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Cut and Run Hardcover – April 6, 2005

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Editorial Reviews Review

While Ridley Pearson's Lou Boldt series seems to have run out of steam lately, his new stand-alone thriller shows this perennial best-selling author at the top of his form. It begins with a taut prologue introducing federal marshal Roland Larson and his protected witrness, Hope Stevens, whose testimony will send the Romero crime family to jail if she ever makes it to court. When Hope walks away from the witness protection program, she takes Larson's heart with her; he hesitates just long enough to regret it; and spends the next six years searching for her. Then she surfaces again in connection with the disappearance of another protected witness, a computer expert who holds the safety of everyone in the program in the top secret software program he developed. Noone wants access to that program more than the Romero family, and Hope Stevens is the first and most important target of their wrath. As a member of the elite Fugitive Apprehension Task Force, Larson races the clock to find the man whose knowledge threatens the life of the woman he still loves…and the child he never knew he had. A heart-pounding thriller that's impossible to put down, this is Pearson's best to date. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Crime fiction king Pearson's (The Body of David Hayes) latest fast-paced thriller finds a smitten U.S. marshal and a vengeful killer chasing after the same elusive woman in witness protection. Hope Stevens, a technical consultant for the Justice Department, helped indict the deadly Romero white-collar crime family in a million-dollar fraud investigation. For six years, she's been in the witness protection program, waiting to testify. Now, the Romeros have infiltrated the program's participant list, and she's in grave danger. Roland Larson, a U.S. marshal in St. Louis who met Hope just before she was admitted to the program, still pines for her and is determined to find her. But close behind him is Paolo, a throat-slasher commissioned by Romero and a scarification fetishist, whittling his way through Hope's acquaintances to get to her. Accidental exposures keep Hope on the run as the vigilant Paolo and heart-heavy Roland grow increasingly desperate. Hope and Roland's heated reunion is marred by the kidnapping of Hope's previously well-concealed five-year-old daughter, Penny, a surprise to everyone, especially "new" father Roland. Separately, gutsy mother and daughter try to outsmart Paolo, then chase electronic messages to Florida and onward to the finale in Washington and Seattle, where protection program names are being auctioned off to mob goons. As seasoned heroes and a league of gangland villains lock horns for the busy wrapup, even fans accustomed to Pearson's heart-pounding pacing will find themselves short of breath. Agent, Al Zuckerman. 10-city author tour. (Apr.)
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; First Edition edition (April 6, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786867264
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786867264
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.2 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,588,296 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Ridley Pearson (, the first American to be awarded the Raymond Chandler/Fulbright Fellowship in Detective Fiction at Wadham College, Oxford University, is the bestselling author of over 50 novels including, Peter And the Starcatchers (co-written with Dave Barry), The Kingdom Keepers series, and two dozen crime novels including: Probable Cause, Beyond Recognition, Killer Weekend, The Risk Agent, and The Red Room. His novel The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer, a prequel to a Stephen King miniseries, was a New York Times #1 bestseller, and a ABC TV movie (2009).

Peter and the Starcatcher, a stage play adaptation written by Rick Elice (Jersey Boys) won 5 Tonys for its Broadway run and is currently touring the US.

Ridley is a founding member of, and plays bass guitar in, the all-author rock band, The Rockbottom Remainders (, with Dave Barry, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom, Roy Blount Jr., James McBride, Amy Tan and Greg Iles. The band has raised over 2.5 million dollars for charities.

Customer Reviews

Put this on your Must Read lists!
Amazon Customer
It was very fast moving which made it fast reading because I always wanted to find out what happened next.
We're not quite sure how Hope knows what she knows.
T. Slaven

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Keithly on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
'Cut and Run' is a different type of novel for Ridley Pearson. Many of his novels feature Lou Boldt and Daphne Matthews, both of the Seattle Police Department. The Boldt series focuses a great deal of the investigation on forensic science and psyhchological clues. Those novels also tend to delve deeply into the troubled relationships of the main characters.

Many readers of Pearson's work have felt that the Boldt series has fallen into a bit of a rut. Not surprisingly, 'Cut and Run' focuses on a new set of characters (with a cameo by a few characters from the Boldt series). The change is refreshing, and the result is one of Pearson's better novels of late.

Roland Larson of the witness protection program is frantically trying to find a witness, Hope Stevens, that has left the program. To compound his problems, he was romantically involved with her. Further complicating matters, the database of protected witnesses has become compromised when its creator goes missing and is feared to be hacking the list for the criminal element. And last but not least, a mob family has sent a vicious assasin after Hope.

Overall, this novel is quite enjoyable. It has many short action filled pages that keep you reading. Cliff hangers abound. It is a bit light on detective work or mystery though. This novel thrives on being a thriller less than it does being a crime story or a detective story.

Pearson's fans will undoubtedly love this novel. I recommend it to anyone that enjoys a good thriller. If you are looking for a good novel featuring police work, I'd recommend some of Pearson's other novels.

Overall Grade: 4 stars.
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20 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on May 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"Cut and Run" is predictable entertainment - the thriller that is decent fun while it lasts but will be forgotten by next month. Ridley Pearson is accomplished in the craft of pop fiction, and true to form he keeps the action moving unencumbered by any in-depth character development or complicated plotting. "Cut and Run" does offer some insight into the Federal Witness Protection program, as we find deputy federal marshal Roland "Lars" Larson falling in love with a protected witness, Hope Stevens. But that was six years in the past, and the program is so successful in hiding its participants that even Larson is unable to track down his lost love. When the massive data base tying protected witnesses with their true identity falls into the wrong hands, all hell breaks loose as Lars rushes to catch the bad guys, while at the same time finding and save poor Hope. Much what follows is formulaic: sadistic criminals, kidnappings, nail-biting cliffhangers, heavy weapons, murder and mayhem enough to fill a couple of hours on the big screen. Pearson fans will no doubt adore this latest installment; others will find "Cut and Run" more than sufficient fill for the long plane ride or lazy afternoon on the beach.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By L. Boulton on December 14, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This was my second Ridley Pearson book. Based on the first one, I expected this one to be not only a good story but also to have a little depth. But while it was full of action and easy to read, it seemed to have no real substance. It was the mystery equivalent of a Harlequin romance. I will try Pearson again because the first Lou Boldt book I read was pretty strong. But had I read this book first I would likely not have read more.
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12 of 17 people found the following review helpful By JustAReader on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
maybe ridley pearson is going downhill or maybe he tried to churn out more than he could logically put together. and this problem has become worse during these years. now he just read totally similar to another james patterson, generic, stereotyped, formatted with 1 or 2 dimensional characters, totally impossible and vague plot, on and on, exactly what this specific book has shown. i never abandon him since his first book, but now, i think it's time to put him away as one of the failing writers beyond salvage. reading this book only forced me to put another coffin nail to this conclusion. i rest my case.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on March 30, 2005
Format: Hardcover
U.S. Marshall Roland Larson has guarded Hope Stevens for forty-one days waiting for her to be placed in the Witness Protection Program. She has information of the Romero crime family that can put them away for life. So far they have tried to kill her three times and although failed, they will keep on trying so it is imperative that she gets a new identity quickly so she can be alive to testify at their fraud and murder trials.

Before she disappears, Hope asks Larson to go into the program so they can be together. The next day she is gone and nobody will tell Larson where she has been relocated to or the name she is now using. Six years later, Hope is out of the program and on her own with her five year old daughter Penny. The Romero family has gone underground and wants to locate her now because their brother Donny is due out of prison unless she comes forth to testify. They kidnap Penny to use as a bargaining chip but Larson has found Hope and he is determined to get Penny, no matter what the costs.

Action, adventure, and romance are blended together to become one of the best books Ridley Pearson has ever written. The characters touch a chord in the readers' hearts especially Hope who wants daughter safe at all cost to herself. Larson wants Hope and Penny out of harm's way and with him while Penny has to be brave beyond her years to survive the kidnapping. The brilliant characterizations, the fast paced storyline and the romantic sizzle between two protagonists make CUT AND RUN a book to put on the keeper shelf.

Harriet Klausner
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