Fortunately, Ridley Pearson only makes the reader sweat through four days of tension in his latest thriller, Killer Weekend. Any more days might have caused too much stress for the reader, and for Pearson's Sheriff Walt Fleming.
Fleming was only a rookie cop when he saved Elizabeth Shaler from a knife-wielding intruder. Now, he's the sheriff in Sun Valley, Idaho and Liz Shaler is New York attorney general, poised to announce her candidacy for President. So, for the days leading up to a weekend conference attended by the rich and famous, and the weekend itself, Fleming has to put aside his personal problems, and deal with Secret Service and other security forces jockeying for control. His biggest worry? A killer in the Salt Lake City airport seems to be headed straight for Sun Valley, and no one has a clue to his identity.
Pearson elects to reveal the identity of the killer, but that just adds to the suspense as the reader follows him step-by-step. He builds tension à la Patterson, with short crisp chapters that move faster and faster, culminating in a tricky confrontation.
If the book has a weakness, it's the cruelty to animals. It's very appropriate, considering the characters involved, however animal lovers will not want to pick up this book.
Sheriff Walt Fleming is not Superman. He has family problems, everything from a father he hates to a troubled teenage nephew. He struggles with his divorce. Perhaps one of Pearson's strongest scenes is the final scene of the book when Fleming shows just how human he is.
On so many levels, this book's title works. It's the the story of a killer's weekend. It's a killer of a weekend for so many people involved, especially Walt Fleming. And, if you pick up Killer Weekend, prepare to lose any interest you had in anything else. It will kill your plans as well.
I have been a library manager/administrator for over 30 years, in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, and, now, Indiana. Winner of the 2011 Arizona Library Association Outstanding Library Service Award. I am a contributing Book Reviewer for Library Journal, Mystery Readers Journal, ReadertoReader.com and VibrantNation.com. Winner of the 2009 and 2010 Spinetingler Awards for Best Reviewer. First Fan Guest of Honor for Desert Sleuths Chapter of Sisters in Crime, Write Now! Conference.
It's an honor to be asked to review books, and I'm grateful to all the publishers, publicists, and authors who send me books. Thank you. Reviews will appear on my blog if I've had a chance to read, and finish, the book. If I do not finish a book, I won't review it, and I will not respond to emails asking when, or if, I'll be reviewing a book.
My reviews are only my opinion, and do not reflect the views of the Evansville Vanderburgh Public Library.
I will not review self-published books, and, at the present time, do not accept books in e-book format.
My Oct. 19, 2009 blog provides full disclosure that I only receive review copies of books, with no other compensation. All review copies are marked as such. If there any any questions, please feel free to contact me.