This review was originally posted on and on Aug. 25, 2014.

I don’t normally subscribe to the Marxist camp of literary theory, but this mystery novel grated on my sensibilities until finally, after I finished it, the grating turned into a salient realization:

The Night Searchers is a screed, beckoning the top 10 percent to piss on the bottom 10 percent. The wealthy to lord their wealth and privilege over the poor. Not the super-wealthy, just the normal-wealthy.

I realize this is a vulgar thing to write, but it is an unfortunately true approximation of the book, its themes, its characters, its setting, etc.

We have Mrs. Sharon McCone, private detective, living in San Francisco and married to a man who runs some sort of similar agency.

Both are filthy, stinking rich. Multiple houses in multiple locations. Fancy sports cars. One house in San Francisco, with its bloated rents pushed higher by the likes of McCone. Two other houses, sitting unused, unneeded by them. They have the privilege to waste. (The reader, I suppose, is supposed to laude these marks of the main character’s wealth.)