Marcia Muller. Wolf in the Shadows (1993) 356 pp.
This time it’s personal. San Francisco PI Sharon McCone investigates the disappearance of her lover Hy Ripinsky, whom she had last seen at the Oakland Airport several days earlier. Putting her job at All Souls Legal Cooperative into jeopardy, she traces him to the San Francisco offices of Renshaw and Kessell International, a high-powered security firm. There she learns that Hy had been contracted to deliver the ransom for one of RKI’s clients, who had been kidnapped from his Novato home. But, it is clear that something went horribly wrong: Ripinsky has disappeared—with the ransom—and the kidnappers have gone to ground. Sharon traces Hy to her home town of San Diego and into the desperate world of illegal Mexican immigrants and the coyotes who profit from them. Fearing the worst, that Hy and the kidnap victim have both been murdered, she follows the trail south of the border into Baja, California, where the stakes are raised even higher.
Setting: San Francisco; San Diego; Baja California, Mexico