The Art of Deception

Version: Unabridged
Author: Ridley Pearson
Narrator: Ridley Pearson
Genres: Suspense, Police Stories
Publisher: Brilliance Audio
Published In: August 2002
# of Units: 10 CDs
Length: 12 hours
Ratings:
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Overview

Seattle police psychologist Daphne Mathews has her hands full with a pregnant, addicted, runaway teenager, a murder victim's brother whose strange behavior unnerves her, and a deputy sheriff she once treated who's now stalking her. She's frightened enough to move in with Detective John LaMoia, a development that doesn't exactly thrill Lou Boldt, their boss and Daphne'sex-lover. But Lou's too busy with his own cases to brood over John and Daphne: the recent disappearances of two local women, and the death of Billy Chen, the nephew of Mama Lu, an old friend and a powerful figure in Seattle's Chinese community, which appeared to be an accident but turns out to have been murder.The only thing the disappearances and murder have in common is location; all three victims were last seen in a part of downtown built over the Underground, a dark and dangerous warren of buildings abandoned after the fire that leveled Seattle more than a hundred years ago.
While Seattle's Underground has been the setting for several mysteries by other authors (Earl Emerson, J.A. Jance), Pearson makes the most of its creepy-crawly atmosphere in a gripping thriller whose solid plotting pulls all of Daphne's, LaMoia's, and Boldt's cases together. It also wisely reconfigures the personal relationships among the three central characters, which bodes well for their future adventures in this long-running series (Middle of Nowhere, The Pied Piper). --Jane Adams

Reviews (7)

The Art of Deception

Written by Anonymous on November 7th, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Well narrated, great characters, edge of your seat story!

This was Good

Written by Daparoye from Orange, CA on September 7th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

This was good. There were so many twists and turns and just when you think you have it figured out ... you're wrong. At first it was hard to keep the people straight in my head but once I got the characters it was smooth sailing. I really liked the main characters Matthews, LaMoya, and Boldt whose lives were very engaging. The ending was a "white-knuckle climax" just as stated. This one will keep you guessing.

The Art of Deception

Written by Donna DeNu-White on June 12th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 4/5

The book definitely kept you guessing and was very interesting with all it's twists and turns. Unfortunately, it comes in two parts and I have been waiting so long for the second half that I am forgetting the story line. Very unhappy with this service. The turn-around for the CD's in not worth the wait.

Art of Deception

Written by Joni Williamson on October 23rd, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I have liked Ridley Pearson since the first book of his that I read. I love the way he keeps you guessing, and keeps the action moving. I really enjoyed this book.

Art of Deception

Written by Anonymous on April 9th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 4/5

I could not get into the characters at first but then as I got into the 3rd disc the story line got better and I could identify the characters. I had to listen to some of the discs twice because it was distracting. I can't wait to hear the rest of the discs.

Art of Deception [uab]

Written by Anonymous from Victorville, CA on June 23rd, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Ridley Pearson is one heck of a story teller. He keeps you on the edge on every page. Great plot and pacing. Crescendo ending is breath taking. Highly recommend.

Art of Deception [uab]

Written by Summer on March 29th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This book kept me guessing until the very end. It is suspenseful and gory with a little romance. Just the kind of book I would recommend to everyone.

Author Details

Author Details

Pearson, Ridley

Crime may not always pay, but crime fiction always sells, and Ridley Pearson is one of the stars of the genre, the kind of writer whose royalties keep his family fed and cover a few extras as well (like, say, his own airplane). Yet Pearson didn't spend his youth dreaming of bestsellerdom. His first ambition was to be a musician, and he spent most of his twenties writing and performing folk-rock songs. The idea that he might become a novelist came later. As he explained in a Barnes and Noble interview, he was reading a Robert Ludlum novel when "a voice spoke up from inside me and said, 'I can do this.'" (Once he began writing and discovered firsthand the skill involved in crafting a cohesive thriller, he realized how much he had presumed!)

Pearson is renowned for fast-paced, thrill-a-minute suspense novels that include "a rare humanism and attention to detail" (Publishers Weekly). In a Greenwich Magazine interview he called his work "aerobic fiction, because I hope to get your heart pounding and get you turning pages." Entertainment Weekly dubbed him "the thinking person's Robert Ludlum."

As his fans know, Pearson works hard at nailing the details of forensic investigation and police procedure. In Undercurrents (the first novel in his Seattle-based Lou Boldt mystery series) his research was so thorough -- he consulted an expert in oceanography -- that the book helped convict an actual murderer. A Washington state prosecuting attorney happened to be reading it while working on a case similar to Pearson's fictional one: A woman's body had been found in a bay, and at first it appeared that she had committed suicide by jumping off a bridge. The oceanographer mentioned in Pearson's acknowledgements was called in as an expert witness to help prove that, based on tidal currents, the woman must have been dead before the time her husband claimed to have last seen her. Due largely to the expert testimony, the victim's husband was convicted of second-degree murder.

Of course, there's more to a Pearson novel than research. "Just what is it about Ridley Pearson that makes him the best damn thriller writer on the planet?" mused Bill Ott in BookList. "We've celebrated the forensic detail, the taut plotting, the multidimensional characters, and the screw-tightening suspense, but lots of fiction writers do all that. Here's a theory: Pearson is a master at manipulating opposites. His stories are forever jumping from high concept to small scale, from positive to negative charges, manipulating our emotions and minds with their polar hip-hopping."

When he's not writing, Pearson still makes music -- he's the bass guitarist for the Rock Bottom Remainders, an amateur rock band made up of professional writers including Stephen King, Dave Barry, Amy Tan, and Mitch Albom. (The group's motto, coined by Barry: "We play music as well as Metallica writes novels.")

It was while Pearson was in Miami to play with the Rock Bottom Remainders that he told Barry about his idea (actually, daughter Paige's idea) for a prequel to Peter Pan. The two authors had such a good time hashing out possibilities over breakfast that Pearson asked Barry to write the book with him. Published in 2004, their clever collaboration Peter and the Starcatchers became a huge bestseller, spawning two sequels (Peter and the Shadow Thieves in 2006 and Peter and the Secret of Rundoon in 2007) and a series of spin-off children's chapter books.

Even though Pearson thoroughly enjoys crafting juvenile fiction, his adult fans need not worry that he's abandoned his high-voltage crime novels. Indeed, he has said that writing gives him the same "adrenaline rush," no matter which audience he is targeting: Readers of all ages appreciate the imagination, suspense, and an impeccable eye for detail he brings to all his fiction.