Bestseller Pearson makes the most of the theme of the lawman with a bunch of personal problems in his engaging third crime thriller to feature Walt Fleming, the likable sheriff of Sun Valley, Idaho (after Killer View). Walt's ex-wife is living with one of his deputies; Walt's teenage nephew, Kevin, is grappling with his father's suicide; and Walt's trying to raise twin daughters on his own. Meanwhile, a big wine convention has come to Sun Valley, and three bottles owned by Thomas Jefferson and given to John Adams are sure to bring big bucks at auction, unless a gang of super thieves, which has hit town with an elaborate scheme in which Kevin becomes unwittingly involved, steals the bottles first. But nothing is as it seems, and even the savviest readers will be fooled as Pearson drags poor Walt and friends through a series of clever twists and turns in this fast-paced nail-biter. Author tour. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Sheriff Walt Fleming returns in this enjoyable third tale (after Killer View and Killer Weekend) of rich people at play in the affluent resort town of Sun Valley. At an exclusive wine festival, the star attractions are three old bottles allegedly presented to John Adams by Thomas Jefferson. Fleming is a good guy, but he has problems; a messy divorce is on the agenda, his kids and nephew need help, and he has a love-hate relationship with his domineering father. He's attracted to his crime photographer, who has problems of her own, and, oh yes, somebody wants to steal the rare wine, which may or may not be worth millions. Also, the wine may be counterfeit. Or is the wine theft a decoy for something more sinister and far-reaching? Fleming has to resolve all this as well as rescue his nephew and his maybe-girlfriend from kidnappers. VERDICT Despite enormous plot holes, this latest in the best-selling series is entertaining and great fun for anyone who likes a well-written thriller. [See Prepub Alert, LJ3/1/09.]Robert Conroy, Warren, MI
Sun Valley Sheriff Walt Fleming (Killer Weekend, 2008, etc.) must guard bottles of wine that once belonged to John Adams-or did they?During one of those periods when he felt kindly toward his political rival, Thomas Jefferson supposedly presented Adams with three excellent bottles of wine. It's a legend latter-day connoisseurs have come to cherish, and at Sun Valley's very-well-attended annual auction, $1 million is routinely predicted as the going price for the storied bottles. At least one skeptical voice has been raised, but no matter how scholarly her research appears to be, few are ready to give credence to such an unknown as young Janet Finch. Whether or not the bottles and their story are authentic, Fleming's job is to keep them out of covetous hands, especially those of the master criminal skulking in the vicinity. To Christopher Cantell, the harder the heist, the more irresistible the challenge, and while understated Walt would never compare himself to Sherlock Holmes (at least not aloud), he knows that he's a qualified player. And so the game's afoot, complete with a dizzying profusion of feints and gambits. Readers may well be confused, but never bored. Cheers!A throwback to the time when plotting and pacing were the detective story's sine qua non; Pearson shows once again how it's done.