Ridley Pearson is the award-winning co-author, along with Dave Barry, of Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Peter and the Sword of Mercy, Escape From the Carnivale, Cave of the Dark Wind, Blood Tide, and Science Fair. In addition to Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark, Kingdom Keepers: Disney at Dawn, Kingdom Keepers: Disney in Shadow, and Kingdom Keepers: Power Play, he is also the author of the young adult thrillers Steel Trapp: The Challenge and Steel Trapp: The Academy. He has written more than twenty best-selling crime novels, including Killer View and Killer Weekend. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University.
In Pearson's latest thriller (after Parallel Lies), deception is raised to the level of an art. Lou Boldt is back, but Daphne Matthews and John LaMoia take the spotlight in this Seattle-based suspense novel. A young woman is thrown off the Aurora Bridge, two women have vanished in the tourist area of the Seattle Underground, and a worker drowns under mysterious circumstances. These three cases are just the beginning, as Daphne discovers that she is being stalked. She starts to believe that same man has committed all three crimes and she is the next target. Her strong will keeps her involved in the case, even as her stable life starts to crumble around her. Pearson keeps the sense of danger and paranoia intense as the various characters' emotions spill from each page. The atmospheric descriptions of Seattle are dead-on, causing this Seattle-based reviewer to feel uneasy when moving around town. This is hands-down one of the best thrillers of the year. - Jeff Ayers, Seattle P.L. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Seattle police detective Lou Boldt, Pearson's engaging cop hero, retired from the force a few years back when personal problems started stacking up, then returned when those same problems faded. These days, he's in more of a paper-shuffling role, letting his younger charges mix it up on the street. Taking center stage here, in the eighth Boldt entry (after Parallel Lies), are two longtime prominent series sidekicks, forensic pathologist Daphne Matthews and the skirt-chasing stud cop, John LaMoia. Together, they investigate the perplexing murder of a woman who was pushed off a bridge. The case turns creepy when the evidence against the prime suspect falls apart and the victim's brother, Ferrell Walker, simultaneously courts and lashes out at Matthews. Meanwhile, Boldt pursues his own case, following the trail of two missing women who appear to have been stalked before disappearing. As with many of Pearson's plots, the two story lines eventually mesh into a wild, drawn-out finale. The setting this time couldn't be better. It's Seattle's Underground, a subterranean ghost town of abandoned shops and homes now underneath the newer, more flood-resistant city built on top a century ago. It is within this spooky, cavernous landscape that Pearson's forte the manhunt bursts through with all its usual bone-tingling drama and suspense. And what of the somewhat marginalized Boldt? Longtime fans may feel a touch of sadness, yet Pearson ably layers Matthews's personality with new depths to make an appealingly quirky character. As for LaMoia, even he shows that he's more than just a pretty face with an insatiable sex drive. (Aug. 7) Forecast: A one-day laydown, television ads, an author tour and teaser chapters in Parallel Lies add up to major promo activity for this title and should stimulate the usual healthy sales. Don't confuse this with the nonfiction book published under the same title by computer hacker Kevin Mitnick (Forecasts, June 25). Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.