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Paperback Killer Summer (Walt Fleming Novel) Book

ISBN: 051514813X

ISBN13: 9780515148138

Killer Summer (Walt Fleming Novel)

(Book #3 in the Walt Fleming Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

It begins as a heist in Sun Valley, Idaho-until the local sheriff discovers a more sinister underlying plan. The crime gets more personal. The stakes are raised, and nothing is as it seems.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

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A heist novel with a twist

Ridley Pearson's KILLER SUMMER is a kind of "Mission Impossible" in reverse. The bad guys are the derring-do team, led by master thief Cantell, planning the perfect heist down to the smallest detail. Idaho's Sun Valley and environs (towns Hailey and Ketchum) make a perfect setting. The occasion is the annual wine auction, a high society fundraiser. At stake are three old bottles of wine, said to be gifts from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. The stage is set. What can possibly go wrong? Just about everything, beginning with a scholar who claims the wines are fakes. Sheriff Walt Fleming and his deputies are a half step behind all the way. Walt Fleming is an interesting character. Nothing flashy about him, but he's a good, solid lawman and an expert tracker of those on the wrong side of the law. The last part of the book gives a totally unexpected twist to the heist, ending in a nail-biting pursuit through Idaho's rugged terrain. I tried to look up the places where the action takes place, but Idaho looks like one big national forest and wilderness area in a road atlas. Even online maps were no help. This is one time I would have enjoyed seeing a map at the front of the book. I'm a fan of Pearson's Lou Boldt series, and have added his newer Walt Fleming series to my favorites list.

Smart thriller

Killer Summer is the 3rd installment in Ridley Pearson's series featuring sheriff Walt Fleming. Walt is Quantico-trained, an expert tracker, a crack shot, and a very smart law enforcement officer, but he's disappointed his father--an ex-FBI guy--by opting to chase criminals in bucolic Sun Valley, Idaho, instead of chasing some more prestigious position. Still, high-profile trouble seems to find Walt. This time out he suspects that a gang of thieves is planning an elaborate heist in conjunction with a wine auction that's being hosted in Walt's jurisdiction. The prize: three bottles believed to have come from Thomas Jefferson's cellar. At the same time, in a storyline that eventually intersects with the wine heist story, Walt's nephew Kevin gets into trouble with a girl who's vacationing unhappily with her father in Sun Valley. Start to finish, Killer Summer is a riveting read. I love the main characters: Walt and Kevin are both likable and smart in the face of adversity, which I find appealing. We don't learn much about the criminals Walt's up against--and I suppose I would have liked to know more about them--but we are made to understand that the ringleader is careful and smart at what he does as well. The various strands of Pearson's story are expertly woven together. The writing is crisp. Killer Summer was a book I really didn't want to put down. -- Debra Hamel

Entertaining thriller, great scenery

Sharp-eyed, emotionally blinkered sheriff Walt Fleming spots a traffic anomaly while he's supposed to be enjoying a fishing encounter with his fatherless teenage nephew Kevin, and, in the blink of an eye, the chase is on. Fleming is almost as awkward with his nephew Kevin as he is with fly fishing, but he will get a chance to work on that in the course of a thriller that encompasses most of far-flung Blaine County, Idaho, Fleming's jurisdiction. Famed playground of the elite's elite, Blaine County also encompasses some of the most remote, beautiful and perilous territory in the country. The traffic anomaly is a tow truck headed away from town into the sticks. But what gets Fleming out of his waders is the man inside the towed car. Not only strictly illegal, but dangerous too. Particularly for this particular highjacked driver who's dead by the time Fleming catches the tow truck, gassed by something that nearly overcomes Kevin too. The two perps vanish into the countryside on stashed ATVs, but without the prize they were seeking - a briefcase the dead man had handcuffed to his car's seat frame. Inside the briefcase - three bottles of wine. Sun Valley Resort's annual wine auction always attracts some cutthroat bidding, but not usually outright theft, to say nothing of murder. But this year's auction features a rare vintage indeed - three bottles of wine given by connoisseur Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. Or so it's claimed. There's a young graduate student troublemaker who begs to differ. There's also the financially troubled tycoon dragging his spoiled, rebellious teenage daughter to the wine-auction weekend. She homes in on a young employee at the resort - Kevin - to manipulate into helping her escape. And there's the thief - Christopher Cantell, a cool, brilliant enigma who's planned everything down to the last detail. Pearson cycles among the plot elements, giving his characters free reign to engage with the reader, while he inserts a kink here and a twist there until the plot begins to spin out of control and each character has to scramble to stay one step ahead of everybody else. The plot is expertly paced and the scenery is breathtaking. In this third outing Fleming continues to struggle with his domestic situation (his volatile ex-wife lives with his deputy), parenting his two daughters, and moving at a snail's pace into a new romance, while nephew Kevin is proving to be a resourceful, thoughtful young man. A satisfying, entertaining thriller.

A Thriller Sure to be Adapted for a Blockbuster Movie

Ridley Pearson baits readers with Blaine County Sheriff Walt Fleming's feeling of dread --- and near misses. "He'd had her within arm's reach," but the sinister woman he recognizes from the video of the abduction/murder of the man transporting priceless wine is a "professional." Are Pearson's clues red herrings, or are they easy-to-find puzzle pieces forming a picture border? Not everything is as it appears to be. Could a seemingly innocent teen girl be the title killer? A few million dollars for three bottles of wine is nothing compared to something of real value. With any Pearson masterpiece, subplots warrant being a novel unto themselves. The evil and cunning Christopher Cantell keeps popping up like a cork attached to Fleming's fly fishing line. Cantell is involved in the wine heist, and a grander scheme that makes KILLER SUMMER a sure-fire bestseller. Like Pearson's red-hot writing, this summer will be a killer --- with the life of Fleming's nephew Kevin hanging in the balance. His thriller recipe incorporates psychological motivation to make characters believable and the psychotic aberrations appalling. The ever-observant Fleming notices a car being towed out of town --- with the driver, Randall Everest Malone of a private security firm, slumped over the wheel. A super-secret attaché case is handcuffed to the passenger seat frame, and he dies before Fleming can ask questions. It seems fitting that a protagonist based on a real-life person (Blaine County Sheriff Walt Femling) is as real and likable as Sheriff Walt Fleming. Fleming's "ad hoc crime-scene crew [includes] local news photographer and part-time deputy Fiona Kenshaw," an endearing repeat character in the Killer series. Fiona is the queen of multitasking, a quasi-psychologist for Fleming and a sympathetic sounding board with cool logic. And perhaps a romantic interest. In the throes of divorce, Fleming "tried to see her...only as a professional --- a part-time crime-scene photographer, an associate --- but failed miserably." Fiona seems to know what sinister thing is about to happen, a scary sixth sense, and doesn't take flack from Fleming. Sun Valley hosts a summer wine auction, and a trio of priceless wines in the mysterious attaché case attract über-wealthy connoisseurs from around the world. Pearson throws readers into the deep end, with international intrigue, murder and kidnapping --- all for "three dark green bottles of wine." The wine is reputed to have been a gift from Thomas Jefferson to John Adams. (A precursor to the 2000 presidential election, in 1800, votes were so close to those of the incumbent Adams that the House of Representatives had to decide that Jefferson would be president. Jefferson had lost the election to Adams in 1796. Would Al Gore have accepted wine as a parting gift from George W. Bush?) PhD candidate Janet Finch staunchly contends that the wine trio is fake, an attempt to bilk big bucks from those in Sun Valley who may not notice a few percent of
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