Beyond Recognitionby Ridley Pearson, Dale Hull
A strange series of fires is raging in Seattle - white-hot fires that burn so cleanly even the ash is consumed, along with all traces of the fires' victims. Brilliant forensic investigator Police Sergeant Lou Boldt is back, battling the mysterious arsonist. He is also keeping his eye on the Fire Warden, who seems to be a little too close to the heat.
But police psychologist Daphne Matthews is more concerned about the victims of the blazes, especially the smart and wily ten-year-old boy who had a terrifying encounter with a disfigured, badly burned man.
Beyond Recognition is the story of a deadly, taunting game of cat and mouse, where the stakes are raised to a burning point that might spell disaster for Boldt - and the city of Seattle.
The fires are so hotone of them shoots a pillar of flame two miles into the airthat they destroy all physical evidence at ground zero, including the victims (the first is identified by a single bone). So The Scholar, so dubbed because he sends fire inspector Steven Garman a quotation from Nietzsche or Lao-tzu before carefully setting each fire, isn't leaving any traceexcept one: a series of visits to low-rent psychic Emily Richland to ask whether such-and-such a date is propitious. Emily duly notifies the cops, but, meantime, her unofficial helper, 12- year-old Ben Santori, has already gotten into the act, following her sinister visitor and putting himself squarely in harm's way. At the same time, Boldt and Matthews have managed not only to compile a group portrait of the victimsthey're all dark-haired divorcées with children between eight and ten who were spared from the fires that claimed their mothersbut to cobble together enough information about the arsonist's modus operandi to give them a prime suspect. Already on the ropes because of his wife Liz's suspicious behavior, Boldt struggles to put together a case, but not in time to save his family from being driven from their home. Now a point for the diabolically clever Scholar, now a point for the painstaking Boldt and Matthewsuntil they know enough to stake out a decoy in a hundred-page finale that'll give your heart more exercise than a ten-mile run.
Pearson's dazzling forensics will hook his usual fans. But it's the richness of incident and the control of pace that'll keep them dangling as he switches gears each time you think the story's got to be winding down in this exhilarating entertainment.
Meet the Author
Ridley Pearson is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Killer Summer, Killer View and Killer Weekend, the bestselling Lou Boldt crime series, and many books for young readers. He lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing his time between St. Louis, Missouri, and Hailey, Idaho.
- St. Louis, Missouri
- Date of Birth:
- March 13, 1953
- Place of Birth:
- Glen Cove, New York
- Kansas University, B.A., Brown University
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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Good story line with great character development
I have just about all of R. Pearsons work to date and this is one of his best. Gripping story that makes very hard to put down. I liked the way it kept you guessing in this book and the subltle twists that kept coming. It cant remember a boring part of the book. I would recommend this title to anyone. Ridley is a master in this genre.
1st PEARSON NOVEL I ever read ,then I went through everything else he wrote all great!!!
For me, the storyline was fine but there were too many overly long passages. Worse, it seemed like all the primary characters, were dealing with relentlessly depressing situations - a child with a glass eye and an abusive alcoholic step-father, a police sergeant with apparent domestic problems, his unshakeable crush on a female police psychologist who is about to enter into marriage with someone she does not love, and a disfigured arsonist who is targeting woman of a certain profile. There aren't many light-hearted moments.
Pearson's Lou Boldt novels never disappoint me. BEYOND RECOGNITION is an intricate thriller that is a must for staunch crime fiction fans.