Blindside (FBI Series #8)

( 123 )


Get blindsided by the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

FBI agents Savich and Sherlock face two baffling cases in Catherine Coulter's electrifying thriller, a riveting novel of knife-edge suspense.

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Get blindsided by the #1 New York Times bestselling author.

FBI agents Savich and Sherlock face two baffling cases in Catherine Coulter's electrifying thriller, a riveting novel of knife-edge suspense.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
New York Times–bestselling author Catherine Coulter's FBI series never fails to deliver sensual sizzle along with the suspense. In Blindside, husband-and-wife FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich team up again on two vital cases: a killer who targets Washington, D.C., teachers and the kidnapping of an old friend's son. Though six-year-old Sam manages to escape and take refuge with Tennessee sheriff Katie Benedict and her daughter, Keely, his kidnappers quickly strike again...and pay a deadly price for the rematch when reinforcements arrive in the form of Sam's dad (a former FBI agent) and his buddy Savich. But the terror isn't over: It soon becomes clear that whoever is behind the kidnapping has only changed strategies, not abandoned the plan. The investigation leads in unexpected directions, particularly among the followers of a powerful local evangelist. As the story unfolds in a beautiful town nestled amid the Smoky Mountains, the quick-thinking sheriff uncovers unforeseen hazards, surprising secrets...and an extraordinary opportunity for love. Sue Stone
Publishers Weekly
The newest installment in historical romance author Coulter's FBI series (Eleventh Hour, etc.) delivers some of the things her fans have come to expect-a fast-moving investigation, a mind-bending mystery-but readers will have difficulties getting past the book's wooden dialogue, pointless plot digressions and superficial characterizations. Married FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock are on the trail of a serial killer who targets math teachers, but when Sam Kettering, the son of their widower friend Miles, is kidnapped, they turn their attention to getting the boy back. Six-year-old Sam and Sheriff Katie Benedict, of Jessborough, Tenn., already have the situation in hand, however. After escaping from his kidnappers, Sam runs into single mother Katie, and now all they have to do is wait for the cavalry to arrive. To everyone's surprise, the kidnappers resurface, leaving Katie and the FBI wondering who's really behind the attempts. While Savich and Sherlock return to Washington, D.C., to all-too-easily wrap up their serial killer investigation, Miles and Katie pursue their primary suspects and decide whether to marry for the sake of their kids, who bonded instantly. The relationship between Miles and Katie is hasty and underdeveloped, and their brash investigative methods will raise eyebrows. Still, the mystery at the heart of this talky tale is intriguing and the pacing is brisk, which makes this a capable, if not thrilling, summer diversion. Major ad/promo; main selection of the Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club; featured selection of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild; author tour. (July 28) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
Best-selling FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savitch-also husband and wife-follow the trail of a child's kidnapping to a fiery evangelist in the Tennessee hills. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Everybody's favorite fantasy: dead math teachers. But why are they being killed? Rage over failing grades? Beatings or abuse by a geeky substitute? Well, the behavioral science guys in Quantico will just have to figure it out. FBI investigator Dillon Savich, though, is sure the perp is a man. Meanwhile, his buddy Miles Kettering's six-year-old son Sam has just been kidnapped and taken all the way from Virginia to Tennessee, though the intrepid youngster gives bad guys Fatso and Beau the slip when he climbs out a window. He's quickly rescued by spunky Sheriff Katie Benedict, who tries to shoot the kidnappers. But one of them, undaunted, is still after Sam. Why? Segue to another creepy house in the Tennessee woods, and meet the Reverend Sooner McCamy, brooding founder of the Sinful Children of God church. His much younger, gorgeous blond wife Elsbeth seems to be very much under his thumb. Agent Sherlock and Katie take a quick peek around the premises when this strange couple isn't home and find a secret room rigged out for sadomasochistic fun and games. Gee, what do you suppose the marble slab with handcuffs at each corner is for? How about that wooden block with a padded fur top? And check out these whips . . . . Oh, never mind: Is that Fatso or Beau making noise outside? Looks like one of the bad guys is the reverend's brother. And it's revealed, none too adroitly, that McCamy is obsessed with the stigmata of Christ, and hopes to find a child whose little hands show the miraculous evidence of Our Redeemer's wounds. Wow, how did this video get here? It shows a much younger Sam with a rash on his hands that looks like stigmata! Time to torch the McCamys' house . . . heck, they're dead. Butsomeone is still taking potshots at Katie. Who? And did everyone forget about the lunatic who was killing the math teachers? And so it goes in Coulter land (Eleventh Hour, 2002, etc.). Doubleday Book Club main selection/Literary Guild/Mystery Guild featured selection
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780515137200
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 6/29/2004
  • Series: FBI Series, #8
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 97,723
  • Product dimensions: 4.25 (w) x 6.88 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Catherine  Coulter
Catherine Coulter is the author of the New York Times-bestselling FBI thrillers The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, TailSpin, KnockOut, and Whiplash. She lives in northern California.


The author of dozens of bestsellers, Catherine Coulter made her Romance debut with 1978's The Autumn Countess, a fast-moving story she describes as "a Gothic masquerading as a Regency." Six more Regency romances followed in quick succession; then, in 1982, she penned her first full-length historical novel, Devil's Embrace. She counts several trilogies among her most popular historicals, notably the Bride Trilogy -- which, in turn, spawned an ongoing story sequence featuring the beloved Sherbrooke family of Regency-era England.

In 1988, Coulter tried her hand at contemporary romance with a twisty little page-turner called False Pretenses. Her fans ate it up and begged for more. Since then, she has interspersed historicals with contemporary romantic thrillers (like the novels in her bestselling FBI series) in one of the most successful change-ups in the history of romance publishing.

Good To Know

Suspense writer Catherine Coulter tells us her top ten sleuths and her top ten heroes. We think you'll be as intrigued by her answers as we were ...

Hercule Poirot
Jane Marple
Inspector Morse
Jack Ryan
Indiana Jones
Pink Panther
Sherlock Holmes
Sid Halley

Harry Potter (Every Single Book)
Colin Firth as Darcy
S.C. Taylor from Beyond Eden
Lucas Davenport
Dillon Savich
James Bond (Sean Connery)
Jack Bauer
John McClain (All Die Hard)
Shrek (l & 2)
Arnold Schwarzenegger

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Read an Excerpt


It was pitch black.

There was no moon, no stars, just low-lying rain-bloated clouds, as black as the sky. Dillon Savich was sweating in his Kevlar vest even though it was fifty degrees.

He dropped to his knees, raised his hand to stop the agents behind him, and carefully slid into position so he could see into the room.

The window was dirty, the tattered draperies a vomit-brown, with only one lamp in the corner throwing off sixty watts. The rest of the living room was dark, but he could clearly see the teacher, James Marple, tied to a chair, gagged, his head dropped forward. Was he asleep or unconscious? Or dead?

Savich couldn't tell.

He didn't see Marvin Phelps, the sixty-seven-year-old man who owned this run-down little 1950s tract house on the outskirts of the tiny town of Mount Pleasant, Virginia. From what they'd found out in the hour before they'd converged on this small house, Phelps was a retired math teacher and owned the old Buick sitting in the patched drive. Savich knew from his driver's license that Phelps was tall, skinny, and had a head covered with thick white hair. And for some reason, he was killing other math teachers. Two, to date. No one knew why. There was no connection between the first two murdered teachers.

Savich wanted Phelps alive. He wanted the man to tell him why he'd caused all this misery and destroyed two families. For what? He needed to know, for the future. The behavioral science people hadn't ever suggested that the killer could possibly be a math teacher himself.

Savich saw James Marple's head jerk. At least he was alive. There was a zigzagging line of blood coming over the top of Mr. Marple's bald head from a blow Phelps must have dealt him. The blood had dried just short of his mouth.

Where was Marvin Phelps?

They were here only because one of Agent Ruth Warnecki's snitches had come through. Ruth, in the CAU-the Criminal Apprehension Unit-for only a year, had previously spent eight years with the Washington, D.C., police department. Not only had she brought her great street skills to the unit, she'd also brought her snitches. "A woman can never be too rich, too thin, or have too many snitches" was her motto.

The snitch had seen Marvin Phelps pull a gun on a guy in the parking lot of a small strip mall, pull him out of his Volvo station wagon, and shove him into an old Buick. The snitch had called Ruth as he was tailing them to this house, and told her he'd give her the whole enchilada for five hundred bucks, including the license plate number of the man taken. Savich didn't want to think about what would have happened to Mr. Marple if the snitch hadn't come through.

But Savich shook his head as he looked at the scene through the window. It didn't fit. The other two math teachers had been shot in the forehead at close range, dying instantly. There'd been no kidnapping, no overnight stays tied to a chair with a sixty-watt bulb chasing the shadows. Why change the way he did things now? Why take such a risk by bringing the victim to his own home? No, something wasn't right.

Savich suddenly saw a movement, a shadow that rippled over the far wall in the living room. He raised his hand and made a fist, signaling Dane Carver, Ruth Warnecki, and Sherlock that he wanted everyone to stay put and keep silent. They would hold the local Virginia law enforcement personnel in check, at least for a while. Everyone was in place, including five men from the Washington field office SWAT team who were ready to take this place apart if given the word. Every corner of the property was covered. The marksman, Cooper, was in his place, some twenty feet behind Savich, with a clear view into the shadowy living room.

Savich saw another ripple in the dim light. A dark figure rose up from behind a worn sofa. It was Marvin Phelps, the man whose photo he'd first seen just an hour ago. He was walking toward John Marple, no, swaggering was more like it. What was he doing behind the sofa?

When Phelps wasn't more than a foot from Marple, he said, his voice oddly deep and pleasant, "Are you awake, Jimbo? Come on, I didn't hit you that hard, you pathetic wuss."

Jimbo? Savich turned up the volume on his directional receiver.

"Do you know it will be dawn in another thirty-seven minutes? I've decided to kill you at dawn."

Mr. Marple slowly raised his head. His glasses had slipped down his nose, and with his hands tied behind him, he couldn't do anything about it. He licked at the dried blood beside his mouth.

"Yes, I'm awake. What do you want, Philly? What the hell is going on here? Why are you doing this?"

Philly? The two men knew each other well enough for nicknames.

Phelps laughed, and Savich felt his skin crawl. It was a mad old laugh, scratchy and black, not at all pleasant and deep like his voice. Phelps pulled a knife from inside his flannel shirt, a long hunting knife that gleamed even in the dull light.

Savich had expected a gun, not a knife. It wasn't supposed to go down like this. Two dead high school math teachers, and now this. Not in pattern. What was going on here?

"You ready to die, Jimbo, you little prick?"

"I'm not a prick. What the hell are you doing? Are you insane? Jesus, Philly, it's been over five years! Put down that knife!"

But Mr. Phelps tossed the knife from one hand to the other with easy movements that bespoke great familiarity.

"Why should I, Jimbo? I think I'm going to cut out your brain. I've always hated your brain, do you know that? I've always despised you for the way you wanted everyone to see how smart you were, how fast you could jigger out magic solutions, you little bastard-" He was laughing as he slowly raised the knife.

"It's not dawn yet!"

"Yeah, but I'm old, and who knows? By dawn I might drop dead of a heart attack. I really do want you dead before me, Jimbo."

Savich had already aimed his SIG Sauer, his mouth open to yell, when Jimbo screamed, kicked out wildly, and flung the chair over backward. Phelps dove forward after him, cursing, stabbing the knife through the air.

Savich fired right at the long silver blade. At nearly the same moment there was another shot-the loud, sharp sound of a rifle, fired from a distance.

The long knife exploded, shattering Phelps's hand; the next thing to go flying was Phelps's brains as his head exploded. Savich saw his bloody fingers spiraling upward, spewing blood, and shards of silver raining down, but Phelps wouldn't miss his hand or his fingers. Savich whipped around, not wanting to believe what had just happened.

The sniper, Kurt Cooper, had fired.

Savich yelled "No," but of course it was way too late. Savich ran to the front door and slammed through, agents and local cops behind him.

James Marple was lying on his back, white-faced, whimpering. By going over backward he'd saved himself from being splattered by Mr. Phelps's brains.

Marvin Phelps's body lay on its side, his head nearly severed from his neck, sharp points of the silver knife blade embedded in his face and chest, his right wrist a bloody stump.

Savich was on his knees, untying Jimbo's ankles and arms, trying to calm him down. "You're all right, Mr. Marple. You're all right, just breathe in and out, that's good. Stay with me here, you're all right."

"Phelps, he was going to kill me, kill me-oh, God."

"Not any longer. He's dead. You're all right." Savich got him free and helped him to his feet, keeping himself between James Marple and the corpse.

Jimbo looked up, his eyes glassy, spit dribbling from his mouth. "I never liked the cops before, always thought you were a bunch of fascists, but you saved me. You actually saved my life."

"Yeah, well, we do try to do that occasionally. Now, let's just get you out of here. Here's Agent Sherlock and Agent Warnecki. They're going to take you out to the medics for a once-over. You're okay, Mr. Marple. Everything is okay."

Savich stood there a moment, listening to Sherlock talk to James Marple in that wonderful soothing voice of hers, the one she had used at Sean's first birthday party. One terrified math teacher wouldn't be a problem compared to a roomful of one-year-olds.

Agent Dane Carver helped support James Marple, a slight smile on his face until Sherlock stepped back, and then he and Agent Warnecki escorted Marple to the waiting paramedics.

Savich turned back to the body of Marvin Phelps. Cooper had nearly blown the guy's head off. A great shot, very precise, no chance of his knifing Marple in a reactive move, no chance for him to even know what was happening before he died.

It wasn't supposed to have happened that way, but Cooper had standing orders to fire if there was imminent danger.

He saw Police Chief Halloran trotting toward him, followed by a half-dozen excited local cops, all of them hyped, all of them smiling. That would change when they saw Phelps's body.

At least they'd saved a guy's life.

But it wasn't the killer they were after, Savich was sure of that. Theirs had killed two women, both high school math teachers. And in a sense, that maniac was responsible for this mess as well. It was probably why Cooper had jumped the gun and taken Phelps out. He saw himself saving James Marple's life and taking out the math teacher killer at the same time. In all fairness, Coop was only twenty-four, loaded with testosterone, and still out to save the world. Not good enough. Savich would see to it that he had his butt drop-kicked and then sentenced to scrubbing out the SWAT team's bathroom, the cruelest penalty anyone could devise.

The media initially ignored the fact that this killing had nothing to do with the two math teacher killings. The early evening headlines read: SERIAL KILLER DEAD? And underneath, in smaller letters, because math teachers weren't very sexy: MATH TEACHERS TARGETED. The first two murders were detailed yet again. Only way down the page was it mentioned that the kidnapping and attempted murder of James Marple by Marvin Phelps of Mount Pleasant, Virginia, had nothing to do with the two other math teacher killings.

Par for the course.

—from Blindside by Catherine Coulter, copyright © 2003 Catherine Coulter, published by G.P. Putnam's Sons, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc., all rights reserved, reprinted with permission from the publisher.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 123 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 124 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 7, 2008

    Great Book!!!

    Blindside was a great book that really kept my attention. From the very first page, it was hard to put the book down. From the relationship between Savich and Sherlock to the kidnapping of Sam, the action was non -stop and never boring. The writing, although a lot of people seem to be criticizing it, was beyond great. Catherine Coulter is a truly amazing writer and one of my all-time favorite authors. In the very first sentence of Blindside, ¿It was pitch black¿, she caught my attention. By then end of the first paragraph, you are hooked. By the end of the first page, you will never want to put the book down again. This is definitely my favorite book of hers and I can¿t wait to read the rest of her novels. The constant surprises make the book even more exciting and the many unexpected twists make it intriguing. You never know what is going to happen next and believe me it is not predictable at all. I don¿t want to ruin the book for anyone, but I strongly suggest reading it! My favorite books are FBI thrillers, so I may be kind of partial to it though. I love how Coulter worked the romance into all of the action¿. It made the book even more spectacular! The romance also makes it appeal to a larger portion of readers. Throughout the entire book your mind is trying to figure out why Sam was kidnapped in the first place, who the serial killer is, and how Savich and Sherlock¿s relationship will turn out. And I will tell you now, the end is not a disappointment. If you are looking for a book full of action and romance that will without a doubt keep your attention, then this is the book for you!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 1, 2014

    This was the dumbest Catherine Coulter book I've read.  I can se

    This was the dumbest Catherine Coulter book I've read.  I can see how the bad guy got away the first time.  
    Then they catch him and even with three...experienced... law enforcers there, nobody thinks to tie him up.
    Then they catch him again and STILL don't tie him up.  By this time I just threw up my hands, put the book down
    and reached for something else to read.  I have read Catherine Coulter before and she usually does a better job.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Kept me glued...

    I love reading books by this author and this one is no exception. It was filled with twists and turns and kept my attention very well. I finished it in one day.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 8, 2006

    Loved It!

    I listened to the audiobook while walking on my treadmill. I could have walked for hours the book was just that interesting.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 21, 2003

    Not one of her best

    I buy every book by Catherine Coulter that I can find. I was a little disappointed in this book. I didn't care for the way it jumped from the murders of math teachers to the kidnapping of Miles son, Sam. Dillon Savich and Sherlock, as always, make for enjoyable reading so I kept at the book until the end. Still a big Catherine Coulter fan even though I was disappointed in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    perfect suspense thriller

    A child goes missing and his father is petrified because ex-FBI agent Miles Kettering knows all too well what could happen to a snatched child. While Miles prays in his Coburn, Virginia home, his son Sam escapes from his abductors. The local sheriff of Washington County, Tennessee completes the rescue. <P>Katie Benedict phones Miles who immediately flies up to retrieve his son. Accompanying him are FBI agents Savich and Sherlock, still deliriously in love with each other. Sam has bonded with Katie¿s daughter and after everything he has been through Katie invites Sam and his father to spend the night in her spare room. Their nightmare isn¿t over because the two kidnappers try to abduct Sam again only this time Katie kills one of them and later the other during a third grab. Local, state, and federal authorities remain vigilant because it is obvious the two dead men were working for someone in the area. The only way for Sam to be safe is to find the mastermind and put him behind bars. <P>BLINDSIDE is the perfect suspense thriller, loaded with plenty of action a lot of romance and a reunion with Savitch and Sherlock who play a large secondary role. Catherine Coulter has written a novel that will appeal to readers of romantic suspense and fast paced thrillers. The author deftly handles the romantic between Miles and Katie so subtly readers will accept that under heavy fire people can still fall in love. Ms. Coulter is a one of a kind author who knows how to hook her readers and keep them coming back for more. <P>Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 13, 2014

    Love her books of the fbi series. Always look forward to the nex

    Love her books of the fbi series. Always look forward to the next one.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2014

    Keeps you on the edge!

    I love to try and figure out the bad guy. This author makes this fun.

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  • Posted November 23, 2013

    love it

    I am rereading the entire series and enjoying it as much as the first time through.

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  • Posted November 15, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Love Coulter

    Books are a great read. She always comes up with something intriguing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2013

    Catherine Coulter

    Coulter rocks. I love her and her FBI book series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 28, 2013

    Agree with anonymous

    This book was horrible all the while reading i kept thinking who talks about murder in front of kids...and what kind of kids talk like this (picture a little six year old kid telling the sheriff you should have killed him....huh?) This book was just bizarre to say the least. I lived Ms Coulter when she wrote about Vikings...tolerated her Wiccan phase but am laughing myself silly at her attempt at dramatic writing.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 25, 2013


    Love her FBI series and this is right on up there with rest.Can't wait to read the rest of the series.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 21, 2013

    Another good one.

    I liked the part where Katie was taking care of Savich before the paramedics came.

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  • Posted September 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Good book

    I enjoyed this as I have the others in the series.

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  • Posted January 28, 2012

    highly recommended

    Cather Coulter's whole FBI series is written so well. Blide side was excellent. I have read the whole series and am starting #14. She is a pleasure to read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011



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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2011

    Another awesome book in the c coulterFBI

    This is a great FBI series of books for those of you who like to read about repeating characters and new ones...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 13, 2008

    This is the first and LAST book by this author I'll read!

    Whoever included 'FBI Thriller' as a sub-title to this book was way off!There is nothing thrilling about this book, and I'm sorry I wasted my time and money on this book! This author talks down to her readers, leaves important storylines uncovered and hanging (the math teacher killer, how the tape of Sam ended up in the posession of the mastermind behind his kidnapping). Sam and Keeley (six and fiver years old) use language and syntex that would only come out of the mouth of an educated adult, and the conversation between the adults reads like a third grade reader! Don't waste your time!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 26, 2006

    Sometimes less is more

    Too much of a good thing subtracts from some books, especially this author's. She would be a better mystery writer if she dropped some of the pretensions of the romance writer and put more focus onto the mystery and telling the story. Her dialogue is not the best, and she is often so repetitive that we have to wonder if she is talking down to her reader. If you can overcome some of these things, you'll find it a fast and entertaining read.

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