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.
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A brutal attack that leaves a young woman paralyzed is horrifying enough, but when it happens to one of Seattle police lieutenant Lou Boldt's own officers, and all the suspects wear the same uniform as the victim, it's much worse. The SPD has been struck by a not-very-mysterious case of the "blue flu," a labor dispute that's turned cop against cop. Frustrated by the work slowdown in the department, Boldt is working almost on his own, except for forensic psychologist Daphne Matthews and detective John LaMoia, familiar characters in Pearson's popular series (The Pied Piper, The First Victim). Despite not-so-veiled warnings from some of his colleagues, Lou is determined to unmask Maria Sanchez's attacker, even if it turns out to be a fellow cop. And if that's not enough, the piano-playing lieutenant with a devoted wife--and a lingering yen for his coworker Daphne--has to deal with a crime wave that's increasing every day as the blue flu fells more of the force.
Investigating a string of robberies, Lou and Daphne follow the evidence to a telemarketing operation in a Colorado prison and question an inmate who may have used inside information to set up the robberies for his brother in Seattle to carry out. When the inmate dies, his brother goes after Lou, who isn't sure who to blame when violence hits too close to home--the brother or the striking policemen. Middle of Nowhere isn't Pearson's best outing: the plot is thinner than usual and the pacing somewhat slower, although the detailed explanation of how to catch a criminal using new telecommunications technology is fascinating. Still, Lou Boldt is an always interesting character whose inner conflicts are well drawn and whose essential decency makes up for a lot. His understated romance with Daphne deepens in every new adventure; the real mystery is what's going to happen to the two of them. --Jane AdamsAbout the Author:
Ridley Pearson is the author of more than two dozen novels, including the New York Times bestsellers Killer Summer, Killer View and Killer Weekend, the bestselling Lou Boldt crime series, and many books for young readers. He lives with his wife and two daughters, dividing his time between St. Louis, Missouri, and Hailey, Idaho.
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