Pearson, Ryne Douglas 1965(?)-

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PEARSON, Ryne Douglas 1965(?)-


Born c. 1965; married; wife's name Irene (a teacher).


Home—Huntington Beach, CA. Agent—c/o Kaplan-Perrone Entertainment, 10202 West Washington Blvd., Astaire Building, Suite #3003, Culver City, CA 90232.


Writer of novels and screenplays. YMCA camp director.


Cloudburst (novel), W. Morrow (New York, NY), 1993.

October's Ghost (novel), W. Morrow (New York, NY), 1994.

Capitol Punishment (novel), W. Morrow (New York, NY), 1995.

Simple Simon (novel), W. Morrow (New York, NY), 1996.

(With Lawrence Konner and Mark Rosenthal) Mercury Rising (screenplay; based on Pearson's novel Simple Simon), Universal Pictures, 1998.

Top Ten (novel), G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 1999.


Simple Simon was adapted for film and released as Mercury Rising, Universal Pictures, 1998.


Screenplay (with Richard Kelly) titled Knowing, released 2004; screenplay God-speed; film adaptation of Ken Follet's Code for Zero; a novel titled Class Action.


Ryne Douglas Pearson's first novel, Cloudburst, was described as "a gripping blend of techno-thriller and detective story" by a Publishers Weekly reviewer. Set in the near future, the novel features a terrorist plot in which the U.S. president is assassinated and an American passenger jet is hijacked to Libya. When it returns to the United States, it is carrying a nuclear bomb, aimed at Washington, D.C. Ultimately, the military's Delta Force engages the terrorists in a tense conflict 20,000 feet over the Atlantic, as the plane hurtles toward the United States.

October's Ghost is based on the premise that, during the Cuban missile crisis, Cuban dictator Fidel Castro hid one of the missiles, believing he might need it for his future defense. Three decades later, the missile falls into the hands of anti-Castro revolutionaries, and both the United States and Russia are involved in defusing the tense situation. In Booklist, Denise Perry Donavin praised the book's detailed descriptions of weaponry and called it "suspenseful." A Publishers Weekly reviewer commented that conspiracy buffs and military historians would find "ample fodder" in the story.

In Capitol Punishment, Pearson tells the story of white supremacist John Barrish and his two sons, who obtain a deadly nerve gas, VZ, and plan to use it to attack both the Capitol building in Washington, D.C., and a Los Angeles office building during the president's State of the Union address. However, in a diabolical twist, Barrish contacts a black militant group, not telling them that he is a racist, and convinces them to plant the gas for him. Hints of this criminal conspiracy attract the attention of FBI agents Art Jefferson and Frankie Aguirre, who previously appeared in Pearson's October's Ghost. As the militants release the gas into the vents of the building in Los Angeles, the agents set out on a desperate mission to link Barrish to the crime and stop the final terrorist mission on the U.S. Capitol building. A Kirkus Reviews writer noted that, although the book lacks suspense overall, it "convincingly" explains the technology used in executing and preventing attacks; he also noted that it has some "riveting action scenes."

Simple Simon stars Simon, an autistic sixteen-year-old who is a prodigy at solving number puzzles. When he inadvertently cracks a secret National Security Agency code, the government sends an agent out to kill him. On Simon's side is Art Jefferson, an FBI agent who is also married to Simon's psychologist. In Booklist, Emily Melton called the book "cleverly crafted," and a Publishers Weekly reviewer wrote that "Every element seems crafted for maximum storytelling efficiency." In the San Francisco Chronicle, Mick LaSalle commented, "You'd think the government would offer…[Simon] a scholarship to MIT, but no. Instead, an assassin shows up with a gun and a silencer and kills the kid's parents." Pearson sold the film rights to the book for $1 million, and the novel was made into a film—written in part by Pearson—retitled Mercury Rising, and released in 1998 by Universal Pictures.

Pearson's novel Top Ten stars FBI agent Ariel Grace, who is withdrawn from her assignment to investigate the "Top Five Most Wanted" criminals and reassigned to the "Top Ten Most Wanted." Puzzled by her apparent demotion, she finds out she was removed because she was too close to catching one of the wanted men, Mills DeVane, who is, in reality, an undercover agent merely posing as a criminal. Grace's new assignment leads her to investigate serial killer Michelangelo, who creates macabre artwork from the bodies of his victims. When Michelangelo finds out that he's only number ten on the Top Ten list, he begins killing off the criminals who outrank him, gradually closing in on DeVane. Grace races against time to find both Michelangelo and DeVane. A Publishers Weekly reviewer noted that some readers might be repelled by the book's "excessive grotesqueries."



Booklist, June 1, 1994, Denise Perry Donavin, review of October's Ghost, p. 1772; July, 1996, Emily Melton, review of Simple Simon, p. 1809.

Chicago Sun-Times, April 3, 1998, Roger Ebert, review of Mercury Rising, p. 39.

Kirkus Reviews, April 15, 1994, review of October's Ghost, p. 501; May 1, 1995, review of Capitol Punishment, p. 580; April 15, 1996, review of Simple Simon, p. 555.

Library Journal, April 15, 1997, Jay Rozgonyi, review of Simple Simon, p. 138.

New York Times Book Review, July 25, 1993, Newgate Callender, review of Cloudburst, p. 19.

Publishers Weekly, June 7, 1993, review of Cloudburst, p. 52; May 9, 1994, review of October's Ghost, p. 62; May 27, 1996, review of Simple Simon, p. 66; September 27, 1999, review of Top Ten, p. 74.

San Francisco Chronicle, April 3, 1998, Mick LaSalle, review of Mercury Rising, p. C3.*

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