There is a homicidal arsonist loose in Seattle. Single mothers are being killed in fires that burn hotter than experts have ever seen. The children are spared. Why? For Seattle Police Sergeant Lou Boldt and the department's psychologist, Daphne Matthews, the High Temperature Accelerant fires challenge their every resource. The fuel used in these ...
There is a homicidal arsonist loose in Seattle. Single mothers are being killed in fires that burn hotter than experts have ever seen. The children are spared. Why? For Seattle Police Sergeant Lou Boldt and the department's psychologist, Daphne Matthews, the High Temperature Accelerant fires challenge their every resource. The fuel used in these deadly fires is as much a mystery as the identity of the arsonist who sets them. A Seattle fire marshal reveals to Boldt the ominous quotations sent to him before each of the fires. A twelve-year-old boy, caught in an ugly battle at home, unintentionally witnesses a drug deal that may not involve drugs at all, but ingredients far more volatile and lethal. Did the boy, in fact, see the arsonist's face? Can police rely on a twelve-year-old as a witness? Or is the fire marshal, his past suddenly in question, more involved than anyone wants to believe?
Publishers Weekly, 1996-12-16 A rag and a bone are literally all the Seattle PD has to work with after a violent fire consumes a home and its helpless female occupant, a divorced mother. When a second victim dies the same way, detective Lou Boldt (Chain of Evidence, etc.) and police psychologist Daphne Matthews (both Pearson regulars) begin the process of profiling a serial killer who uses rocket fuel to torch women because they resemble his mother. Elsewhere, a young boy named Ben, whose abusive stepfather has all but driven him into the street, has been befriended by a fraudulent "psychic" named Emily Richland, who hires Ben to scout her clients' vehicles while they're meeting with her. This task leads, in the novel's best scene, to Ben witnessing an exchange of cash for rocket fuel, a sighting that in turn eventually takes the police to their killer. Much of the plot teeters on the coincidental nature of all these connections, and on the unlikely bits of evidence used to corner the suspect (e.g., a ladder's impressions left on backyard grass). The intricate forensics that have driven so many of Pearson's novels are largely missing here, and secondary characters are sketched quickly and without depth. Even Boldt and Matthews have lost their shine, bickering a lot while insisting that they love one another, while Boldt's long-suffering wife, Liz, is discarded in cruel fashion. But no doubt the Boldt-Matthews team will be back, hopefully to solve cases less confusing and farfetched than this one. Major ad/promo; author tour. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Alibris, the Alibris logo, and Alibris.com are registered trademarks of Alibris, Inc.
Copyright in bibliographic data and cover images is held by Nielsen Book Services Limited, Baker & Taylor, Inc., or by their respective licensors, or by the publishers, or by their respective licensors. For personal use only. All rights reserved. All rights in images of books or other publications are reserved by the original copyright holders.