Chain of Evidence

( 1 )

Overview

Can Detective Joe "Dart" Dartelli uncover the truth? Or, more importantly, does he dare?

Detective Joe "Dart" Dartelli made one critical mistake in his police career: He chose to ignore a piece of evidence in a case labeled a suicide that might have been a murder. The dead man was himself a vicious woman-killer who more than deserved his fate, but that ignored evidence pointed to Dart's former mentor, the brilliant forensic specialist Walter ...

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Chain of Evidence

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Overview

Can Detective Joe "Dart" Dartelli uncover the truth? Or, more importantly, does he dare?

Detective Joe "Dart" Dartelli made one critical mistake in his police career: He chose to ignore a piece of evidence in a case labeled a suicide that might have been a murder. The dead man was himself a vicious woman-killer who more than deserved his fate, but that ignored evidence pointed to Dart's former mentor, the brilliant forensic specialist Walter Zeller.

Now another suicide victim turns up—the body of a wife-beater—and the evidence clearly shows that the death was self-inflicted . . . or does it? Zeller was the best at reading and understanding the forensics of a crime scene—could he have manipulated it? Worse, why has Zeller disappeared?

It terrifies Dart to suspect that Zeller is in fact on some twisted vigilante crusade, but Dart also knows that if he's right, only he can stop it.

Chain of Evidence is the intense, heart-pounding story of student versus mentor in the playing field of forensic investigation. Ridley Pearson links computer technology, psychological intensity, and complex questions of police and human ethics to create this breathlessly paced, unputdownable thriller.

A mesmerizing thriller by the author of No Witnesses. Hartford, Connecticut, just might have a serial killer on its streets: a rare chemical has shown up in the blood of several corpses. It's a case for Sergeant Joe "Dart" Dartelli, a genius in the field of forensic medicine, who discovers that the killings may be linked to his old mentor.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786889082
  • Publisher: Hyperion
  • Publication date: 2/28/1997
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 512
  • Sales rank: 493,832
  • Product dimensions: 4.12 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 1.25 (d)

Meet the Author

Ridley Pearson

Ridley Pearson is the award-winning co-author, along with Dave Barry, of Peter and the Starcatchers, Peter and the Shadow Thieves, Peter and the Secret of Rundoon, Peter and the Sword of Mercy, Escape From the Carnivale, Cave of the Dark Wind, Blood Tide, and Science Fair. In addition to Kingdom Keepers: Disney After Dark, Kingdom Keepers: Disney at Dawn, Kingdom Keepers: Disney in Shadow, and Kingdom Keepers: Power Play, he is also the author of the young adult thrillers Steel Trapp: The Challenge and Steel Trapp: The Academy. He has written more than twenty best-selling crime novels, including Killer View and Killer Weekend. He was the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Oxford University.

Biography

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 acknowledgments 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.

Good To Know

Pearson calls himself a workaholic, "not so much by desire as out of necessity," since he reserves a lot of time for his two young daughters. His hobbies, which he now defines as "something you once did and no longer have the time for," include recreational tree climbing, fly-fishing, backyard volleyball, snow boarding—and, of course, bass guitar in his rock band. An avid reviser, Pearson says, "I'm said to have a nervous, worrying disposition, but rarely feel I live up to that description—perhaps internal calm is expressed as external nervosa."

Pearson loves to travel, especially to southern France, with wife Marcelle and second child Storey, who is adopted from China. We're certain to do a good deal of international travel in the years to come. He also attends local symphony and theater. But his "favorite avocation is to spend an evening around our dining table with two or three other couples. This, I feel, is where many of the world's ills are solved, and many souls restored. Mine, especially."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Wendell McCall; Joyce Reardon
    2. Hometown:
      St. Louis, Missouri
    1. Date of Birth:
      March 13, 1953
    2. Place of Birth:
      Glen Cove, New York
    1. Education:
      Kansas University, B.A., Brown University
    2. Website:

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 6, 2000

    HE'S GREAT!!

    My second Ridley Pearson. Love an intelligent author. Grisham is too easy any more. Other favs Michael Connelly and Stephen White. I just love finding a new author who has written more than one book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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