Sun Valley, Idaho, eight years ago, Walt Fleming was a rookie
patrolman riding a bike as part of the town's "pedal patrol." While
on duty one night he observed a loose screen at the home of
part-time resident Elizabeth Shaler, a rising star on the political
scene, and decided to investigate. While saving Shaler from a
knife-wielding intruder, Fleming was stabbed.
Now Fleming serves as Blaine County Sheriff, and New York State
Attorney General Shaler is returning to Sun Valley to deliver a
keynote address at a high-profile media conference sponsored by
billionaire Patrick Cutter. Rumor has it that Shaler will announce
her candidacy for president during the event.
With the media spotlight glaring on Sun Valley, the naturally
beautiful landscape has been transformed into a security and
logistical nightmare. The sheriff, who still bears the scar from
the knife attack, strives to assert his authority and maintain a
presence among intelligence and security officials, who include the
Secret Service, the FBI and heads of private security agencies.
Because of Fleming's heroic and life-saving actions in the past,
Shaler seeks his advice, much to the chagrin of power-seekers who
attempt to undermine the sheriff's authority.
Hours before the conference, intelligence agencies intercept
information indicating a credible threat against the Attorney
General. Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, Utah, a mutilated body is
found in a bag, which has been stuffed inside a suspended ceiling
in an airport construction site. The body is still warm, and the
murder has the markings of a professional hit. But because of the
condition of the corpse, accurate identification of the "John Doe"
is not readily determined.
The first flight departing Salt Lake City after the grizzly
discovery is bound for Sun Valley. The Salt Lake Transportation
Security Administration director calls Fleming, who suspects that
the murderer has assumed the identity of the victim. Fleming also
believes that the murder in Salt Lake and the threat against Shaler
are connected. Fleming speeds to the airport, where he and Deputy
Tom Brandon observe the deplaning passengers, hoping to apprehend
anyone who acts suspiciously.
As last-minute preparations for the conference fall into place,
corporate executives, billionaires, radical protestors --- and even
hungry cougars --- converge on Sun Valley, where they compete for
power and territory. Sightings of the graceful yet deadly cougars,
called "ghosts of the Rockies," have been reported nearby. A
suspected killing attributed to a cougar attack has Fleming
operating on strong coffee and little sleep.
The sheriff must also deal with his own troubles on the home front.
Adding to his distress are his pending divorce, some painful
memories that resurface after his father's unexpected return, a
gut-wrenching betrayal and his nephew's scrapes with the law.
With the clock ticking, an adroit and ruthless killer puts the
finishing touches on a bold and murderous plot. As the hours wind
down into minutes, Fleming presses on to try to apprehend the
assassin, stop the attack and save the Attorney General.
KILLER WEEKEND is an intelligent, tightly-written story with short
chapters, crisp dialogue and a refreshing twist. Ridley Pearson's
latest novel is a high-altitude, high-octane thriller about murder,
greed, betrayal and revenge, but it also includes a welcome shot of
redemption, sacrifice and forgiveness.
Reviewed by Donna Volkenannt (firstname.lastname@example.org) on January 22, 2011