Ridley Pearson is a busy man. I know him best as a crime fiction writer. I’ve only read two books in his popular Lou Boldt series (The Pied Piper and Undercurrents). I see he’s started up another series featuring Sheriff Walt Fleming (Killer Summer, Killer Weekend) and collaborates with Dave Barry writing young adult fiction stories.
When I started reading mysteries, a friend introduced me to his books. Pearson’s first book , Undercurrents (1992) introduced Police Sergeant Lou Boldt and psychologist, Daphne Matthews. From the mystery aspect, the story was solidly written. But what really appealed to me was the growing attraction between Lou Boldt and Daphne Matthews. Boldt’s marriage was on life-support if I remember right. The affair that sparked up between Lou and Daphne was one that neither was looking to start but I remember it being pretty hot. What I don’t remember is if their relationship ended because I never finished the series. I would like to but none of his Lou Boldt books are available digitally.
Anyway, I ran across my copy of The Pied Piper (1999). It’s the fifth book in the Lou Boldt series. I did a quick reread (just flipped to my favorite scenes really). It was an outstanding mystery novel when I first read it years ago. Yes, it’s apart of a series but this one can be read alone. Here is the synopsis:
A wave of babynappings has terrified parents from San Diego to Portland.And when the Pied Piper–named for the penny flute he leaves in the cribs of his victims–claims his first Seattle infant, the investigation draws in homicide detective Lou Boldt. Assigned temporarily to Intelligence so he can spend more time with his kids while his wife is hospitalized for chemotherapy, Boldt’s role is to keep the FBI out of the Seattle Police Department’s way. But FBI special agent Gary Flemming is a tough adversary–so tough it almost seems as if he’s intentionally sabotaging the SPD’s investigation. Then the Pied Piper snatches Boldt’s own daughter, promising that unless Boldt throws both the Feds and the SPD off his trail he’ll never see his child again. Caught between his professional obligations and his fear for Sarah’s life, Boldt launches his own private manhunt with the help of John La Moia, his replacement in homicide, and police psychologist Daphne Matthews, his closest friend in the department.They form a sub rosa task force under the noses of the Feds and the SPD, and soon discover how the Piper has managed to stay a step ahead of the police, elude capture, and find his small victims. The chase moves from Seattle to Portland to New Orleans, culminating in a thrilling denouement in the daffodil fields of Washington’s Skagit Valley. Combining strong characterizations with an impressive command of both policing and pacing, Ridley Pearson, author of Chainof Evidence and Beyond Recognition, delivers another sure winner in this outing for Lou Boldt.
About “Reflections” posts: I read many mysteries before I started blogging. I am just “reflecting” on those mysteries now. Making general comments about my thoughts on the books when I first read them. Unless stated otherwise, my comments about these books stem only from memory. My hope is that they have stood the test of time well. Other authors I enjoy: Michael Connelly.