Title: Killer Summer
Author: Ridley Pearson
Length: ~370 pages
Plot Basics: Sun Valley, Idaho -- Sheriff Walt Fleming's on alert because of a prestigious wine auction happening at a high-end resort. As a group of thieves try for the wine, Walt realizes that the wine theft is a cover-up for a more serious crime: kidnapping. Only the plot goes awry and his nephew is caught up in the kidnappers plan. Walt has only a few hours to foil the plot and rescue his nephew before the FBI is called in and Walt doesn't trust them to keep his nephew safe.
Banter Points: Halfway through the book, the action really picked up and reminded Word Nerd of the other Ridley Pearson books she's read. Pearson writes great action sequences that keeps the plot moving and keeps the reader turning pages.
Bummer Points: Overall, Word Nerd found this title disappointing. She was excited for the chance to review a Pearson book because her past experience (The Seizing of Yankee Green Mall, the Peter and Starcatchers books) was good. But, she hadn't read of the other Walt Fleming books, but was figuring that wouldn't matter and she was reading an ARC of this title. Word Nerd felt for the first 100 pages at least that she suffered from character whiplash in Pearson's super-short chapters, bouncing from one to the next and never getting a feel for any of them. Ditto with plot. She gets it that it's supposed to feel unbalanced, but when the wine heist came up out of nowhere, Word Nerd felt really stupid. Also stupid was thinking she could drop in on the middle of the series -- but unlike some series, she has no interest in going back and filling in the gaps. She really has to wonder just how advanced this ARC really was and hopes that perhaps some substantive changes were made between this version and the version now on shelves.
Word Nerd Recommendation: Based on the ARC, skip it. Go back to Pearson's earlier titles.