Saturday, September 01, 2007

Ridley Pearson's "The First Victim"

Lou Boldt and John LaMoia of the Crimes Against Person squad of the Seattle PD are the leads in Ridley Peason’s “The First Victim.”

A container filled will illegal Chinese aliens goes overboard in Puget Sound, resulting in three deaths. The illegals are headed for either sweatshops or prostitution.

A Chinese/American TV investigative reporter goes undercover to locate the sweatshop. When she is captured, the station’s anchor (Stevie McNeal, the reporter’s sister by adoption), takes a personal interest.

She arouses the ire of the criminals and interferes with the police work. When things get very sticky, she joins the SPD effort.

The Chinese Triad, slimy INS agents, ships, containers, rendezvous, fake ID's, graveyards, brothels and sweatshops, the media, agency turf wars, SPD politics and an information leak all conspire in the SPD’s mission to out think the villains.

The characters, both good guys and bad guys are credible throughout, the pace is resolute and determined (mirroring the police procedures), local color drops you into the Puget Sound area and the dialogue is realistic.

Good plot, sturdy story telling and absorbing character studies.

Maybe a little too much time spent on Boldt and McNeal’s introspections on their family lives that fail to advance the plot---but that is a small objection.

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