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In the latest case for Lou Boldt, Seattle police sleuth extraordinaire, babies — white, cute, healthy — are disappearing randomly all around the country, snatched out of their cribs and replaced by a penny flute. The FBI is on the case, but when a kidnapping occurs in Boldt’s territory, it’s task-force time, and the local PD joins forces with the feds. Leads are few; it isn’t until Boldt experiences the evil of the title character in a very personal way that everything starts to fall into place. Despite the book’s intricate plot, Pearson’s wooden characters may make you wish you hadn’t paid the Piper. B

The Pied Piper
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