Friday, July 4, 2008

Killer Weekend - Ridley Pearson

I strive to read more and more authors that I have never read before, and what makes me deliriously happy is that even though I do do that, there are still so many more out there to find and explore. I don't foresee myself ever running out of new material to check out. Ridley Pearson is a new one for me, although I know he's been around awhile. I started with Killer Weekend.

Walt Fleming is the county sheriff when Liz Shaler returns to Sun Valley to announce her candidacy for president at a world famous communications conference. But someone else has other plans for Liz Shaler. The "someone else" has hired a hit man to take her out of the running as soon as she puts herself in it. Walt has to scurry to save her since the hired security and the Secret Service think Walt's instincts on the matter are unfounded and over protective - they also don't want to be "outdone" by the local sheriff. As far as they are concerned, he's out of his jurisdiction.

I listened to this book on audio, narrated by Christopher Lane. I've listened to other work done by Lane and he does a fair job.

The book overall was an entertaining story to listen to on the way to and from work, but there was little to make it be "great." The plot seemed to contain some extra "stuff" that didn't need to be included. The whole affair business with Walt's soon-to-be ex-wife and his deputy seemed to go nowhere and do nothing to advance the plot, for example. Another example would be the death of Walt's brother. It seems to be brought up every now and then but it goes nowhere and really does nothing, except maybe explain the behavior of Walt's nephew which also adds to the plethora of extra "stuff."

I also had a little difficulty with all the cruelty to animals in this book. I'm not naive enough to think it doesn't happen...I'm very aware of all the cruelty in life to animals. I just prefer not to read about it in my fiction works as well. The death of the dog on the plane could have easily been avoided, the insinuation that the wild cougar would be put down could have been left out, and the shooting of the cat could have definitely been some other event entirely. These two items would not have changed the plot one iota.

The characters overall were o.k. Nothing really made any of them stand out to me as especially GREAT characters. Walt was likable and a good protagonist. Danny Cutter was actually an interesting character, but he didn't end up with much development. My favorite character was probably Fiona. She was a strong-willed woman who did things with the best of intentions, even though her intentions didn't always turn out great. I loved that she was as diverse as leading a fishing group one day and taking photos at a crime scene the next. The biggest disappointment for me was Liz Shaler, especially after the discussion between her and her assistant. She didn't seem to believe in what she was doing; she was just playing the politics game. But at other points, Pearson seemed to be portraying her as above all that. I didn't like that inconsistency, especially in a female character who was supposed to be running for president.

Overall it was a decent book, and I'll probably check into other Pearson material at a later time. Maybe some of this other books have more WOW to them.


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