cover image Undercurrents


Ridley Pearson. St. Martin's Press, $18.95 (386pp) ISBN 978-0-312-01841-2

A ghoulish series of murders of young women in the Seattle area has the city jittery with fear and the Seattle Homicide bureau exhaustively hunting down every wisp of a clue. Police Sergeant Lou Boldt, who heads up the investigation, has a special stake in finding the psychopathic murderer, dubbed the ""Cross Killer'' by the press. Boldt was involved in arresting a suspect in the case who was later gunned down in the courtroom, although now he appears to have been innocent of the crimes. The guilt from that death, the unraveling of his marriage and a new and disturbing twist to the escalating series of murders have Boldt totally obsessed., The new twist comes after a 10th body is found appearing to be the handiwork of the Cross Killer. To Boldt's fine-tuned eye, however, this latest murder may actually be the work of a copycat killeran imitation so good, in fact, that Boldt has the unnerving suspicion that this murderer may very well be somebody within the police department. The narrative unfolds in a series of deftly rendered cinematic scenes leading to a hair-raising denouement. Pierson (The Seizing of Yankee Green Mall) has the ability to create a credible protaganist and involve the reader in his dilemma by virtue of a neatly constructed plot. He has, in addition, an authentic feeling for police investigation and forensic medicine, and a remarkable insight and understanding of the motivations of the criminal mind. 50,000 first printing; $50,000 ad/promo; film rights to Martin Bergman Productions. (May)