The Cove (FBI Series #1) [NOOK Book]


In this "fast-paced" (Publishers Weekly) page-turner, the daughter of a murdered high-powered lawyer seeks sanctuary in a quaint little town, only to learn she can't escape her past-or FBI Special Agent Dillon Savich.

In this "fast-paced" (Publishers Weekly) page-turner, the daughter of a murdered high-powered lawyer seeks sanctuary in a quaint little town, only to learn she can't escape her past-or FBI ...
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The Cove (FBI Series #1)

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In this "fast-paced" (Publishers Weekly) page-turner, the daughter of a murdered high-powered lawyer seeks sanctuary in a quaint little town, only to learn she can't escape her past-or FBI Special Agent Dillon Savich.

In this "fast-paced" (Publishers Weekly) page-turner, the daughter of a murdered high-powered lawyer seeks sanctuary in a quaint little town, only to learn she can't escape her past-or FBI Special Agent Dillon Savich.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
The Barnes & Noble Review
Secrets, surprises, and suspense are the hallmarks of the novels in Catherine Coulter's bestselling FBI series of contemporary suspense-thrillers. That's been true ever since the first volume, The Cove, came out in paperback in 1996 and wowed readers with the chilling story of a woman on the run who takes refuge in a picture-perfect town on the Oregon coast. When the quaint little town turns out to be not as idyllic as it seems, Sally Brainerd must rely on an unexpected ally: the undercover FBI agent assigned to pursue her, James Quinlan. The dramatic story that unfolds is one of murder, deception, betrayal, and unforeseen love -- in a town that's famous for its ice cream. Now this landmark volume is being released for the first time in a hardcover edition that will delight every Coulter fan. Sue Stone
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
"So perfect, like a Hollywood set," FBI agent James Quinlan thinks as he enters The Cove, a seemingly tranquil, picture-postcard town situated on the Oregon coast. Quinlan has been on Sally Brainerd's trail since her arms-dealing father, Amory St. John, was murdered. Sally is the key witness, and it's Quinlan's job to bring her in. Quinlan, whose cover is working as a PI hired to find an old couple who had mysteriously disappeared three years earlier, quickly learns that when he starts asking questions, bad things start happening. Coulter (The Nightingale Legacy), whose contemporary suspense novels are, unfortunately, few and far between, delivers a fast-paced, solidly structured read despite the occasionally cartoonish characters. (Apr.)
From the Publisher
"Fantastic...Action-packed...Spine-tingling." —Affaire De Coeur
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781101191477
  • Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/1/1996
  • Series: FBI Series, #1
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 667
  • File size: 664 KB

Meet the Author

Catherine  Coulter
Catherine Coulter is the author of sixty-five novels, almost all of them New York Times bestsellers. She earned her reputation writing historical romances, but in recent years turned her hand to penningwith great successcontemporary suspense novels. The Cove spent nine weeks on The New York Times paperback bestseller list and sold more than one million copies. The Maze was Coulter's first book to land on The New York Times hardcover bestseller list.A review of The Maze in Publisher's Weekly stated that it "was gripping enough to establish Coulter firmly in this genre." Coulter continues to live up to that promise with twelve more New York Times bestselling FBI thrillers, including her most recent title Whiplash. Coulter's 15th FBI thriller Split Second will be released in 2011.

Catherine Coulter's first novel, The Autumn Countess, was published at the end of 1978 when she had just reached puberty. It was a Regency romance because, as she says, "as any publisher will tell you, it's best to limit the unknowns in a first book, and not only had I grown up reading Georgette Heyer, but I earned my M.A. degree in 19th century European history."

Following The Autumn Countess (a Gothic masquerading as a Regency, she says), Catherine wrote six more Regency romances. In 1982, she published her first long historical, Devil's Embrace. She has continued to write long historicals, interspersing them with hardcover contemporary novels, beginning with False Pretenses in 1988.

She pioneered the trilogy in historical romance, each of them very popular. They include: Song, Star, Magic, Night, Bride, Viking, and Legacy trilogies. She enjoys trilogies because she doesn't have to say good-bye to the characters and neither do the readers.

Catherine grew up on a horse ranch in Texas. She graduated from the University of Texas and received her masters at Boston College. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she worked on Wall Street as a speechwriter for a company president. She loves to travel and ski, reads voraciously, and has a reputation for telling jokesbelieving the publishing business is too crazy not to laugh. Catherine lives in Marin County, California with her physician husband and her three cats.

Catherine Coulter loves to hear from readers. You can e-mail her at


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

SOMEONE WAS WATCHING her. She tugged on the black

wig, flattening it against her ears, and quickly put on another

coat of deep-red lipstick, holding the mirror up so

she could see behind her.

The young Marine saw her face in the mirror and

grinned at her. She jumped as if she’d been shot. Just stop

it. He’s harmless, he’s just flirting. He couldn’t be more

than eighteen, his head all shaved, his cheeks as smooth

as hers. She tilted the mirror to see more. The woman

sitting beside him was reading a Dick Francis novel. In

the seat behind them a young couple were leaning into

each other, asleep.

The seat in front of her was empty. The Greyhound

driver was whistling Eric Clapton’s ‘‘Tears in Heaven,’’

a song that always twisted up her insides. The only one

who seemed to notice her was that young Marine, who’d

gotten on at the last stop in Portland. He was probably

going home to see his eighteen-year-old girlfriend. He

wasn’t after her, surely, but someone was. She wouldn’t

be fooled again. They’d taught her so much. No, she’d

never be fooled again.

She put the mirror back into her purse and fastened the

flap. She stared at her fingers, at the white line where the

wedding ring had been until three days ago. She’d tried

to pull it off for the past six months but hadn’t managed

to do it. She had been too out of it even to fasten the

Velcro on her sneakers—when they allowed her sneakers—

much less work off a tight ring.

Soon, she thought, soon she would be safe. Her mother

would be safe too. Oh, God, Noelle—sobbing in the middle

of the night when she didn’t know anyone could hear

her. But without her there, they couldn’t do a thing to

Noelle. Odd how she rarely thought of Noelle as her

mother anymore, not like she had ten years before, when

Noelle had listened to all her teenage problems, taken her

shopping, driven her to her soccer games. So much they’d

done together. Before. Yes, before that night when she’d

seen her father slam his fist into her mother’s chest and

she’d heard the cracking of at least two ribs.

She’d run in, screaming at him to leave her mother

alone, and jumped on his back. He was so surprised, so

shocked, that he didn’t strike her. He shook her off,

turned, and shouted down at her, ‘‘Mind your own business,

Susan! This doesn’t concern you.’’ She stared at

him, all the fear and hatred she felt for him at that moment

clear on her face.

‘‘Doesn’t concern me? She’s my mother, you bastard.

Don’t you dare hit her again!’’

He looked calm, but she wasn’t fooled; she saw the

pulse pounding madly in his neck. ‘‘It was her fault, Susan.

Mind your own damned business. Do you hear me?

It was her fault.’’ He took a step toward her mother, his

fist raised. She picked up the Waterford carafe off his

desk, yelling, ‘‘Touch her and I’ll bash your head in.’’

He was panting now, turning swiftly to face her again,

no more calm expression to fool her. His face was distorted

with rage. ‘‘Bitch! Damned interfering little bitch!

I’ll make you pay for this, Susan. No one goes against

me, particularly a spoiled little girl who’s never done a

thing in her life except spend her father’s money.’’ He

didn’t hit Noelle again. He looked at both of them with

naked fury, then strode out of the house, slamming the

door behind him.

‘‘Yeah, right,’’ she said and very carefully and slowly

set the Waterford carafe down before she dropped it.

She wanted to call an ambulance but her mother

wouldn’t allow it. ‘‘You can’t,’’ she said, her voice as

cracked as her ribs. ‘‘You can’t, Sally. Your father would

be ruined, if anyone believed us. I can’t allow that to


‘‘He deserves to be ruined,’’ Sally said, but she obeyed.

She was only sixteen years old, home for the weekend

from her private girls’ school in Laurelberg, Virginia.

Why wouldn’t they be believed?

‘‘No, dearest,’’ her mother whispered, the pain bowing

her in on herself. ‘‘No. Get me that blue bottle of pills in

the medicine cabinet. Hurry, Sally. The blue bottle.’’

As she watched her mother swallow three of the pills,

groaning as she did so, she realized the pills were there

because her father had struck her mother before. Deep

down, Sally had known it. She hated herself because she’d

never asked, never said a word.

That night her mother became Noelle, and the next

week Sally left her girls’ school and moved back to her

parents’ home in Washington, D.C., in hopes of protecting

her mother. She read everything she could find on abuse—

not that it helped.

That was ten years ago, though sometimes it seemed

like last week. Noelle had stayed with her husband, refusing

to seek counseling, refusing to read any of the

books Sally brought her. It made no sense to Sally, but

she’d stayed as close as possible, until she’d met Scott

Brainerd at the Whistler exhibition at the National Gallery

of Art and married him two months later.

She didn’t want to think about Scott or about her father

now. Despite her vigilance, she knew her father had hit

Noelle whenever she happened to be gone from the house.

She’d seen the bruises her mother had tried to hide from

her, seen her walking carefully, like an old woman. Once

he broke her mother’s arm, but Noelle refused to go to

the hospital, to the doctor, and ordered Susan to keep

quiet. Her father just looked at her, daring her, and she

did nothing. Nothing.

Her fingers rubbed unconsciously over the white line

where the ring had been. She could remember the past so

clearly—her first day at school, when she was on the seesaw

and a little boy pointed, laughing that he saw her


It was just the past week that was a near blank in her

mind. The week her father had been killed. The whole

week was like a very long dream that had almost dissolved

into nothing more than an occasional wisp of memory

with the coming of the morning.

Sally knew she’d been at her parents’ house that night,

but she couldn’t remember anything more, at least nothing

she could grasp—just vague shadows that blurred, then

faded in and out. But they didn’t know that. They wanted

her badly, she’d realized that soon enough. If they

couldn’t use her to prove that Noelle had killed her husband,

why, then they’d take her and prove that she’d

killed her father. Why not? Other children had murdered

their fathers. Although there were plenty of times she’d

wanted to, she didn’t believe she’d killed him.

On the other hand, she just didn’t know. It was all a

blank, locked tightly away in her brain. She knew she was

capable of killing that bastard, but had she? There were

many people who could have wanted her father dead. Perhaps

they’d found out she’d been there after all. Yes, that

was it. She’d been a witness and they knew it. She probably

had been. She just didn’t remember.

She had to stay focused on the present. She looked out

the Greyhound window at the small town the bus was

going through. Ugly gray exhaust spewed out the back of

the bus. She bet the locals loved that.

They were driving along Highway 101 southwest. Just

another half hour, she thought, just thirty more minutes,

and she wouldn’t have to worry anymore, at least for a

while. She would take any safe time she could get. Soon

she wouldn’t have to be afraid of anyone who chanced to

look at her. No one knew about her aunt, no one.

She was terrified that the young Marine would get off

after her when she stepped down from the bus at the junction

of Highways 101 and 101A. But he didn’t. No one

did. She stood there with her one small bag, staring at the

young Marine, who’d turned around in his seat and was

looking back at her. She tamped down on her fear. He

just wanted to flirt, not hurt her. She thought he had lousy

taste in women. She watched for cars, but none were coming

from either direction.

She walked west along Highway 101A to The Cove.

Highway 101A didn’t go east.


She stared at the woman she’d seen once in her life

when she was no more than seven years old. She looked

like a hippie, a colorful scarf wrapped around her long,

curling, dark hair, huge gold hoops dangling from her

ears, her skirt ankle-length and painted all in dark blues

and browns. She was wearing blue sneakers. Her face was

strong, her cheekbones high and prominent, her chin

sharp, her eyes dark and intelligent. Actually, she was the

most beautiful woman Sally had ever seen.

‘‘Aunt Amabel?’’

‘‘What did you say?’’ Amabel stared at the young

woman who stood on her front doorstep, a young woman

who didn’t look cheap with all that makeup she’d piled

on her face, just exhausted and sickly pale. And frightened.

Then, of course, she knew. She had known deep

down that she would come. Yes, she’d known, but it still

shook her.

‘‘I’m Sally,’’ she said and pulled off the black wig and

took out half a dozen hairpins. Thick, waving dark-blond

hair tumbled down to her shoulders. ‘‘Maybe you called

me Susan? Not many people do anymore.’’

6 Catherine Coulter

The woman was shaking her head back and forth, those

dazzling earrings slapping against her neck. ‘‘My God,

it’s really you, Sally?’’ She rocked back on her heels.

‘‘Yes, Aunt.’’

‘‘Oh, my,’’ Amabel said and quickly pulled her niece

against her, hugged her tightly, then pushed her back to

look at her. ‘‘Oh, my goodness. I’ve been so worried. I

finally heard the news about your papa, but I didn’t know

if I should call Noelle. You know how she is. I was going

to call her tonight when the rates go down, but you’re

here, Sally. I guess I hoped you’d come to me. What’s

happened? Is your mama all right?’’

‘‘Noelle is fine, I think,’’ Sally said. ‘‘I didn’t know

where else to go, so I came here. Can I stay here, Aunt

Amabel, just for a little while? Just until I can think of

something, make some plans?’’

‘‘Of course you can. Look at that black wig and all that

makeup on your face. Why, baby?’’

The endearment undid her. She’d not cried, not once,

until now, until this woman she didn’t really know called

her ‘‘baby.’’ Her aunt’s hands were stroking her back, her

voice was low and soothing. ‘‘It’s all right, lovey. I promise

you, everything will be all right now. Come in, Sally,

and I’ll take care of you. That’s what I told your mama

when I first saw you. You were the cutest little thing, so

skinny, your arms and legs wobbly like a colt’s, and the

biggest smile I’d ever seen. I wanted to take care of you

then. You’ll be safe here. Come on, baby.’’

The damnable tears wouldn’t stop. They just kept dripping

down her face, ruining the god-awful thick black

mascara. She even tasted it, and when she swiped her

hand over her face it came away with black streaks.

‘‘I look like a circus clown,’’ she said, swallowing hard

to stop the tears, to smile, to make herself smile. She took

out the green-colored contacts. With the crying, they hurt.

‘‘No, you look like a little girl trying on her mama’s

makeup. That’s right, take out those ugly contacts. Ah,

now you’ve got your pretty blue eyes again. Come to the

kitchen and I’ll make you some tea. I always put a drop

of brandy in mine. It wouldn’t hurt you one little bit. How

old are you now, Sally?’’

‘‘Twenty-six, I think.’’

‘‘What do you mean, you think?’’ her aunt said, cocking

her head to one side, making the gold hoop earring

hang straight down almost to her shoulder.

Sally couldn’t tell her that though she thought her birthday

had come and gone in that place, she couldn’t seem

to see the day in her mind, couldn’t dredge up anyone

saying anything to her, not that she could imagine it anyway.

She couldn’t even remember if her father had been

there. She prayed he hadn’t. She couldn’t tell Amabel

about that, she just couldn’t. She shook her head, smiled,

and said, not lying well, ‘‘It was just a way of speaking,

Aunt Amabel. I’d love some tea and a drop of brandy.’’

Amabel sat her niece down in the kitchen at her old

pine table that had three magazines under one leg to keep

it steady. At least she’d made cushions for the wooden

seats, so they were comfortable. She put the kettle on the

gas burner and turned it on. ‘‘There,’’ she said. ‘‘That

won’t take too long.’’

Sally watched her put a Lipton tea bag into each cup

and pour in the brandy. Amabel said, ‘‘I always pour the

brandy in first. It soaks into the tea bag and makes the

flavor stronger. Brandy’s expensive and I’ve got to make

it last. This bottle’’—she lifted the Christian Brothers—

‘‘is going on its third month. Not bad. You’ll see, you’ll

like it.’’

‘‘No one followed me, Aunt Amabel. I was really careful.

I imagine you know that everyone is after me. But I

managed to get away. As far as I know, no one knows

about you. Noelle never told a soul. Only Father knew

about you, and he’s dead.’’

Amabel just nodded. Sally sat quietly, watching Amabel

move around her small kitchen, each action smooth

8 Catherine Coulter

and efficient. She was graceful, this aunt of hers in her

hippie clothes. She looked at those strong hands, the long

fingers, the short, buffed nails painted an awesome bright

red. Amabel was an artist, she remembered that now. She

couldn’t see any resemblance at all to Noelle, Amabel’s

younger sister. Amabel was dark as a gypsy, while Noelle

was blond and fair-complexioned, blue-eyed and soft as

a pillow.

Like me, Sally thought. But Sally wasn’t soft anymore.

She was hard as a brick.

She waited, expecting Amabel to whip out a deck of

cards and tell her fortune. She wondered why none of

Noelle’s family ever spoke of Amabel. What had she done

that was so terrible?

Her fingers rubbed over the white band where the ring

had been. She said as she looked around the old kitchen

with its ancient refrigerator and porcelain sink, ‘‘You

don’t mind that I’m here, Aunt Amabel?’’

‘‘Call me Amabel, honey, that’ll be just fine. I don’t

mind at all. Both of us will protect your mama. As for

you, why, I don’t think you could hurt that little bug that’s

scurrying across the kitchen floor.’’

Sally shook her head, got out of her seat, and squashed

the bug beneath her heel. She sat down again. ‘‘I just want

you to see me as I really am,’’ she said.

Amabel only shrugged, turned back to the stove when

the teakettle whistled, and poured the water into the teacups.

She said, not turning around, ‘‘Things happen to

people, change them. Take your mama. Everyone always

protected your mama, including me. Why wouldn’t her

daughter do the same? You are protecting her, aren’t you,


She handed Sally her cup of tea. She pulled the tea bag

back and forth, making the tea darker and darker. Finally,

she lifted the bag and placed it carefully on the saucer.

She’d swished that tea bag just the way her mother always

had when she’d been young. She took a drink, held the

brandied tea in her mouth a moment, then swallowed. The

tea was wonderful, thick, rich, and sinful. She felt less on

edge almost immediately. That brandy was something.

Surely she’d be safe here. Surely Amabel would take her

in just for a little while until she figured out what to do.

She imagined her aunt wanted to hear everything, but

she wasn’t pushing. Sally was immensely grateful for that.

‘‘I’ve often wondered what kind of woman you’d become,’’

Amabel said. ‘‘Looks to me like you’ve become

a fine one. This mess—and that’s what it is—it will pass.

Everything will be resolved, you’ll see.’’ She was silent

a moment, remembering the affection she’d felt for the

little girl, that bone-deep desire to keep her close, to hug

her until she squeaked. It surprised her that it was still

there. She didn’t like it, nor did she want it.

‘‘Careful of leaning on that end of the table, Sally. Purn

Davies wanted to fix it for me, but I wouldn’t let him.’’

She knew Sally wasn’t hearing her, but it didn’t matter,

Amabel was just making noise until Sally got some of

that brandy in her belly.

‘‘This tea’s something else, Amabel. Strange, but

good.’’ She took another drink, then another. She felt

warmth pooling in her stomach. She realized she hadn’t

felt this warm in more than five days.

‘‘You might as well tell me now, Sally. You came here

so you could protect your mama, didn’t you, baby?’’

Sally took another big drink of the tea. What could she

say? She said nothing.

‘‘Did your mama kill your papa?’’

Sally set down her cup and stared into it, wishing she

knew the truth of things, but that night was as murky in

her mind as the tea in the bottom of her cup. ‘‘I don’t

know,’’ she said finally. ‘‘I just don’t know, but they think

I do. They think I’m either protecting Noelle or running

because I did it. They’re trying to find me. I didn’t want

to take a chance, so that’s why I’m here.’’

Was she lying? Amabel didn’t say anything. She

10 Catherine Coulter

merely smiled at her niece, who looked exhausted, her

face white and pinched, her lovely blue eyes as faded and

worn as an old dress. She was too thin; her sweater and

slacks hung on her. In that moment her niece looked very

old, as if she had seen too much of the wicked side of

life. Well, it was too bad, but there was more wickedness

in the world than anyone cared to admit.

She said quietly as she stared down into her teacup, ‘‘If

your mama did kill her husband, I’ll bet the bastard deserved


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Table of Contents

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Interviews & Essays

A Message from Catherine Coulter

In November 2003, Putnam released Catherine Coulter's very first FBI thriller -- originally published only in paperback -- in a hardcover edition. To celebrate, Ransom Notes asked Coulter about the origins of her endlessly popular series and her plans for the future:

My brain has always worked in a mystery sort of way. I'd say that regardless of the genre I'm writing, a good 80 percent of my books have mysteries in them. With Beyond Eden, Impulse, and False Pretenses -- my first contemporaries -- the mysteries were an integral part from the beginning. But, with The Cove, I moved beyond using mystery and suspense around a central story of a romantic relationship, to a nearly pure suspense thriller.

When I started work on The Cove I was really frazzled, having just finished nine historical romances in a row for Putnam (three trilogies). The Cove was a real departure for me. Initially, Putnam wanted to bring it out in hardcover. But I squawked -- we were trying something completely new, and I didn't want to risk failing in hardcover. So The Cove came out as a mass market paperback original. As it turns out, it was the only one of the FBI series to come out in paperback first. Readers have been asking for a hardcover edition ever since, and now it's finally coming!

I've always gravitated to recurring characters. Still, when my sister gave me the idea for The Cove, I had not a single thought about a series. It was serendipity that James Quinlan was an FBI agent and worked with other agents. Then, when I got the idea for The Maze, I still wasn't thinking about a series as such, but the FBI was a natural fit to the story, and I couldn't resist using Savich (introduced as a secondary character in The Cove) again. By the third book, The Target, it all came together as a series.

Right now I'm writing another FBI thriller, Blowout, for the summer of 2004. This one is focused on Sherlock & Savich, with the return of Detective Ben Raven (from Blindside) of the Metropolitan Police Department in Washington, D.C.

If readers want to contact me, my email address is and my mailing address is P.O. Box 17, Mill Valley, CA. 94942. I answer all messages myself. It might take me a while, but I do get to them all.

My web site ( is very user friendly, and I hope the newsletters there entertain. They come complete with monthly photos of Corky and Cleo (my two cats, who think of me as Motherfood), and feature news of other events in my life, like a real honor I had recently: I was invited to the National Book Festival. Not only did I meet the president and the cabinet at the gala at the Library of Congress; I was asked to be one of three speakers at the opening ceremonies at the White House. It was like a dream come true. Catherine Coulter

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 506 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 1, 2008


    I am fortunate to get B@N gift cards so I decided to try an author new to me, and have gotten several of her books. The only one of her FBI series worth reading is this one. The rest of the series reads like a teenager wrote the love scenes, the women and most of the fictional agents are all similar in looks,temperment and actions-in other words-boring.

    28 out of 33 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2006

    put the book down, back up, turn around and walk away as fas as you can

    I read the Eleventh Hour and Blow Out - they were great. I had this notion to start with her very first FBI Series and work my way up - The Cove was at best, a horrible and painful read. But oh no, I thought, I just had to read The Target after that, MAYBE it would get better, but it didn't. Then I read the next book - what WAS I thinking. The characters are just plain stupid and then what's worse, the characters even communicate with each other in dialog that is just plain corny (which is what I've found in the other books as well). The plot could have been good if it was just better written and developed and not so contrite.

    26 out of 28 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 3, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Wretched Style with Plot Pot Holes Studding the Landscape

    Coulter is a romance writer that has broken out into the mainstream; this book was found in the mystery section. Blessedly, the book lacked the romance genre's purple prose descriptions of the protagonists, but it did have a bad habit of head-hopping that by Chapter Four was seriously getting on my nerves. However, the book also had an intriguing mystery that was pulling me in and had me firmly hooked by Chapter Ten. Unfortunately, the plot holes kept growing until they became a yawing plot gorge. To give one example not a spoiler, the hero, an FBI agent, more than once talked about how his gun was on a hair-trigger. Then, without any mention of unloading it after taking it away from someone, he "tosses" it into the car. Time and time again he and his partner ignore the law and act recklessly and irresponsibly. Eventually little and not so little things like that piled up, the story lost credibility with me, and I stopped reading about half way through and skipped to the end--the resolution of the mystery was silly. This is also the second novel out of six read so far on a romance novel recommendation list where the heroine was involuntarily committed for mental illness by her husband and is on the run to avoid being sent back. Is this something common in the romance genre or what? Part of the FBI Thriller series--I'm going to pass on the rest.

    19 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2010

    Not worth the time if writing quality matters

    This is the first Coulter I've read, based on a friend's recommendation, and I was disappointed.
    The overall plot concept is marginally OK, but the big surprise really isn't.
    The Cove could be made into a viewable TV movie -- and maybe it already has been?
    But the book would be too long at half the length. The writing is sloppy, amateurish and repetitive.
    Parts of the plot suspend belief -- how many times can the heroine get recaptured? 3? 4?
    Avoid THe Cove or your stay might be as painful as some of the missing visitors.

    14 out of 16 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 23, 2006

    STOP...Walk Away! Dangerously BAD Series

    Save yourself some time and money and move on. If you are looking for romance you are not going to find it here. This series is pure mystery.

    11 out of 12 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 9, 2010

    Ugh! Drew me in...but what a waste!

    I can't believe I spent time reading this book! Fortunately I took it out of the library and didn't pay for it! While the plot had great potential, the choppy, conversational writing style was extremely painful to read. I kept reading thinking that it HAD to get better...boy was I wrong!!!

    10 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 19, 2010


    I was excited about this book till I started reading it. Very predictable and very boring.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2010

    Not her best

    The Cove was a great disappointment and not worth my time. But.....I'd purchased the ebook and my mother taught me to never NOT finish a book ---- but this one was a waste of time.

    8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 9, 2009


    I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the FBI series. I replaced my first CD audio "The Cove" with the MP3 CD format. I believe it is safer when listening while traveling. The MP3 CD has the entire book on one CD (11 hours) so you aren't distracted by changing regular CDs while traveling at 65-70 mph.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2007

    Couldn't put it down!

    This was a great book! The action never stopped and I fell in the love with the characters... My only hope is that I love the rest of the series as much as I loved The Cove and The Maze! Catherine Coulter has definitely made it to my top favorite author list!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 4, 2011

    Lousy, poorly written

    One of the very worst books I've ever tried to read. The plot and characters were unrealistic, stilted and juvenile. It was a waste of time. I gave up and skipped to the last chapter but the ending was as bad, or worse. Certainly NOT recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 19, 2000

    Another Good Book by Catherine Coulter

    I have just finished reading The Cove. I found the first 100 or so pages of the book uneventful and boring but I kept reading hoping the story would get better which it does, so if you find yourself in a similar situation reading this book, take my advice and keep reading! The ending is worth it.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 21, 2011


    I'm sorry I wasted my time reading this book! I gave it one star because I had to to finish rating it. Also, it deserves a star for the time and effort to produce it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 2, 2011

    Hated it

    I have read many of Ms. Coulter's books and really liked most of them. However, I really hated The Cove. It had a contrived plot,stilted dialogue,and unlikely characters and behaviors. I threw the book in the trash when I finished, because I didn't want anyone else to suffer through it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 9, 2010

    Not Worth Your Time

    I have not read this author before. I found the story totally implausible and the characters one dimensional. The writing style is amateurish at best. I will not read anything else by this author.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 30, 2013


    This was my first Coulter book and will be my last. Given that fiction should have some lattitude in believability, this book was so far off the edge of reality to the point of distraction and frustration. Not that the basic plot couldn't hold some water, but it was mostly in the way the characters interacted and the manner of speech that drove me to continually toss the book aside only to force myself to pick it up again for one reason, I paid for it. There was an obvious lack of research into the FBI and the basic ways in which the bureau operates which made one of the lead characters simply non-believable and therefore I, as the reader, could hold no connection to him or accept the story as it unfolded (and it was very slow to unfold). The only way I can describe this is that it is so underdeveloped that its as if the author did this as a high school assignment and I felt as though I wanted to pull out a pen and bleed red all over it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2013

    The Cove

    I started reading her books years ago then I read one with the FBI series. I love Dillon and Savich! I have read all the the series and can't wait for more!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2011

    It was okay. Took me a couple of starts to get into it. Not great not awful

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 30, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Not recommended - difficult to get through...

    I had high hopes for this book. The plot is great, and the twists and turns are creative and will keep you guessing. Unfortunately, the character dialogue is stilted and unnatural. The characters do not interact like any humans I've ever heard of. The vocabulary is odd, the colloquialisms are on the side of ridiculous, and the "jokes" between the characters (and in their own heads) are overly PG. If you skip the parts of the book where you see quotations marks, then it goes pretty well.
    Otherwise, I'd recommend Iris Johansen.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 15, 2010

    Don't judge the author by her first book

    It's been a long time since I read "The Cove" but I can tell you her more recent books are better written. Give her another chance and try one of the Bishop/Sherlock stories.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 506 Customer Reviews

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