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Hard Fall Mass Market Paperback – June 1, 2001


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Hyperion (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 078689007X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786890071
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (24 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,308,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Good background detail about terrorism gives Pearson's ( Probable Cause ) new thriller an edge, as he juggles dramatic forensic revelations with taut, sometimes melodramatic personal relationships. Pearson pits FBI agent Cameron Daggett, obsessed with capturing the terrorist responsible for the Lockerbie-style plane bombing that killed his parents and paralyzed his son, against German terrorist Anthony Kort, a member of the radical environmental vigilante group Der Grund. Kort plots to kill the CEO of companies dealing with EisherWorks, a German firm implicated in a toxic waste disaster that led to the death of his wife and infant. Daggett's nose for scientific evidence connects the murder of a flight instructor at Seattle Duhning Aircraft with the capture of a high-ranking member of Der Grund in Washington, D.C. The trail heats up in L.A. with the explosion and crash ("hard fall") of a plane carrying hazardous chemicals. Daggett and sexy explosives expert Lynn Greene track Kort and his right-hand woman Monique to D.C., where remnants in the wreckage suggest that they plan to blow up a second plane--very soon. Daggett's loved ones become pawns in a race to the photo-finish showdown at National Airport. The male-bonding antics hover around frat-house level, and Pearson freely plays loose with standard FBI procedures, but all in all this is an entertaining read. Major ad/promo; Reader's Digest Condensed Book; BOMC selection.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Kirkus Reviews

Coming back strong from last year's ragged Probable Cause, Pearson turns in a tale of international terrorism that offers the sort of breakneck action, mature characterization, and tight forensic detail that made Undercurrents (1988) a police-procedural classic. The story opens with a literal bang as hero Cameron Daggett's FBI superior opens a booby-trapped suitcase and blows himself and Daggett's chief link to German radical environmental-terrorist Anthony Kort to kingdom come. The foul-up particularly irks Daggett because he's sure that Kort is responsible for the airplane bombing two years back that killed Daggett's parents and left his son Duncan a paraplegic. Daggett picks up Kort's trail again, though, after the German questions and kills a Seattle flight instructor and then somehow causes the crash of a plane taking off from L.A.'s LAX--a crash that, after complex forensic deduction, Daggett and his new sidekick, alluring FAA agent Lynn Greene, eventually pinpoint to poison gas released on the plane. Tracing Kort to D.C., Daggett and Greene realize that the German plans to down another plane. The pair give chase even as, right under Daggett's nose, Kort sets about seducing Daggett's live-in girlfriend, Caroline, who responds warmly in retaliation for Daggett's growing interest in Greene. Stealing Caroline's keys, Kort sneaks into Daggett's house, kidnaps crippled Duncan, and then fakes his own death in order to divert Daggett from discovering his goal: to crash a plane into the Pentagon, where five leading industrial polluters will be meeting. But as the minutes to the ``hard fall'' of the plane tick down, Kort still hasn't figured on Caroline's furious love for Duncan or on Daggett's rage for revenge at any cost.... Not as psychologically probing as Undercurrents, and hampered by the far-fetched premise, but, overall, a well-oiled thriller with every gear smoothly spinning at top speed. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ridley Pearson (www.ridleypearson.com), 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 35 novels including, Peter And the Starcatchers (co-written with Dave Barry), the young adult novel, The Kingdom Keepers, and two dozen crime novels including: Probable Cause, Beyond Recognition and Killer Weekend (July 2007). His novel The Diary Of Ellen Rimbauer, a prequel to a Stephen King miniseries, was a New York Times #1 bestseller, as was Peter and the Shadow Thieves (#1 for 6 weeks). Ridley adapted The Diary Of Ellen Rimbaurer for ABC Television; it aired in 2003.

Peter and the Starcatchers is to open as a stage play, off-Broadway in March 2011, under Disney Theatrical.

Ridley is a founding member of, and plays bass guitar in, the all-author rock band, The Rockbottom Remainders (www.rockbottomremainders.com), with Dave Barry, Stephen King, Scott Turow, Mitch Albom, Amy Tan and Greg Iles. The band has raised over 2.5 million dollars for charities over its 18 year history.

Customer Reviews

Pearson's stories are always well researched and believable.
Chilebean
I literally did not put this book down if I had even a minute of spare time to read!
Prof Heshie
At times a bit "far fetched" however exciting enough to keep me reading on.
Gary Killops (gkillops@netcore.ca)

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Prof Heshie on May 21, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has all the elements of a solid movie: Hero, lady friend, lady friend, disabled son, almost-but-not-quite sympathetic bad guy also with lady friend/accomplice. In the tradition of Stephen Coonts, Dale Brown, and Tom Clancy, Ridley Pearson has crafted an edge of your seat thriller. I literally did not put this book down if I had even a minute of spare time to read! The only weakness I found is that it simply wasn't long enough! I wanted more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Douglas A. Greenberg VINE VOICE on June 6, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ridley Pearson cranks out detective-thriller novels at a breakneck pace, and in doing so consistently demonstrates above-average skills in terms of crafting interesting plots that always include some exciting twists and turns. He also manages to make his characters seem truly human, and to his credit, even goes to some lengths to "get inside the heads" of his female characters as well as the males, something that a lot of male detective writers simply fail to do.
So far, so good. The problem is that although Pearson is a decent enough writer, the overall style of his prose is very simple with almost a "dumbed down" quality to it. I suspect that this is not because of any intellectual shortcomings on his part (he spent some time at Oxford, apparently), but is a deliberate gambit aimed at broadening his audience and hence maximizing the sales of his books. That's fine, I suppose, but I finished the book with a feeling that the writing was uninspired and calculatedly middlebrow. Consequently, overall Pearson's work suffers by comparison to such gifted contemporary mystery writers as Michael Connelly and Dennis Lehane.
The story itself in this book is quite gripping, as it deals with issues surrounding the sabotage of airliners and the security apparatus designed to prevent such acts of terror. What I did not care for was Pearson's creation of villains whose terrorism is carried out in the name of the "green" cause. Whether this is intended or not, Pearson succeeds in making "radical environmentalists" appear dangerous and looney, a theme that plays right into the hands of contemporary politicians who would love nothing more than to have environmentalism generally discredited.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jason Birkby on January 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ridley Pearson's "Hard Fall" was the first on many that I have had the pleasure of reading. The novel takes off from page one and continues to fly all the way to the suspenseful ending. The premise revolves around FBI agent Cam Daggett trying to stop terrorist Anthony Kort. Kort is a German explosive expert known for a series of plane crashes, on in which Daggett's parents were killed and his son left handicapped. Kort's experience allows him to disable the cockpit crew and use the plane as a missle to crash on a main target.
The action and excitement are pure joy as Pearson slowly brings both Kort and Daggett together. The opening sequence at Dulles Airport is a true nail biter. The character development is very solid down to Daggett's partner Lynn Greene, Daggett's girlfriend Carrie and his son Duncan.
For William Goldman fans look for the a chapter that is truly reminiscent of the novel "Marathon Man". This quick read should be on any Suspense/thriller novel lovers book shelf or to read list.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mac Blair on December 17, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hard Fall was pretty good but I did not like it as well as I do the Lou Boldt series. Maybe because I have become more familiar with the characters in the Boldt group. Hard Fall will hold your attention, expecially the last half of the book. The sex parts were a little to graphic for me but to each his on. I feel for Cam Daggett and his son Duncan. It made me sad to read about them but that means the author is doing his job. Cam is good and you pull for him to find the bomber before he strikes again. Cam is lucky to have two women after him. I guess that is luck as it is hard to make one happy. Pearson will have you feeling like you are there and going through the feelings with the characters. All in all pretty good--the new man Bradley Levin was good also.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mary Endress on October 10, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I am a big fan of Ridley Pearson, and have read all of his books I could find. I especially like the Lou Boldt series. Hard Fall was a good read, and I probably would have given anybody else 4 stars. But this book did not captivate me like some of his earlier books. Or have I perhaps just become jaded? I will definitely buy his next book - though I am hoping it will feature Lou Boldt, rather than Cam Daggett.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Avid Reader on May 29, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I wish Amazon would change their grading system to a 10 point scaled for better gradation. HARD FALL was a great read, a good thriller with wonderful human interest stories. It was not the interplay between action and people which was almost seamless or that Daggett was so likable or that Carrie, Lynn and Monique were interesting characters who were brilliantly portrayed or that the plot was credible. All that is true but what kept harking back to me was the seemingly silly effort to give the mass murderer a "human face", justifications for doing evil because he had experienced grand tragedy. Take away 1/2 point.
There is no excuse for purposely murdering innocent people. On the other hand he shows how a political movement (ecology in this case) can become the germ for terrorism. + 1/2 point. The setting is good, the murky European background handled well, the madness and genius of the killer aptly described. The dual love stories and the father-son bond were superb tales in themselves and the way it all intertwined was a joy to behold. A little dated but still an excellent read.
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