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Locked In (Sharon McCone #26)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  1,495 Ratings  ·  184 Reviews
Shot in the head by an unknown assailant, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone finds herself trapped by locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind. Since the late-night attack occurred at her agency's offices, the natural conclusion was that it was connected to one of the firm's cases. As Sharon lies in her hospital bed, furiously trying to ...more
ebook, 288 pages
Published October 15th 2009 by Grand Central Publishing (first published 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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Gail Cooke
Oct 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
There is no doubt that Marcia Muller is one of the top mystery writers working today. She has the Grand Masters Award from the Mystery Writers of America plus a host of other honors to prove it. However, her army of readers don't need these affirmations to know that a Muller book is going to intrigue and entertain them.

Best known for stories featuring private investigator Sharon McCone this author suprises us with her latest, Locked In. McCone has been a top favorite since her debut in 1977; we
Sep 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Locked In is the latest Sharon McCone mystery from author, Marcia Muller. This book opens with a bang. Sharon is headed back to the office. When she arrives, she goes to unlock her office door but it is already unlocked. She heads into her office and hears a loud bang, right before she passes out. Sharon wakes up to find herself lying in a hospital bed with her husband by her side. The problem Sharon now faces is that she is trapped inside her body in what is called “locked-in syndrome”. A syndr ...more
First Sentence: A typical July night in San Francisco.

That typical July night ends up as anything but when private investigator Sharon McCone returns to her office late one evening, and is shot. But bullet has lodged in her head and left her, not in a coma, but locked-in. She can hear, see and think, but neither talk nor move. Her husband, Hy, and her McCone Investigation team are focused on finding the shooter.

The story definitely starts with a bang. From there, each chapter is narrated by a di
Pam Rivera
Dec 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first time reading a book by this author or featuring this private eye and I was not disappointed. Not only was the story suspenseful and a great mystery, but it also appealed to me as a Speech-Language Pathologist. After being shot in the head, Sharon McCone suffered from Locked-In Syndrome, a very rare and misunderstood condition that results in the inability to speak or move while you understand everything going on around you. Individuals with locked-in syndrome can only communica ...more
The 27th Sharon McCone mystery finds McCone hospitalized, paralyzed by a gunshot wound to the head, in a "locked-in" state, meaning that she can hear, she can think, but she cannot move or talk. At best, she can respond by blinking - once for "yes", twice for "no".

Her colleagues gather to try to find out who attacked her, delving through old files on the not unreasonable assumption that this was likely related to one of her old cases.

Ordinarily, Muller writes from McCone's point of view. But be
Nov 21, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery-thriller
I have a problem but it's not the book--it's me. I'm pretty sure that I've read all the McCone series--and there are a ton of them. In this book Muller reprises the background of all the people we've come to know--operatives and family. While the refresher was helpful, I realized I just didn't care. Since her early days as a struggling PI at All Souls, McCone has practically become a CEO. She has so many people working for her that it took me awhile--and sometimes the backstories--to sort them o ...more
Jan C
May 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Marcia Muller fans
Shelves: mystery, california
I like Marcia Muller and this one was no different.

As I finished, I noted that the dedication is "To Bill, for a story that started out as a joke." I am thinking that is the only way to explain this one. She has Sharon McCone getting shot in the head and she has been diagnosed with "locked-in syndrome." That's right - her main character is paralyzed and cannot talk. This is practically a death sentence. Some people can live for years and some for mere months.

So I was thinking, wow, how is she go
May 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a different format from Mueller's books. Sharon McCone is "locked-in" a coma, but is able to hear as people talk to her. Chapters are short as they rotate through the staff and family of McCone's agency trying to figure out who attacked Sharon and shot her causing the injury to her brain. I was interested, also in learning about "Locked-in" syndrome, which is a real medical situation. So I went on to read a book written by someone that experienced this condition. The Diving Bell and the ...more
Sep 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads
The premise is scary - the idea of being fully aware but unable to move a muscle... I enjoyed the book, and didn't want to put it down till I had finished, but I found it a little choppy - every chapter is from a different character's pov, and I had to keep going back to refresh my memory. Still - I would recommend it - there were lots of dead bodies, but no gratuitous gore, and the characters were interesting.

I would mention that this was the first book I have read by this author, so I am proba
This is one of the finest Marcia Muller mysteries in the series. It starts out with the shooting of Sharon McCone, which puts her in Locked in Syndrome, while her coworkers find out who've done this to her on various past cases and in some of their POVs. It's fast paced for a good flow, that would keep you guessing all the way with subtle clues and hints, to the final chapters. Nice read!
May 08, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
good. short very quick read (lots of blank pages)fairly predictable.
Once I got started with the story, I realized that I had read it a long time ago.

The main character is attacked at the beginning of the story and she is put into a state where she can think but she can't communicate, so the rest of her staff has to solve the mystery on their own.
May 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Interesting set-up for a mystery. Smooth reading!
Nicole Bonia
Sharon McCone is a highly sucessful private investigator from humble origins who has managed to cobble together a wonderful family, and several loyal and dedicated employees and colleagues who will do just about anything for her. Sharon is a vibrant member of the community and an investigative professional at the top of her game.

She is also used to being in the middle of it all – involved in every way- so when she is shot and critically injured one night after returning to her office, it is deva
In the last McCone book (Burn Out), Sharon was experiencing depression; in this book, she is paralyzed. Is Muller trying to tell us something about her relationship to this long-time protagonist? Yeah, I know that Locked In won the 2010 Shamus, but both books left me with the feeling that Muller is just tired, tired of Sharon McCone. And her writing shows it. While I did enjoy the variety of perspectives that Muller chose for this book and the ability it gave us to delve more closely into the us ...more
Lexie Stoneking
'Locked In'.......hmmmmm, I'm still trying to decipher how I feel about this book. Many times after I finish reading a book I will have strong feels, either positive or negative. I really don't when in comes to this book, which probably isn't a good thing.

I liked the idea of the story line, especially the idea that one of the main characters was locked in. In fact, this is what initially drew me to the book. I almost wish that more of the story would have revolved around her. I would have been
Elaine Corman
Feb 16, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Too realistic for me.
Kathleen Hagen
Locked In, by Marcia Muller, A-minus, narrated by Deanna Hurst, produced by BBC Audio Books America, downloaded from

In this book Sharon McCone goes back to the office at night on the deserted wharf to get her cell phone, and surprises someone in the office who shoots her in the head. Sharon enters into “Locked In” syndrome, where she is alert in her mind but totally paralyzed. She has to learn to use her eyes to make contact with her husband and her staff. Everyone believes that the
Dec 20, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mysteries
Private Detective Sharon McCone is shot outside her agency and her injuries result in "Locked-In" Syndrome, where a patient can see and hear everything going on, but she can't move or communicate except for blinking her eyes. Her agency tries to solve her shooting while she tries to help from her bed.

I have not read any of the other books in this series about this detective, and I believe that could be why I didn't like the story much. There was a large cast of characters, and the story is told
I don't know why this series doesn't get as much press as Sue Grafton's alphabet books. I think Sharon McCone is at least as compelling a character as Kinsey Millhone, and always seemed to me a little more real and realized. Muller started writing the series in 1977 and since then, McCone has morphed from a legal investigator into an early-middle-aged married woman who owns a large PI agency in San Francisco. In the first pages of this book, McCone is shot and ends up a victim of locked-in syndr ...more
Aug 18, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 30, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Had already read this book, but didn't remember much, so I reread it. Just as good as the first time. Still love this series! Now need to check if there are any new books.... Exciting, hard to put down.

Shot in the head by an unknown assailant, San Francisco private eye Sharon McCone finds herself trapped by locked-in syndrome: almost total paralysis but an alert, conscious mind. Since the late-night attack occurred at her agency's offices, the natural conclusion was that it was connected to one
Vannessa Anderson
Sharon McCone is shot in the head in her office. She recovers but suffers Locked-In Syndrome (a rare neurological disorder characterized by complete paralysis of voluntary muscles in all parts of the body except for those that control eye movement. It may result from traumatic brain injury, diseases of the circulatory system, diseases that destroy the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells, or medication overdose. Individuals with locked-in syndrome are conscious and can think and reason, but are ...more
Oct 04, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
I usually enjoy the books in this series, but this one was just OK. Private investigator Sharon McCone finds herself "locked in," unable to move or communicate except for blinking after a gunshot wound to the head. This scenario proves to be challenging not only for McCone, but the author, as the narrative switches between the many characters who work for her and her husband. As the investigative team search for the assailant who has gravely wounded McCone, Sharon deals with prospect of being co ...more
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really like the McCone series. It isn't an exciting roller coaster ride, but a steady solid investigation of facts leading to a cleverly constructed ending. Sometimes it was hard in this one to follow the story, as it was divided up between all of the characters trying to solve murders and each character was announced and followed separately as they followed their leads. This method of storytelling fit into the plot of this book, as Sharon McCone is shot and her parts are basically told from i ...more
Nov 10, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Mystery lovers, people who like San Francisco.
Recommended to Richard by: I read all Ms. Muller's work
With over 30 novels to her credit, Marcia Muller still finds ways to remain fresh with her latest story featuring Sharon McCone, her mysterious husband and the whole crew from her PI firm on Pier 24 1/2 in San Francisco.

Confined to a hospital bed, unable to control anything except to blink, Sharon is faced with her most important case yet: who shot her and put her into this locked in syndrome?

Each chapter is told by a different character with a different point of view. Each has a part of the puz
Carol Neman
Apr 07, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of my all-time favorite writers is Marcia Muller and since I voraciously consumed (and got caught up on) all her other books, I anxiously awaited another...for, it seems, a long time. Well, it finally came...and I wasn't disappointed.

Sharon McCone has had her own private detection agancy for quite some time now, and has dealt with self-doubt about continuing it in previous installments. In this book she is forced into another kind of personal testing in which the loyalty and love of her staf
Feb 16, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a good mystery! Especially a Sharon McCone mystery. After being shot in the head private eye, Sharon McCone awakens in the hospital almost completely paralyzed. She is able to hear and see only directly in front of her face. After a week of frustration and terror her husband notices she can blink to yes or no questions. The horrible diagnosis "Locked-in syndrome". The syndrome is caused by head trauma and has a high mortality rate. A realistic seeming insight into the experiences of fear ...more
Amanda Meggs
Nov 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, thriller
My first time reading a book from this series. I did realise it was part of a series as there were occasional references to the protagonist's backstories that sounded like previous stories. Locked In is a complete novel and it didn't matter that I hadn't read the earlier stories although I do want to, having read this one - 25 of them it seems! The acquired brain injury Sharon gets is well covered, except in my opinion when they decided not to operate to remove the bullet fragments initially, bu ...more
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A native of the Detroit area, Marcia Muller grew up in a house full of books and self-published three copies of her first novel at age twelve, a tale about her dog complete with primitive illustrations. The "reviews" were generally positive.

In the early 1970s, having moved to California, Muller found herself unemployable and began experimenting with mystery novels.

In the ensuing thirty-some years,
More about Marcia Muller...

Other Books in the Series

Sharon McCone (1 - 10 of 32 books)
  • Edwin of the Iron Shoes
  • Ask the Cards a Question
  • The Cheshire Cat's Eye
  • Games to Keep the Dark Away
  • Leave a Message for Willie
  • There's Nothing to Be Afraid Of
  • Eye of the Storm
  • There's Something in a Sunday
  • The Shape of Dread
  • Trophies and Dead Things

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