THE PIED PIPER by Ridley Pearson


Email this review


Seattle cop Lou Boldt’s been promoted to Lieutenant and shifted from Homicide to Intelligence—but all the changes don’t protect him from the most painfully intimate contact with a kidnapper of small children. The Pied Piper, who restricts his prey to infants and leaves a signature pennywhistle in each empty nursery, has been plying his trade for long months up and down the West Coast before he snatches little Rhonda Shotz from her babysitter. And Gary Flemming, the bullying Seattle FBI agent, has been tracking him without success. Now that Boldt’s been yanked from his wife Liz’s side (she’s hospitalized with lymphoma) and put in charge of the task force his own captain has formed, the usual jurisdictional sparks are bound to fly. This time, though, the sparks are as hot as the fires in Beyond Recognition (1997). Just as Boldt and his team—his successor at Homicide, Sgt. John LaMoia; forensic psychologist Lt. Daphne Matthews; Scientific Investigation Director Bernie Lofgrin; and the scaldingly resentful FBI—begin to comb far enough through the scant physical evidence to link the Pied Piper to a low-rent shamus and a bustling methamphetamine lab, the Piper snatches Boldt’s own daughter Sarah to insure that he keeps the task force muzzled. Consumed with grief and guilt, Boldt’s still sharp enough to see that the Piper’s been getting information from inside the task force. His only option is to work against his own team, running his own secret investigation while spreading disinformation that’ll keep the Piper content—unless the inside informant realizes what Boldt’s doing. Slowly, slowly, Boldt moves from following the Piper to anticipating his next move, as the scene shifts to New Orleans, where the police “emphasize relationships over the letter of the law.” Though the Piper, once revealed, scarcely seems monstrous enough to have caused the cast members so much heartache, Pearson proves once again that he can put together a big-scale, big-time police manhunt better than anybody else in the business. ($250,000 ad/promo, including mass-market Beyond Recognition; Literary Guild selection; author tour)

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1998
ISBN: 0-7868-6300-5
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: Hyperion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 1998


FictionWHITE BONE  by Ridley Pearson
by Ridley Pearson
FictionTHE RED ROOM by Ridley Pearson
by Ridley Pearson
FictionCHOKE POINT by Ridley Pearson
by Ridley Pearson


MysteryBLOOD WORK by Michael Lister
by Michael Lister
FictionTHE STEEL KISS by Jeffery Deaver
by Jeffery Deaver