The Pied Piper

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

In cities up and down the West Coast a kidnapper dubbed the Pied Piper is stealing infants, leaving a toy whistle at the scene of each crime. When the Pied Piper strikes in Seattle, detective Lou Boldt tears himself away from his troubled family—a wife in chemotherapy and their two children—to join a task force aimed at capturing the perpetrator.

Working with Boldt are colleagues John LaMoia and forensic psychologist (and old flame) Daphne Matthews. Unbeknownst to Boldt, however, LaMoia is compromised through his relationship with an ambitious and manipulative superior. Further complicating the already difficult situation is FBI agent Gary Flemming, whose personal agenda seems to extend far beyond merely running the show. And when Boldt’s daughter Sarah is kidnapped, he is convinced that someone inside the task force is sabotaging the effort. Forced to undertake a parallel but secret investigation, Boldt finds himself operating against his own department.

Ridley Pearson has established a reputation among readers for dramatizing cutting-edge police investigative techniques. In THE PIED PIPER he moves beyond that specialty with a long, complex thriller as intent on probing the psychology of its protagonist as it is in exploiting the latest forensic gadgetry. Best of all, Pearson tells an agonizingly suspenseful story that boomerangs from the Northwest to New Orleans and back again. Building upon shadowy reports of abduction/adoption rings he originally encountered on the Internet, he has crafted his most gripping novel yet.