Ridley Pearson has spent the last year in Shanghai teaching creative writing at Fudan University. Along with his novels for young adults, like Peter and the Starcatchers, written with Dave Barry, and Kingdom Keepers, a Sunshine State Reader award recipient, Pearson has written more than 20 adult mysteries. His latest, Killer Summer, hits bookstores June 30.
What is on your nightstand?
Living in Shanghai this year, I bought a Kindle so I could travel and read more books with less weight in my bag. I've just finished Dennis Lehane's The Given Day, one of the best reads of the past five years. I'm also enjoying Of Flesh and Blood by Dan Kalla and The Forgotten Garden by Kate Morton. My most highly anticipated read is Scott Turow's upcoming sequel to Presumed Innocent; I've waited for this novel for years.
What made Presumed Innocent so perfectly gripping for the reader?
Construction and execution. (He) has an unusual method for creating a novel, the most unusual I've run across. That method and his incredible brain power allowed him to construct a rose petal design. (You) have to lift away one petal to see the next. Some of the petals stay stuck in the flower. You turn around every now and then and look back. Your jaw drops because there's information you "walked" right past.
Piper Castillo, Times staff writer