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on 26 August 2007
The Sharon McCone Mysteries have been published for nearly 30 years and they still, unlike many of Muller's contempories make for fantastic reading. Muller made the decision for her protagonist, Sharon to move with the times and the books are set in 'real time'. This allows the books to stand the test of time, as the ever changing world of technology is fully embraced in the fight against crime. Sue Grafton, in comparison made the decision for Kinsey Millhone to remain stuck in the eighties, her 20th novel will be out in December and Kinsey hasn't aged at all. Both styles can be advantageous as Kinsey can show her cunning without the use of mobile phones etc, but I believe Muller has the edge on reality and modern techniques.
I don't want to give the plot away, but just wanted to celebrate the fact that this book, as with all the previous McCone books will not disappoint. Believable characters, thorough research and gripping plots. Thank you Ms. Muller, you are a legend.
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If you have never read any books in the Sharon McCone series, do yourself a favor and don't start with this one . . . which reveals enough to spoil a lot of earlier books in the series for you. Start with Edwin of the Iron Shoes and work your way through them in order of publication. I envy you -- you have a great treat ahead of you.

Have you ever wondered why Sharon McCone's husband Hy is willing to be partners with the seemingly sleazy Gage Renshaw and Dan Kessell in the security firm of Renshaw & Kessell International? Hy claims has "come clean" on their joint backgrounds to Sharon, but has he really? The Ever-Running Man will answer a lot of questions in this regard and opens up the series for some fascinating future books.

Someone has been blowing up different offices of Renshaw & Kessell. While the firm is skilled in security, its own security seems to leave something to be desired. Hy talks his partners into hiring Sharon to find out who is doing it. Based on eyewitness accounts, there may be a link -- a man seen running away before some of the explosions. But it needs to be kept quiet . . . publicity of this sort could kill the business.

To keep some of the strain off their new marriage, Sharon insists that she work with one of the other two partners and chooses Renshaw as the lesser of two evils. Renshaw soon annoys her by making demands for frequent reports that she ignores.

Matters take a more serious turn, however, when the threat comes closer to home: Someone may be targeting the partners!

Sharon decides to treat the case like it came from a stranger . . . and check everyone out. That decision turns out to be a good idea when unsavory histories begin to emerge concerning Renshaw and Kessell that seem to taint Hy as well. Can their marriage survive the disclosures?

The bulk of the book is an investigative procedural where Sharon's willingness to break the law opens up doors that would otherwise remain closed. Her firm's capabilities serve her and her clients well . . . and gradually the motives and possible suspects become clearer. Sharon also gets more glimpses of the ever-running man than she would like.

Like the best of the Sharon McCone series, this book involves many of the ongoing characters in the series in ways that refer back to important episodes in earlier books. Those connections add depth for those who are long-time fans of the series.

My main complaint about the book is that it takes Sharon much too long to find out the key facts . . . and her reluctance to question Hy too closely is a bad decision that slows things down. This book could have been shortened up by 60 pages and made a lot better.

But it's a good read, one that no fan of the series will want to miss.
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