Pearson's latest expert take on the Black Sunday formula pits his veteran team, Seattle Sgt. Lou Boldt and police...



Pearson's latest expert take on the Black Sunday formula pits his veteran team, Seattle Sgt. Lou Boldt and police psychologist Daphne Matthews, against a cunning extortionist who's threatening fatal food adulteration on a heroic scale. Like the seasoned pros they are, Boldt and Matthews don't waste any time tracing the motive to somebody who had a personal grudge against Matthews's lover Owen Adler, lord of giant Adler Foods -- presumably somebody who was victimized in a five-year-old case, when Adler Foods' culpability in a tainted-chicken scandal was covered up and shifted to innocent supplier Mark Meriweather of Longview Farms. Meriweather went bankrupt and killed himself under the weight of bogus findings of salmonella in his stock. Even as Boldt and Matthews are focusing in on a Longview alumnus who's trying to drive Adler to bankruptcy and suicide, Boldt succeeds in getting surveillance footage of the Tin Man who injected cholera-395 into five cans of Mom's Chicken Soup -- but the Tin Man on camera, whom Boldt is about to identify as one Harry Caulfield, is unmistakably a woman. Can Boldt and Matthews regain their bearings, and identify the turncoat in their own ranks, in time to keep the death toll from rising past one, or past five, or seven, or eleven? When a blackmail demand leads to a wearying duel of wits at ATMs throughout the city, Boldt and Matthews keep getting closer and closer to the accomplice making the withdrawals, then (yes!) pull in the suspect -- just as Boldt's brainless captain is goading the extortionist to fury by yanking all of Adler's products from supermarket shelves, setting the stage for a tense climax -- and one final twist. Slicker and more two-dimensional than Pearson's organ-harvesting thriller, The Angel Maker (1993), but still a crackerjack procedural, loaded with inside details. Guaranteed to keep you reading till dawn -- longer, if you wait for your fingers to unclench.

Pub Date: Oct. 6, 1994


Page Count: 384

Publisher: Hyperion

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15, 1994