is severely disabled can deal with life's challenges. When that someone is Sharon McCone, the ordinary challenges would overwhelm most healthy people. In Coming Back, Sharon McCone's recovery from her head injury continues . . . slowly.
Although physical and speech therapy are difficult, the emotional roller coaster can be much worse . . . and so it is with Sharon. With many narrators beautifully balanced, Coming Back gives you many perspectives on what's involved in such a recovery.
Marcia Muller hasn't lost her sense of humor. She has Sharon struggling to get around while she's still not allowed to drive. Imagine detecting via cable car.
In the middle of the personal challenges, a new friend mysteriously disappears. Sharon wants to be hot on the trail, but there's only so much she can do on her own . . . despite her frustrations. How well will she do?
I continually sit in wonder when considering how many characters Ms. Muller can usefully employ in her plots. Coming Back made my jaw drop a little more than usual in this regard.
The dialogue is wonderful, especially the comments intended for the reader:
"Life is . . . well, life. It goes on. And so do I." -- Sharon McCone
Brava, Ms. Muller!