BEYOND RECOGNITION: A strange series of fires is raging in Seattle—white-hot fires that burn so cleanly even the ash is consumed, along with all traces of the fires' victims. Brilliant forensic investigator Police Sergeant Lou Boldt is back, battling the mysterious arsonist. He is also keeping his eye on the Fire Warden, who seems to be a little too close to the heat.
But police psychologist Daphne Matthews is more concerned about the victims of the blazes, especially the smart and wily ten-year-old boy who had a terrifying encounter with a disfigured, badly burned man.
THE PIED PIPER: In Seattle, they're calling him The Pied Piper—someone who comes in the night and takes children away. To newly promoted police lieutenant Lou Boldt and police psychologist Daphne Matthews, it's clear this isn't about a single lunatic or random kidnappings: these crimes are well orchestrated, well executed, and, most chilling of all, occurring in cities across the country.
Boldt is the first to establish that behind the kidnappings is a well-financed and brilliantly planned network, and his investigation soon attracts the FBI, which also brings heavy manpower—and political competition—that Boldt fears could slow them down until the trail runs dry. As long as the kidnappings continue, there may be a chance of getting the children back alive. Or is it already too late?
THE FIRST VICTIM: 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 Immigration and Naturalization Service.
About the Author
Whether it's crime thrillers for adults or adventure stories for young readers, bestselling author Ridley Pearson brings imagination, suspense, and an impeccable eye for detail to all his award-winning fiction. His books for adults include the Risk Agent series, featuring security operative John Knox and former Chinese spy Grace Chu, and other standalone novels like Cut and Run. For children, Pearson's most popular series are the fantasy-adventure Disney's Kingdom Keeper books and spin-off titles. With humorist and friend Dave Barry, he has co-written a prequel series to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, Peter and the Starcatchers; the first of the series was made into the musical play, Peter and the Starcatcher.
Hometown:St. Louis, Missouri
Date of Birth:March 13, 1953
Place of Birth:Glen Cove, New York
Education:Kansas University, B.A., Brown University