This is the first in a new series for Pearson, whose cleverly interwoven plots and crisp, economical prose have graced more than a dozen thrillers, most notably the Lou Boldt-Daphne Matthews series. Pearson is the first American recipient of the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in detective fiction at Oxford University. The late, great creator of Philip Marlowe would be proud-both of the selection itself and of the recipient's latest work.
Bestseller Pearson's workmanlike thriller, the first in a new series, has all the right ingredients: a down-to-earth hero, sheriff Walt Fleming; a neatly focused venue in the form of a weekend business conference at an Idaho resort; and a sense of impending danger in the form of a threat on the life of Elizabeth Shaler, the New York State attorney general, who's about to announce her candidacy for U.S. president. Shaler knows what it's like to be a victim. Eight years before the "killer weekend" of the title, she was attacked in her Sun Valley, Idaho, vacation home and saved by Fleming, then a patrolman. Fleming takes the present threat very seriously, but Shaler's handlers and the event's organizer, billionaire Patrick Cutter, won't cancel her speech. Fleming doggedly struggles to identify the assassin, who cleverly (if incredibly) overcomes massive security to infiltrate the event, but the motive for the threat is never satisfactorily explained. Pearson (Parallel Lies) tries hard to give his characters depth using an inventive array of backstories, but only the capable Fleming really comes across. 10-city author tour. (July)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Poor Walt Fleming. As county sheriff, he's sweating over the death threat Attorney General Elizabeth Shaler receives after landing in Sun Valley to announce her presidential candidacy. With a national tour. Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Sun Valley's plucky sheriff must head off a hired killer and save the woman he rescued eight years ago. Young patrolman Walt Fleming's scrupulous attention to criminal detail once led him to save upwardly mobile attorney Elizabeth Shaler from a murderous intruder in her vacation home. That bit of heroism put Fleming in the sheriff's seat from which, nearly a decade later, he must oversee the security of Ms. Shaler, now America's Attorney General, as she prepares to announce her candidacy for president at one of those rich-guy conferences. Fleming is trying to figure out what happened to an assassin who should have been on a plane from Salt Lake, where the locals found a fresh corpse. We know early on that the hired killer was indeed on the plane and that he is Milav Trevalian, a fake blind guy whose guide dog died en route in the baggage compartment. Who would suspect a blind guy, right? Trevalian has usurped the identity of the guy he murdered back in Utah, and he has an elaborate and fairly high-tech plan to make it past the layers of private security and secret-service agents surrounding the Attorney General. Poor Fleming has to work cheek by jowl with the deputy who's been cuckolding him and who may have his eye on that sheriff's star. But he keeps his mind on the job. There's plenty to keep him busy, with two murders in 24 hours and some concurrent cruelty to animals. Hyperactive and fairly tense fare from Pearson (Cut and Run, 2005, etc.). Agent: Al Zuckerman/Writers House LLC