When a female reporter disappears--purportedly at the hands of the Chinese Triad--while investigating a story on illegal aliens, Lou Boldt and John LaMoia of the Seattle Police Department embark on an investigation that leads them from Seattle's docklands to the offices of the INS in search of answers.
Hoag's books should come with a health warning: Too much tension and suspense can cause heart problems. Highly recommended GUARDIAN Gripping to the end...Hoag's solution is as clever as it is complex THE TIMES on Secrets to the Grave It's gripping, highly emotional and I would definitely recommend it ESSENTIALS on Down the Darkest Road
Best police procedural I've read in a long time!1999/8/21
I always look forward to Ridley Pearson books, particularly the Lou Boldt series. Wonderful characters and always a mesmerizing plot. The First Victim focuses on the illegal immigrant trade and shows us what their plight might be when hitting the shores of the country whose streets are paved with gold. Also a fascinating look at the press/news media and how it can either assist and defeat the best interests of all involved in this thorny problem. This author just keeps getting better and I always look forward to his new books. He never fails me and is among my favorite authors.
Good, but I expect better from Ridley Pearson2000/4/7
Seattle police detective Lou Boldt is back and this time he's caught up in the illegal transport of Orientals into Seattle. When a container ship in Puget Sound loses a container full of illegal immigrants and three die, Lou Boldt along with John LaMoia are drawn into the case. To make it even more difficult, a Chinese-american reporter goes undercover and then goes missing while investigating the same case. Boldt and his crew must race against time to find where she's being held before she's killed. Mr. Pearson is an excellent writer and plot spinner and even though this entry is not as strong as his others, it's still head and shoulders above most of what passes for mystery writing on the market today. I do admit I didn't find it as compelling as his "The Pied Piper" but it wasn't bad. The characters do seem a little less richly drawn than usual but the prose is still strong. You could do worse than read this book.
Could put it down....but wanted to pick it up again1999/12/24
I enjoyed this book....it is the first one of this author's that I have read. The characters are believable (I'm a retired police officer) and the plot held my interest. I read the book over 4 days & could put it down for awhile & pick it right back up and easily start where I had left off. I look forward to the next Patterson novel.
Disappointing after PIED PIPER2001/4/2
I am relatively new to thrillers in general, and FIRST VICTIM is only my second Ridley Pearson book, the first being the excellent (five-star) PIED PIPER. This was a real comedown in comparison. Another in the Lou Boldt series, FIRST VICTIM doesn't have half the character development of its predecessor. The story of Boldt's relationship with his wife and kids is perfunctory at best. We are told that he loves his kids above all else, which I suppose makes him unique in the world. Detective Sergeant John LaMoia, so subtly flesh out in PIED PIPER, is a cartoon cutout here. Daphne Matthews is nearly invisible, appearing only in cameo, and the licentious Captain Sheila Hill is AWOL. The plot revolves around the underground industry of illegally importing aliens and making them pay for their passage by forcing them into slavery and prostitution. This is villany at its worst, but the cops never get beyond low-level goons in ferreting out the bad guys. The special guest star of FIRST VICTIM is TV anchorwoman Stevie McNeil, who in Scott Rosema's audio interpretation is given a stilted accent of no particular nationality. She spends most of her time fretting over the disappearance of her adopted Chinese "little sister," while at the same time trying to frustrate the attempts of Boldt and crew too find her. We are never really told why she is so uncooperative, except to the extent that journalists don't trust cops in general. Well, few people like lawyers in general, either, but when we need one, we don't hesitate to seek out the best. Pearson gives McNeil the obligatory sumptuous cleavage, blond hair, and shapely legs, but her sexuality never gets beyond that of a Barbie doll. This is the most chaste novel I have read in a long time. There are problems with motivation, too. When we finally find out what happened to McNeil's sister, it is never clear why she suffered this fate. Further, what happens to the bad guy, or whether or not he really was a bad guy, is never resolved. The novel just ends, abruptly and unsatisfyingly.
A Crime Thriller for the Mind2000/6/25
First Victim is an extremely well written and fascinating story dealing with illegal immigration, sweat shops and prostution. This is not a book to read if you are looking for blood, gore, lurid desciptions of torture victims, etc. it is a book that deals with the mind, strategy, trying to outthink the criminal as well as all the politics that go on behind the scenes of government agents - the in-fighting for credit, the hestitancy to work with each other or at least share information, the struggles of the police to make sure that they do everything within the law so that the criminal doesn't end up back on the street, and corruption. It is a treat for the mind. Ridley Pearson has given the main character Lou Boldt, police detective, a very well rounded character who tries to find balance between his love for his work and his love for his family. The other equally prominent characters of Daphne Matthews psychologist, Sergeant John LaMoia, and Forensic expert Bernie Lofgrin give the story added spice skillfully because of their extremely opposite personalities yet they blend well and compliment each other. The story line flows very well so there is no getting lost between one chapter and the next as can happen so easily in a thriller. One part of the thrillers I have always found fascinating is the forensic area of police work because no true police thriller is complete without it. Ridley Pearson has found a good balance in this area, there is enough detail when forensics is used in the book to keep someone fascinated in the area interested but won't turn off the reader who isn't and has it dispersed throughout the novel which adds to the suspense. This novel deals with the human spirit, the dark side of immigration, corruption and love. This was not the first Lou Boldt novel I have and most definitely will not be the last.