Private investigator Sharon McCone must deal with the suicide of her estranged brother Joey and the apparently unrelated death by suicide of an employee of InSite, an online magazine. The employee's parents want evidence that the oppressive work environment of this dot.com business has led to "karoshi," a Japanese expression that means to die of overwork. In her investigation, McCone discovers layers of murderous intrigue concerning this struggling business and the various principals who are trying to bleed the company and each other of whatever of value can be salvaged during the current economic downturn. The disappearance of one of the company's officers is assumed to be malfeasance until McCone finds her frozen body in an abandoned warehouse.
Author Marcia Muller has presented many parts of Sharon McCone's fictitious life in her twenty-one mysteries featuring this private investigator. Principal characters in earlier works become peripheral in this mystery while McCone's career as an owner of a detective agency blossoms. Unusual plot twists seem to come from the pages of national newspapers reporting on business scandals.
Reviewed by ks, 9/02. Other reviews by ks.