But it’s a whole lot more complicated than that. The Immigration and Naturalization Service is involved; a powerful local Chinese power broker floats on the periphery; a television reporter goes underground and disappears; and her half-sister—the star news anchor—takes it on herself to pursue her own investigation. Corruption is everywhere. This effort treats Pearson’s fans to another engaging story and another visit with their favorite detective.
The First Victim (Boldt and Matthews Series #6)by Ridley Pearson, Scott Rosema (Read by)
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Lou Boldt is back and entering dark new territory in Ridley Pearson's gripping new thriller. A shipping container washed ashore leads Seattle television news anchor Stevie McNeal and reporter friend Melissa on the trail of a scam involving the importation of illegal aliens. A career stepping-stone for McNeal, the investigation puts her at cross-purposes with the Seattle Police Department's Lou Boldt and Sergeant John LaMoia.
When Melissa disappears, perhaps at the hands of the Chinese Triad, McNeal turns from foe to ally and teams up with the detectives on an investigation that takes them from Seattle's docklands to the offices of the INS.
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
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It came off the northern Pacific as if driven by a witch's broom: the remnants of typhoon Mary that had killed 117 in Japan, left six thousand homeless in Siberia and flooded the western Aleutians for the first time in sixty-two years. In the ocean's open waters it drove seas to thirty feet with its eighty-five mile-per-hour winds, dumping three inches of rain an hour and barreling toward Victoria Island, the San Juan Islands, and the largest estuary in North America, known on charts as Puget Sound. It headed for the city of Seattle as if it had picked its course off a map and caused the biggest rush on plywood and chipboard that King County had ever seen.
In the partially protected waters west of Elliott Bay, one nautical mile beyond the established shipping lanes that fed Seattle's East Waterway dock lands, the pitch black night was punctured by the harsh illumination of shipboard spotlights that in clear weather might have reached a half mile or more, but failed to stretch even a hundred yards in the dismal deluge that had once been Mary. The freighter, Visage, a container ship, rose and sank in fifteen-foot swells, rain drumming decks stacked forty feet high with freight cars. The Asian crew followed the orders of the boatswain who commanded a battery-operated megaphone from an upper deck, instructing them to make-ready.
The huge ship pitched and yawed and rolled port to starboard, threatening to dump its top-heavy cargo. The crew had been captured inside Mary's wrath for the last three hundred nautical miles, three impossibly long days and nights, rarely able to sleep, some unable to eat, at work all hours attempting to keep the hundreds of containers on deck secure. Early on in the blow a container had broken loose, sliding across the steel deck like a seven ton brick and crushing the leg of an unsuspecting crewman to where the ship's medic could find no bones to set, only soft flesh where the shin and knee had once been. Three of the crew had tied themselves to the port rail where they vomited green bile with each and every rise and fall. Only four crewmen were available for the transfer that was to come.
The neighboring tug and barge, seventy feet and closing off Visage's starboard bow, were marked by dim red and green running lights, a single white spot off the tug's bow, and a pair of bright Halogens off the tower of the telescoping yellow crane chained down to the center of the barge. The tug and barge disappeared into a trough, rising and reappearing a moment later, only to sink once again into the foam, the crane as ominous and unnatural as an oil platform. The storm prevented any hope of docking the barge to the freighter, but both captains had enough motivation in their wallets to attempt the transfer nonetheless. Like two ends of a seesaw, the vessels rose and fell alternately, the crane's tower pointing like a broken finger into the tar black clouds. Radio communication was forbidden. Signal lights flashed, the only contact between the two captains.
Finally, in a dangerous and daring dance, the two vessels drew close enough for the crane's slip harness to be snagged by the freighter's crew on an upward pendulum swing. Briefly, the barge and container ship were connected by this dangling steel cable, but it broke loose of their hold, the barge lost to another swell. It was twenty minutes before the crane's steel cable was finally captured for a second time.
The vessels bobbed alongside one another, the slack in the crane's cable going dangerously tight with each alternating swell. The exhausted deckhands of the Visage worked furiously to be rid of this container, to a member wondering if it was worth the bonus pay they had been promised.
When the moment of exchange arrived, the crane made tight the cable and the deckhands cut loose the container's binding chains while lines secured to winches on both vessels attempted to steady the dangling container, for if it swung too violently it was likely to capsize the barge. As the first of these four lines snapped, the container, dangling precipitously over the void of open foam between barge and ship shifted awkwardly, suddenly at a precipitous and treacherous angle. Above the deafening whistle of wind and the lion's roar of the sea, came the muted but unmistakable cry of human voices from within this container.
A crewman crossed himself and looked toward heaven.
A second line snapped. A third.
The container swung and slipped out of the harness, splashing into the water. It submerged and then bobbed back up like a whale surfacing.
The captain of the Visage barked his orders. The mighty twin screws spun to life, the gigantic ship lumbering to port and away from the barge and crane in an effort to keep the container from being crushed between the vessels.
The spotlights on the freighter were ordered extinguished as the ship was consumed by the storm, lumbering back toward the shipping lane where it belonged.
Behind it, in its wake, the abandoned container, singing of human screams and cries of terror, rode the mounting swells into darkness, lost to the wash of the waves and the whim of the wind.
Copyright © 1999 by Ridley Pearson
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Meet the Author
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.
- 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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I have read several of Pearson's novels and truly thought this one was the best. I could not put it down!!!