Friday, September 07, 2007

The Ever-Running Man; Phyllis Whitney

Graham Greene spoiled me as far as thriller writers go. His thrillers (or "entertainments" as he chose to call them) always worked on at least two levels, the tension of the story itself and then the characters and the milieu they inhabited.

Cardboard cut-outs of Washington and its people just don't do it for me, whether CIA or FBI, the men too bold (though always with that One Serious Flaw) and the women too beautiful (though always with that One Serious Flaw). Thriller Writing 101.

Marcia Muller In her exciting new novel The Ever-Running Man shows us how to write a thriller that honors the Greene method--tension-filled story, with believeable characters in a carefully detailed milieu.

Private investigator Sharon McCone's husband is one of the owners of RKI, a security company that competes with the best and the brightest in the business. But RKI, home office and affiliates, has been set upon with a domestic terrorist who uses explosive devices with deadly cunning and precision. McCone, barely escaping such an explosion, glimpses the man who means to make things ugly for the company.

RKI hires McCone to see what she can find out. The search is intense, a relentless hunt to discover and stop the killer before he wreaks any more damage.

But in the course of the search McCone is forced to confront certain truths about herself, her husband and his business partners. Muller gives us the world as it is--the world of Starbucks, reading the Sunday paper, the wind for lonely moments, the inevitable misunderstandings in marriage--seamlessly enhancing the chilling plot.

One of the year's best suspense novels.


Happy birthday Phyllis Whitney. I've had the pleasure of working with Phyllis a few times over the Mystery Scene years and she's just as much as pleasure as her novels. Happy birthday, Phyllis.

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