Cover image for Middle of nowhere
Middle of nowhere
Pearson, Ridley.
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Publication Information:
Grand Haven, MI : Brilliance, [2000]

Physical Description:
7 audiocassettes (10 hrs.) : analog.
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Sound Cassette

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The "blue flu" has struck the Seattle Police Force and the majority of officers are on an unofficial strike. Overworked and understaffed, detective Lou Boldt is committed to remaining on the job no matter what. But when a string of robberies and the brutal near-murder of a female cop descend on the city, the pressure of being a nearly one-man operation threatens Boldt's psyche and his marriage. With the help of Daphne Matthews and Sergeant John LaMoia, Boldt is able to make slow progress cracking the case and their work leads them to a Denver convict and his brother, a hardened criminal. Boldt and Daphne come to realize that the robberies, assaults, and strike are somehow connected - and that his life is now in very real danger. Filled with the fast-paced, spiraling action that has made his novels "irresistible" (The Los Angeles Times Book Review) works of suspense that "grip the imagination" (People), this offering from "the best thriller writer alive" (Booklist) is certain to win Ridley Pearson an even more enthusiastic audience.

Author Notes

Ridley Pearson was born in Glen Cove, New York on March 13, 1953. He was educated at Kansas University and Brown University. In the early 1970s, he was a musician and songwriter for a rock band, eventually writing more than 300 songs and the score for an award-winning documentary.

Having honed his craft writing scripts for television shows such as Columbo and Quincy, he turned to writing and published his first novel, Never Look Back, in 1985. His novels include The Angel Maker, No Witnesses, and Beyond Recognition. He has also published many children's books including The Kingdom Keepers series and a series of prequels to Peter Pan written with Dave Barry. His book Peter and the Starcatchers, written with Dave Barry, was adapted into a Broadway play that won 5 Tony Awards. He received the Raymond Chandler Fulbright Fellowship at Oxford University in 1990 and the Missouri Writer Hall of Fame Quill Award Winner in 2013.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Just what is it about Ridley Pearson that makes him the best damn thriller writer on the planet? We've celebrated the forensic detail, the taut plotting, the multidimensional characters, and the screw-tightening suspense, but lots of fiction writers do all that. Here's a theory: Pearson is a master at manipulating opposites. His stories are forever jumping from high concept to small scale, from positive to negative charges, manipulating our emotions and minds with their polar hip-hopping. Take this latest example, in which Seattle police lieutenant Boldt and forensic psychologist Matthews must contend not only with a string of robbery assaults--one victim of which is a fellow officer--but also with the effects of a "blue flu" that has left the department seriously understaffed and riddled with internal conflict. We jump from marvelously detailed micromoments of forensic discovery--using triangulation to track the location of a cell-phone--to the high drama of a climactic shoot-out worthy of Peckinpah; from Boldt's ongoing, multileveled marital crisis, in which a raised eyebrow or a ringing telephone carry Jamesian levels of meaning, to a spectacularly choreographed chase scene in which a suspect is tracked across Seattle, on and off buses, in and out of shopping malls. This bipolar narration works not only between scenes but almost simultaneously within the same scene. Take the interchanges between Boldt and Matthews--utterly professional one moment, erotically charged the next, and with every moment holding the potential to become its opposite. That's the key, really: in a Pearson novel, there is no terra firma. He moves the ground from under his readers' feet more skillfully and more believably than any of his fellow writers. One of the reasons we like to read thrillers, after all, is that the terra in our own lives is altogether too firma. Pearson takes us to a very different place, but it is still a recognizably real place in which flesh-and-blood characters live lives that, at one pole at least, are quite like ours. But not for long. --Bill Ott

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Blue Flu" is running through the ranks of the Seattle Police Department, and life's not easy for the few cops who've chosen to buck the union and remain on the job. Among them is Lt. Lou Boldt, the relentless crime fighter and star of Pearson's outstanding series, whose loyalty to law and order tends to suck him into more than his share of life's complications. With 90% of the force calling in sick, Boldt has to shoulder an enormous caseload, yet a strange series of burglaries worries him the most. During one of the hits, a strikebreaking police officer was savagely attacked, her neck broken. When two other officers are mauled in similar fashion, and Boldt himself is badly beaten, a sickening prospect emerges: the cops who are on strike are retaliating against the cops still on the job. Yet it may not be that simple. Some of the crimes could be the handiwork of Bryce Abbot Flek, a crafty career criminal who has devised an ingenious method of coaxing people out of the homes he wants to burglarize. Along the way, Flek has also developed a searing hatred for Boldt, whom he holds responsible for the death of his brother, who was killed in prison shortly after a visit from the lieutenant. Pearson (The Pied Piper) never quite masters the intersection of these two disparate story lines, yet they eventually converge in a well-devised finale. This seventh Boldt thriller packs all of Pearson's usual wallop: it boasts simmering suspense, a plot with a level of detail that comes only from painstaking research, and dynamic chemistry between Boldt and his colleagues and family. Somewhat less effective is Pearson's latest stab at working current events into his books. His detailed explanation of how cell phones can be effective police tools fails to captivate and slows the story's otherwise torrid pace. 125,000 first printing; $300,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club and Mystery Guild selections; audio rights to Brilliance; 11-city author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Middle of Nowhere is the seventh and current installment in the Lou Boldt/Daphne Matthews police procedural series. Boldt, a homicide detective, is investigating a string of burglaries and assaults because a labor dispute has much of the Seattle Police Department at home with the "blue flu." The story weaves skillfully between the nuts and bolts of the forensic investigations, the possibilities of internal police corruption related to the "sick-out," and the characters' personal relationships, developing from previous books. Authors are not, of course, automatically skilled at reading their own work for audiobook programs, but Pearson does the job extremely well; he clearly knows and likes his characters: he succeeds in finding their voices and conveying their personalities, as well as pacing the action and plot. One of the best in this series; highly recommended for mystery collections.DKristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.