Marcia Muller. The Dangerous Hour (2004) 290 pp.
In San Francisco, the staff of McCone Investigations holds a meeting
to discuss the success of the business, which has tripled in less than
two years, branching out into new areas like computer forensics, and how
bright the future seems. The meeting is barely over when the SFPD Fraud
Detail Mirandizes trainee Julia Rafael for illegally purchasing items with
a credit card belonging to jobs training program supervisor Alex Aguilar.
The victim claims she stole and used his card after he rejected her sexual
advances. McCone thinks Alex was a satisfied customer who is now accusing
one of Sharon’s operatives of grand theft. She also realizes that since
Julia, as a trainee, was unlicensed with the Department of Consumer Affairs,
Sharon and her company are liable, which could lead to a loss of their
license. Insisting she is innocent, Julia observes that she is too small
a target to matter. Sharon agrees that the goal has to be a bigger fish,
probably herself, but by whom, why and the tie in to Aguilar, a potential
Mayoral candidate, remain unknown. She and her crack staff plan to find
out and prove her trust in Julia was, and is, the right thing.