The Pied Piper

Version: Unabridged (Abridged version available here)
Author: Ridley Pearson
Narrator: Dale Hull
Genres: Fiction & Literature, Suspense, Thriller
Publisher: Brilliance Corporation
Published In: May 2010
# of Units: 13 CDs
Length: 15 hours, 39 minutes
Ratings:
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Overview

In Seattle, they're calling him The Pied Piper - someone who comes in the night and takes children away. To newly promoted police lieutenant Lou Boldt and police psychologist Daphne Matthews, it's clear this isn't about a single lunatic or random kidnappings: these crimes are well orchestrated, well executed, and, most chilling of all, occurring in cities across the country.
Boldt is the first to establish that behind the kidnappings is a well-financed and brilliantly planned network, and his investigation soon attracts the FBI, which also brings heavy manpower - and political competition - that Boldt fears could slow them down until the trail runs dry. As long as the kidnappings continue, there may be a chance of getting the children back alive. Or is it already too late?

Reviews (1)

Resisting the Flute

Written by Skyler from Weed, CA on November 16th, 2012

  • Book Rating: 3/5

I am not sure how this book got in my queue -- as I've never heard of this author -- but I listened to it anyway. It was somewhat enjoyable as the author covered a crime not typically written about -- kidnapping of babies. Maybe I've read/listened to too many crime/mystery novels, because I heard the piper's tune, but resisted being totally hooked by this book.

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.