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 ...
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. Lou, with the help of John La Moia, his replacement in homicide, and police psychologist Daphne Matthews, his closest friend in the department, 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.
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Publishers Weekly, 1998-07-13 A serial kidnapper called the Pied Piperæthe villain of Pearson's ingenious, fast-moving 11th thrilleræhas targeted Seattle, and newly promoted Lieutenant Lou Boldt (last seen in Beyond Recognition) is called in on the case by John LaMoia of the Seattle Crimes Against Persons unit. Boldt, whose wife, Liz, is undergoing chemotherapy, soon discovers that the Pied Piper has managed to target families, steal children and vanish from city after city seemingly at will, although the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent Gary Flemming, has been chasing the serial kidnapper across the country for months. And it looks like the same thing will happen in Seattle, especially when vital information is withheld by the FBI in a turf battle with the locals. But just as Boldt starts asking the right questions, the Pied Piper abducts his daughter, Sarah. It's twists like this that fuel the rest of the novel as Pearson tightens the screws on Boldt as he tries to find his daughter and prevent another kidnapping. The plot begins simply and becomes wonderfully complex, stretching from Seattle to New Orleans; while the lucky car accident that helps break the case wide open is somewhat facile, the work of Boldt and an expertly drawn supporting cast of characters will hold the attention of readers. As will be clear even to neophytes, Boldt's relationship with forensic psychologist Daphne Matthews, and the ongoing affair between two members of the task force, point to a lot of history between these characters, none of it confusing for first-timers, who may be tempted to pick up earlier novels to see whether they're all this good. $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club selections; author tour. Agent, Al Zuckerman. (Aug.) FYI: A mass market edition of Beyond Recognition will be published simultaneously.
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