Review

The Pied Piper

by Ridley Pearson

Read an Excerpt

Infants are being snatched from their cribs in a baby-selling
scam, leaving a string of grieving parents and perplexed police
departments from San Diego to Seattle.  A penny whistle
flute is left in each empty crib, leading the news media to dub the
kidnapper The Pied Piper.  The public is howling, the
politicians are nervous and parents and police are being hounded by
the press.  When the baby snatcher moves to Seattle and
steals a 5-month-old girl while her parents are out for dinner ---
leaving the sitter unconscious --- Police Detective Lou Boldt is
called in to consult and help solve the case.  

The FBI, on the case for six months to no avail, charges in to try
to command the investigation already underway by the local Task
Force, headed by Sgt. John LaMoia,  Boldt's replacement
in the detective division.   Boldt has been kicked
upstairs to head up the SPD Intelligence Division while his wife is
in the hospital for treatment of leukemia.  

A second baby disappears and her sitter is killed during the
kidnaping. Clues begin to fall into place and Boldt, forensic
pathologist Daphne Matthews and the Task Force feel certain they
are on the right track. Then the evidence dries up and they find
themselves against the wall. Someone is sabotaging the
investigation, but why? Is it a local cop, someone in the news
media, or is it a rogue FBI agent?

Ridley Pearson's popular series detective Lou Boldt is faced with
the greatest dilemma of his life when his own daughter is kidnaped
and he receives a terrifying ransom note --- a CD video of his
daughter with the threat that if he doesn't impede the
investigation, she will die.  He must decide whether to
sandbag the case or call in his cohorts LaMoia and Matthews to go
underground and not only foil the kidnapper, but also discover the
identity of the turncoat.  He must also confront his
seriously ill wife with the news that their youngest child is
missing.  

The action charges from Seattle to Portland to New Orleans in a
tightly-woven, roller coaster plot.  Pearson, not content
to simply weave a page-turning story, fleshes out his characters
and makes them come alive.  

The principle difference between Ridley Pearson's crime writing and
others of this genre is a lack of blood and gore often associated
with forensic thrillers.  This is my first encounter with
Lou Boldt and Daphne Matthews, despite their populating several
previous novels.  Established fans will enjoy this
suspenseful new work, and new readers will certainly search out
other titles by the author Clive Cussler describes as "one hell of
a writer."

Reviewed by Roz Shea on January 22, 2011

The Pied Piper
by Ridley Pearson

  • Publication Date: July 1, 1999
  • Genres: Fiction, Mystery
  • Mass Market Paperback: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • ISBN-10: 0786889551
  • ISBN-13: 9780786889556