Beyond Recognition

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In Ridley Pearson’s BEYOND RECOGNITION homicide Sergeant Lou Boldt is involved in a dreadful case of fires being set in homes where young single mothers are burned to death. The fires, however, are not of a regular nature, and the forensics labs show that a high temperature accelerant causes the flames to consume the house in a fast and dangerously explosive manner. A young boy is caught up in this web of peril. His friend and “wannabe” mom may have seen the perpetrator, which puts the boy in mortal danger.

Boldt’s close colleague, police psychologist Daphne Matthews, becomes involved, both personally and professionally, with Ben, the young boy. Ben needs help and protection from a brutal and abusive father. Daphne also makes contact with Emily, Ben’s friend, but does not trust her. Can Ben be protected from repercussions of what he has seen and perhaps what he knows?

Boldt has to set aside his weariness, his gnawing concern about his own wife and small children as he delves into these hideous fires and devastating murders.

Pearson has done a terrific job in researching areas of incendiary explosives, using the materials discovered in a readable and gripping manner for the reader. The psychological aspects of this novel are sound and well created. This is a mystery which will keep readers holding their breath until the final resolution is revealed.