Potent blend of medical thriller and police procedural that resurrects the cop-hero of Pearson's Undercurrents (1988) and pits him against--of all things--a maniacal veterinarian. Lou Boldt has been off the Seattle force for two years, tending his infant son and playing jazz piano at a local dive, but his extraordinary empathy for murder victims won't let him refuse the request of police shrink and ex-lover Daphne Matthews (whose throat was slashed in Undercurrents) to help with her new case--a series of street kids found dead and missing a kidney, liver, or lung. Immediately suspecting that a transplant surgeon is "harvesting" the organs and selling them at great profit, Boldt rejoins the SPD and pushes for advice from the medical examiner. The narrative bristles with the sort of forensic detail that informed Undercurrents. Meanwhile, Pearson bares his villain- - sociopathic society vet Elden Tegg--as we see him snatching social-worker Sharon Shaffer with an eye to selling her heart to a mobster whose wife is dying from heart disease. Unlike Undercurrents, then, where suspense derived from "whodunit," the tension here is strictly--and tightly--time-wound: Can Boldt i.d. the killer and rescue Sharon--or can Sharon herself escape from the remote dog kennel where Tegg's imprisoned her, naked and terrified- -before the vet wields his scalpel? Thriller fans will note that this setup strongly echoes Thomas Harris's The Silence of the Lambs--but Pearson matches Harris's pace as the hours tick down, marking off twists (a hiker chancing on the kennel) and hot suspense sequences (a pawnshop sting to break into Tegg's computer) until the cathartic, brutal climax. Exceptionally gripping and full of amazing forensic lore (e.g., that Band-Aids emit low-level radioactivity from being sterilized): a top-flight offering from an author who's clearly found his groove.
Fire is a vicious killer. It consumes not only its victims but evidence of its creator. There's a homicidal arsonist in Seattle, targeting single mothers but sparing their children.
It starts out so simply for Jay Becker--he's just an overworked, underpaid musician trying to earn some extra cash by giving sailing lessons on Puget Sound. But he is drawn into a whirlwind of events and characters that will change his life--and perhaps the future of his country--forever. It begins when he meets the exotic, mysterious Marlene--a beauty with a dark secret who wants to hire Jay for what appears to be a simple sailing expedition. But once involved, he becomes a link in a deadly chain of events-manipulated by an international network of spies that will stop at nothing to get at the sensitive military secrets they want. Blood of the Albatross is a supercharged novel of espionage and romance that puts one young, innocent man in the middle of a kaleidoscope of spy, counterspy; cross, double-cross--with the lives of himself, the woman he loves, and his best friend hanging in the balance, as he fights to keep himself alive, to save the lives of the people he loves, and to protect the security of his country.
Lieutenant Lou Boldt's wife is caught in the middle of a $17,000,000 embezzlement plot. Lou Boldt must protect her from a Russian Mafia kingpin, a former Seattle PD officer and the computer genious that originally embezzeled the money. Complicating matters is that this computer genious also had an affair with Boldt's wife. Lieutenant Boldt gets assistance from his friends, Sergeant John LaMoia, police psychologist Daphnie Matthews and officer Bobby Gaines. Throughout the book, Boldt must confront his feelings about his wife, his marriage and her affair.
Can Detective Joe "Dart" Dartelli uncover the truth? Or, more importantly, does he dare?<P> Detective Joe "Dart" Dartelli made one critical mistake in his police career: He chose to ignore a piece of evidence in a case labeled a suicide that might have been a murder. The dead man was himself a vicious woman-killer who more than deserved his fate, but that ignored evidence pointed to Dart's former mentor, the brilliant forensic specialist Walter Zeller.<P> Now another suicide victim turns up--the body of a wife-beater--and the evidence clearly shows that the death was self-inflicted... or does it? Zeller was the best at reading and understanding the forensics of a crime scene--could he have manipulated it? Worse, why has Zeller disappeared?<P> It terrifies Dart to suspect that Zeller is in fact on some twisted vigilante crusade, but Dart also knows that if he's right, only he can stop it.<P> Chain of Evidence is the intense, heart-pounding story of student versus mentor in the playing field of forensic investigation. Ridley Pearson links computer technology, psychological intensity, and complex questions of police and human ethics to create this breathlessly paced, unputdownable thriller.
When an award-winning foreign journalist reveals the existence of an Amsterdam-based sweatshop known as a "knot shop" that employs and enslaves young girls as laborers, private security firm Rutherford Risk is hired by a philanthropist to find it and shut it down. David "Sarge" Dulwich, Knox's former boss from their government contractor days, knows that Knox's cultural knowledge, combat skills, and sympathy for the abused make him right for the job. Joined by Grace Chu, whose more subtle skills for acquiring sensitive tech information help to balance Knox's improvisational style, he heads to Amsterdam in an attempt to dismantle the child labor operation and rescue the girls. In their way is a crime organization that has permeated the neighborhoods with goodwill turning even the victims' parents against their would-be saviors. With enemies around every corner, Knox and Grace can't tell the good from the bad.
Taut and edge-of-the-seat compelling, Cut and Run is a spellbinding thriller pitting a U.S. federal marshal against the mob's most resourceful killer - in a race to save the woman he loves.
The Kingdom Keepers and their friends discover that Maleficent and the Overtakers are plotting a catastrophic event that could have repercussions far beyond the world of Disney unless they solve a puzzle that is revealed during the Disney Cruise Line's inaugural passage through the Panama Canal.
In this fantastical thriller, five young teens tapped as models for theme park "guides" find themselves pitted against Disney villains and witches that threaten both the future of Walt Disney World and the stability of the world outside its walls. Using a cutting-edge technology called DHI-which stands for both Disney Host Interactive and Daylight Hologram Imaging- Finn Whitman, an Orlando teen, and four other kids are transformed into hologram projections that guide guests through the park. The new technology turns out, however, to have unexpected effects that are both thrilling and scary. Soon Finn finds himself transported in his DHI form into the Magic Kingdom at night. Is it real? Is he dreaming? Finn's confusion only increases when he encounters Wayne, an elderly Imagineer who tells him that the park is in grave danger. Led by the scheming witch, Maleficent, a mysterious group of characters called the Overtakers is plotting to destroy Disney's beloved realm, and maybe more. This gripping high-tech tale will thrill every kid who has ever dreamed of sneaking into Walt Disney World after hours and wondered what happens at night, when the park is closed. Ages 10 and up
It's supposed to be a happy day at the Magic Kingdom--the return of the teenaged holographic hosts. But things go very wrong when a sudden lightning storm disrupts the celebration, and Amanda's mysterious sister, Jez, disappears.
The Kingdom Keepers' third adventure takes place at Epcot.
Lieutenant Lou Boldt, the Seattle cop who stars in Ridley Pearson's deservedly popular series, is a sharp and touching figure--perhaps the most believable police officer in current fiction. Early in this ninth book about his public and private life, Lou has to put on a bullet-resistant vest to lead a raid against some dangerous criminals. "The vest was not physically heavy, but its presence was," Pearson tells us.It meant battle; it meant risk. For Boldt, a vest was a symbol of youth. It had been well over a year since he had worn one. Ironically, as he approached the hangar's north door at a light run behind his own four heavily armored ERT personnel, he caught himself worrying about his hands, not his life. He didn't want to smash up his piano hands in some close quarters skirmish. . . . Boldt plays jazz piano one night a week in a local bar, and despite his concern for his hands, he takes every opportunity he can to get away from his desk and into the streets. But money pressures, caused by his wife's recent illness, also make him think about the possibility of a better-paying job in the private sector.Meanwhile, some extremely ruthless people are murdering illegal Chinese immigrant women and leaving their bodies buried in newly dug graves. An ambitious local TV journalist named Stevie McNeal and the young Chinese woman she thinks of as her "Little Sister" risk their lives to investigate the killings, while Boldt and his team round up a most unusual array of suspects.This combination of hard-edged realism and softer sentiment has become Pearson's trademark, and once again it works smoothly. --Dick Adler
FBI Agent Cam Daggett took the bombing of Flight 1023 personally--his parents and son were on board. For two years he's been after the man responsible. But all he has to go on is a name, and the knowledge that he must be stopped before striking again.
Sun Valley sheriff Walt Fleming's budding relationship with local photographer Fiona Kenshaw hits a rough patch after she is responsible for a heroic river rescue yet attempts to avoid the press. Despite her laudable actions, she begs Walt to help keep her photo out of the local paper. Confused by her protests, Walt thinks she's just being modest about her heroism. While Sun Valley is known as a billionaire's playground, Walt's job still keeps him grounded firmly in reality. One day he's rubbing elbows with political royalty; the next he's stepping over spilled jam jars while investigating the vandalism of a local home by a brown bear, and trying to find sitters for his twin daughters. He's dodging Fiona, chasing down criminals, and attending charity fund-raisers, feeling like he's leading a double life. It's at one charity benefit that a young woman he once rescued is convinced she has seen a ghost: her former captor, a man Walt watched die. Then Walt gets a phone call that changes everything: Lou Boldt, a legendary homicide sergeant out of Seattle, reports that a recent murder in his city may have a high-profile Sun Valley connection. Their shared search for information is soon complicated by the discovery of a body at the side of the valley's busiest road, not far from where the spooked young woman lives. A young woman who happens to be under the watchful care of Fiona. Walt and Boldt sense a connection -- but are some cases better left in the cold-case file? Can Walt turn away from what seems an impossible truth? Can Boldt trick the suspect out into the open? Walt and Boldt begin to fit together the pieces of a terrifying puzzle -- in the process putting themselves and everyone around them in harm's way.
Deception and betrayal rock the Kingdom Keepers as the merciless group of Disney villains known as the Overtakers stage an unexpected comeback. The Keepers have one last chance to preserve the heart of the Kingdom-Disneyland-from a terrifying destruction decades in the making.
It begins as a heist in Sun Valley, Idaho-until the local sheriff discovers a more sinister underlying plan. The crime gets more personal. The stakes are raised, and nothing is as it seems.
When a skier goes missing at Sun Valley's Galena Summit, Sheriff Walt Fleming quickly assembles his crack Search and Rescue team and heads out into the snowy night. Despite the treacherous conditions, Walt and his group, including deputy Tommy Brandon and Walt's best friend, Mark Aker, set off on skis, accompanied by highly trained search dogs. Within minutes, something goes horribly wrong: one of their team is dead. By morning, Mark Aker has disappeared. Torn between professional responsibility and the desperate urge to find his friend, Walt is further challenged by an unexplained illness at a local water-bottling plant that sends workers to the hospital and sets off biohazard warnings. Following threads of questionable evidence through the glitter of Sun Valley leads Walt to an unlikely--and darker--source, and reveals a crime played out on a much larger scale than he originally envisioned. Waist-deep in snow and knee-deep in lies, the life of his friend in the balance, Walt begins to suspect that the whole operation is controlled by people of great wealth and power, which leaves him where he started: out in the cold. From adrenaline-charged start to explosive finish, Killer View is heart-stopping suspense at its very best.
Eight years ago, in Sun Valley - snowcapped playground for the wealthy and ambitious - all that stood between New York State attorney general Elizabeth Shaler and a knife-wielding killer was local patrolman Walt Fleming. Now Liz Shaler returns to Sun Valley as the crown jewel and keynote speaker for billionaire Patrick Cuttera (TM)s world-famous C3, a media and communications conference where the richest, most powerful business tycoons converge. The attorney general, a political lightning rod, is expected to announce her candidacy for president. Ita (TM)s a media coup for Cutter - but a security nightmare for Walt Fleming, now the county sheriff. As C3 gets under way, authorities learn of a confirmed threat on Shalera (TM)s life, and various competing interests - the Secret Service, the FBI, Cuttera (TM)s own security forces - begin jockeying for jurisdiction. Beyond the logistical nightmare that the conferencea (TM)s opulent extravagances represent for Sheriff Fleming, he must also contend with a raft of other local concerns: his troubled nephewa (TM)s arrest, his wifea (TM)s infidelity, the death of a socialite under suspicious circumstances, and a series of apparent maulings by an aggressive cougar. Each of these incidents comes to a head just as Shalera (TM)s assassin puts his chillingly precise plan into action.
Eight years ago in Sun Valley, all that stood between State attorney general Liz Shaler and a knife-wielding intruder was patrolman Walt Fleming. Now, Fleming is the county sheriff. Controversial New York State Attorney General Liz Shaler is announcing her candidacy for president of the United States at a high-profile convergence of media heavy-hitters. Also in attendance is an assassin with a brilliant and foolproof plan. Once executed, it will collide not only with Shaler's future, but--as the clock ticks down--with Walt Fleming's haunted past.
With the defeat of the Overtakers behind them, the five teenagers known as the Kingdom Keepers should be celebrating. By all accounts they saved Disneyland from certain destruction. Why then did their mentor leave one last puzzle for them to decipher? The Keepers must solve a puzzle of the past, or be crushed under an evil that makes the Overtakers seem like gentle souls.
The "Blue Flu" has struck the Seattle Police Force and a majority of the officers are on an unofficial strike. Overworked and understaffed, Detective Lou Boldt is remaining on the job, but a string of robberies and the brutal near-murder of a female cop, pressure threatens Boldt's psyche. With the help of police psychologist Daphne Matthews and Sergeant John LaMoia, Boldt is able to make slow progress cracking the case, and their work leads them to Denver to a hardened criminal. Boldt refuses to drop the investigation, and is in danger because of it.
Leonid Borikowski, code name Dragonfly, has been seen entering the US and agent Andy Clayton is the only man who may be able to find him, and stop him.
Truth remains elusive. Every six or eight weeks, another train derailment. Images fill our TV sets and cover the front pages. "Driver error," "mechanical failure," "a failed signal"--the rail company provides the reasons behind the accidents. But they are hiding the truth. Umberto Alvarez, a suspected terrorist, blames Northern Union Railroad for the crossing guard collision that killed his wife and twins two years earlier. He believes he and his family are the victims of a massive cover-up. The truth is nothing but a publicity stunt. Peter Tyler is an ex-cop looking to redeem himself after being suspended from the force for an assault that was taken out of context. Now a "temp" investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board, Tyler sees an opportunity to jumpstart his career. The truth of what happened that night will never be known, but a woman who steps out of a snowstorm and into his life may just hold the key to unlocking the past and allowing Tyler to move on.
Penzler Pick, June 2001: Ridley Pearson, who has written 14 previous books, many of them featuring his Seattle cop Lou Boldt, ups the ante in his latest thriller.Northern Union Railroad has been experiencing a series of accidents with their freight trains, but it is not until they find a freight car covered with blood that they call in outside help. Peter Tyler used to be a cop, until he nearly beat a black man to death and lost his badge. When he gets a second chance via an old friend at the National Transportation Safety Board, he drives a convertible through a snowstorm with the top down (he suffers from claustrophobia) to view the freight car. He arrives at the scene to discover that he will have to deal with Northern Union's own security officer, Nell Priest, a black woman who already knows Tyler's history.Meanwhile, Umberto Alvarez, the train wrecker, is systematically working his way towards his ultimate wreck, Northern's F.A.S.T. train, due to make its maiden run from New York to Washington, D.C. Alvarez lost his wife and children when their car stalled between the gates at a crossing and were crushed by one of Northern's trains. Although Northern Union was cleared of all responsibility and Alvarez's wife was found negligent, he doesn't think that's so.As Peter Tyler's investigation proceeds, he begins to come to the same conclusion. Closing in on Alvarez, he tries to interview the crossing guard who was on duty the day the wreck occurred. On arriving at the man's apartment, he finds the man bludgeoned to death--with the same stick with which Tyler beat the black man all that time ago. It's time to get paranoid. Who at Northern is covering up and what role does Nell play in all this? As always in a Ridley Pearson thriller, the action doesn't stop until the final page. --Otto Penzler
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