Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Sun Valley crime caper to be revealed at library

Pearson to present ‘In Harm’s Way’

Express Staff Writer

Ridley Pearson will give a talk on his latest novel, “In Harm’s Way,” at The Community Library in Ketchum on Thursday, Sept. 23. Sun Valley crime caper to be revealed at library. Courtesy photo

Author Ridley Pearson has, yet again, churned out another thriller novel to add to his popular "Killer" series. His latest crime caper, "In Harm's Way," has been on bookstore shelves since early August.

"It's selling like gangbusters," Pearson said. "A couple of the other books made it to The New York Times best-seller list, but they didn't sell as well as this one."

Pearson has called Sun Valley home for more than 25 years, even though he spends a few months each year in St. Louis, Mo. He will present "In Harm's Way" at a free talk at The Community Library in Ketchum on Thursday, Sept. 23, at 6 p.m.

This summer, Pearson and his "Killer" series novels were the subject of an episode of National Public Radio's Morning Edition with Linda Wertheimer, NPRs senior national correspondent. Wertheimer traveled to Sun Valley to interview Pearson and learn about the setting for the "Killer" series.

Having written more than 25 crime-fiction novels, "In Harm's Way" is the latest installment to his "Killer" series. The series, which includes "Killer Weekend," "Killer View" and "Killer Summer," follows the crime-solving life of small-town Sheriff Walt Fleming, who has incredible instincts and a messy personal life. Based partly on the real-life Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling, a close friend of Pearson's, Fleming embodies all the traits of a lawman trying to keep his community safe.

"This is the book I wanted to write for the first book of the series," he said. "It's a different style. A lot of what you write is sometimes not a choice, it's what happens."

Pearson said the series has developed the characters of Fleming and his love interest, Fiona, to come to an almost finale in "In Harm's Way."

"I explore Fiona's past and bring Walt to a place of ugliness," he said. "And, I bring Seattle cop Lou Boldt in to cook the moment."

Fiona, Fleming and Boldt are repeated characters for Pearson, who has created a crime-and-suspect scenario that is a public concern and a personal complication for all characters involved, set in the spectacular and over-the-top setting of Sun Valley.

"Novels try to tell a single truth," Pearson said. "What I write is what is interesting about the human condition, and that we all keep secrets from everybody."

Pearson said he will take a break from the "Killer Series" and we will work on a new thriller based in China. Last year, he spent the year teaching creative writing to Chinese university students in Shanghai.

Sabina Dana Plasse:

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