The Edge (FBI Series #4)

The Edge (FBI Series #4)

3.8 126
by Catherine Coulter, Robert Lawrence

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Baffled by a seemingly supernatural connection to his critically injured sister, an FBI special agent heads to the Oregon coast in search of a more plausible explanation for his sudden ESP, only to discover more puzzling mysteries.

FBI agent Ford MacDougal—"Mac"—is recovering from a terrorist car bombing when his sister appears to purposely drive her

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Baffled by a seemingly supernatural connection to his critically injured sister, an FBI special agent heads to the Oregon coast in search of a more plausible explanation for his sudden ESP, only to discover more puzzling mysteries.

FBI agent Ford MacDougal—"Mac"—is recovering from a terrorist car bombing when his sister appears to purposely drive her Porsche off an Oregon cliff. Curiously, Mac felt as if he were in the car with her as she sailed toward the sea, even though he was really in a hospital bed on the other side of the country.

By the time Mac arrives in Portland, his sister—Dr. Jilly Bartlett, a medical researcher—has come out of the coma she's been in for four days. But after a few scant hours with her brother, Jilly vanishes without a trace. In searching for her, Mac gets a different story from everyone he encounters. When the local sheriff enlists Mac's aid in a puzzling murder of an elderly resident, Mac little suspects that the case connects to his sister's disappearance. FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich (last seen in The Target) join Mac to ride shotgun, only to find their search leading from a small town on the Oregon coast to the rain forests of Costa Rica. Together, they must escape relentless pursuers as well as the hostile jungle itself before discovering the true nature of the evil at The Edge.

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Editorial Reviews

Jill M. Smith
Catherine Coulter adds another electrifying and exhilarating suspense tale to her expanding portfolio. The reappearance of FBI Agents Dillon and Lacy Savich is another plus. Settle in for hours of reading thrills.
Romantic Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Like Jilly Bartlett, who drives her white Porsche off an Oregon cliff in the prologue, Coulter (The Target) has an uncertain hand on the wheel of her rambling thriller. FBI agent Ford "Mac" MacDouglas, Jilly's brother, is a tough-but-tenderhearted protagonist unraveling the mystery surrounding his sister's plunge — with frequent interruptions for sex and violent surprises. Jilly, a brilliant chemist, survives the accident (or is it a suicide attempt?), only to disappear upon awaking from a four-day coma, leaving Mac with some vexing questions. What kind of drug have Jilly and her unpleasant scientist husband, Paul, developed — a fountain of youth, a wild libido enhancer, a fertility drug, a memory-eraser, or all of the above? Why is Jilly deathly afraid of beautiful Laura Scott, who's ostensibly a reclusive research librarian but obviously far too street smart to play that role convincingly? Who killed retired cop Charlie Duck? Coulter risks exasperating her readers — who may tire of the relentless questions this book raises in increasingly heavy doses — with excessive and transparent collusions; it turns out that the highway patrolman who rescues Jilly has ties to sheriff Maggie Sheffield, and that Sheffield is the ex-wife of a detective. The intrigue doesn't really add up to much, whether the action is taking place amid flowing champagne in the Edgeworth, Ore., home of wealthy evildoer Alyssum Tarcher or in the rain forest of Costa Rica where Mac and Laura are whisked, after being gassed, then drugged. Coulter, who made her name writing historical romances before shifting into modern suspense mode, packs her newest tale with an overabundance of perilous contrivances, and for the most part, between drug cartel kidnappers and love on the lam, the plot buckles under its own weight.
Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Coulter adds another romantic suspense title to her series that began with The Cove. FBI agent Ford MacDougall is recovering from a car bomb blast when he suddenly begins to share a paranormal connection with his sister, Jilly, who is in a coma after driving her Porsche off a cliff in Oregon. He leaves his own hospital bed to fly to her side just in time to experience another supernatural experience. Mysteries multiply, Jilly disappears, and Ford hooks up with a reference librarian to deal with a situation involving a sex drug that renders its users psychotic, leading our hero to the rain forests of Costa Rica. Unfortunately, this novel is written in the first person, with all the problems that that entails. Brilliance has followed its routine of having the narrators read at a lightning pace to conserve cassette space, and if that isn't distracting enough, the readers change. Robert Lawrence reads Ford's part, and an unnamed actress performs Jilly's role. If someone is speaking from a telephone, there is an electronic sound, and when Jilly narrates from her coma, her voice comes to us with an echo similar to the bottom of a well. The writing is juvenile, the dialog is laughable, the characters undeveloped, and the ending falls flat. Libraries would do well to spend their money elsewhere. Not recommended.--Barbara Perkins, Irving P.L., TX Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
— Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical College Library, La Crosse
— Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical College Library, La Crosse
— Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical College Library, La Crosse
— Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical College Library, La Crosse
— Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical College Library, La Crosse
— Patrick J. Brunet, Western Wisconsin Technical College Library, La Crosse
Beth Amos
Catherine Coulter's flair for romance and intrigue has been evident since she drafted her first historical romance. Even when her story lines revolve around an 18th-century romance, elements of mystery and suspense are always part and parcel of the package. Now, with more than 40 novels to her credit, Coulter has flexed her writing muscles to expand into the area of contemporary romantic thrillers. Her first three, The Cove, The Maze, and The Target, all made the New York Times bestseller list and masterfully combined intriguing plot twists, edge-of-the-seat suspense, and compelling characters who like to live and love passionately. Now, with her fourth romantic suspense thriller, Coulter takes readers right to the edge, dangles them above a slippery slope, then lets them go for a deliciously frightening plunge into the nightmare world of mind-bending drugs and greedy men with a voracious appetite for money, pleasure, and sex.

FBI agent Ford "Mac" MacDougal is recuperating in a D.C. hospital after a near-death experience with a terrorist bomb. Yet, while he's in the hospital, he has an experience that is far more frightening, when he shares the final terrifying moments of his sister Jilly's near-drowning as she drives her Porsche off a coastal highway in Oregon. Unsettled by this sudden bout of ESP, Mac heads for the tiny town of Edgerton, Oregon -- referred to by all the locals as simply the Edge -- where his sister remains in a coma after being miraculously saved from her watery death by a passing police deputy. Mac quickly senses that something strange is going on in this deceptively quiet little town, and when he later connects with Jilly's comatose mind, he hears his sister's frantic pleas to be left alone, pleas she directs at a woman named Laura Scott. Mac finds and meets Laura and is instantly smitten by this beautiful and mysterious woman. Yet, while he doesn't believe Laura is the menace Jilly seems to feel she is, Mac is certain Laura isn't being totally honest with him. But before he can sort through it all, Jilly awakens from her coma and disappears.

Desperate to get to the bottom of the mystery and find his sister, Mac pays visits to some of Edgerton's more quirky and eccentric residents. There's wealthy power-monger Alyssum Tarcher, who basically runs the town and everyone in it; his unbalanced son and daughter, Colter and Cal Tarcher, the latter of whom has a special lust for Mac; and Alyssum's extremely lovely wife, Elaine. There's also Jilly's unlikable husband, Paul, who left his drug research position back east under some questionable circumstances and moved to Edgerton, where he now seems to be working for Alyssum Tarcher. There's also Maggie Sheffield, the town's sheriff, and her deputy, a hunky lady's man, Rob Morrison, who also happens to be the person who pulled Jilly from her Porsche after she drove it into the water. Finally, there is Charlie Duck, a retired Chicago cop who hasn't lost his investigative curiosity, a fact that unfortunately leads to his murder.

As Mac searches for answers amidst a secretive and close-ranked town where some people seem to be leading extraordinary sex lives, he finds himself falling hard for Laura. When an attempt on Laura's life almost kills Mac as well, he calls in reinforcements by summoning the husband-and-wife FBI team from The Target, Lacy "Sherlock" Savich and her husband, Dillon. As they try to find Jilly, the foursome come under attack from unknown forces who send them on a journey through mental and physical hell. Before they can find their way back, or any answers, more will die and all will face dangers more frightening than any they've faced before.

Coulter's latest is a fast-paced page-turner of tremendous proportions with enough violence, sex, passion, and mystery to sate even the most jaded reader. This trip to The Edge is definitely a journey worth taking.

--Beth Amos

Beth Amos is the author of several mainstream suspense thrillers, including Second Sight, Eyes of Night, and Cold White Fury. A longtime romance reader, Amos manages to bring a strong romantic sensibility to the absorbing thrillers she pens.

Kirkus Reviews
After writing some 45 historical romances, Coulter recently decided to try another genre. She turned to the modern thriller and took on serial killers and the FBI in The Target (1998), whose husband-and-wife team, agents Lacy "Sherlock" Savich and Dillon Savich, return here. FBI agent Floyd MacDougal lies in Bethesda Naval Hospital, recovering from the blast of a terrorist car-bomb, when he has a nightmare about his sister, medical researcher Jilly Bartlett, pushing her Porsche to 85 miles an hour, shooting over a Portland coast road cliff at midnight, and sinking into black water. Well, Jilly had been acting strange and, secretly, hearing voices, but how can he explain hearing and seeing her 3,000 miles away in Oregon? Four days later, Mac tries to visit Jilly in Portland, where she's come out of a coma at last—but then she vanishes from the hospital. Sherlock and Dillon join Mac to look for Jilly, a search that amazingly leads into Costa Rica's rain forests, where the dangers include deadly animals and drug dealers. But the real answer to his disappeared sister—and her vanished husband as well—lies below the edge of the cliff where Jilly flew into space. Far from rich characters, though the main story (shades of The Lady Vanishes) will keep the pages turning. (Author tour)

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Product Details

Brilliance Audio
Publication date:
FBI Series, #4
Edition description:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 6.75(h) x 0.50(d)

Read an Excerpt

The Edge

By Catherine Coulter


ISBN: 0-515-12860-0


Edgerton, Oregon

The night was black and calm, silent except for the mellow whine of the newly tuned Porsche engine, yet she heard the soft, sobbing voice pleading with her again, whispering low and deep. It never left her alone now.

No one else was near, it was just Jilly driving alone on the coast highway. The ocean stirred beside her, but with no moon out, it looked like an empty, black expanse. The Porsche, sensitive to the slightest touch of her fingers, gently swerved left, toward the cliff, toward the endless expanse of black water beyond. Jilly jerked the car back to the center line.

Laura's voice began sobbing in her brain, then grew louder, filling her, until Jilly wanted to burst.

"Shut up!" Jilly's scream filled the car for a brief moment. Her voice sounded harsh and ugly. It was nothing like Laura's had been, like a small child's sobbing, lost and inconsolable. Only death would bring peace. Jilly felt that voice, Laura's voice, build inside her again. She gripped the steering wheel and stared straight ahead, praying to herself, chanting for it to stop, for Laura to go away.

"Please," she whispered. "Please stop. Leave me alone.


But Laura didn't stop. She was no longer a child, speaking in a sweet, terrified voice. She was herself again, angry now, and this time foul words frothed from her mouth, spewing rage and saliva that Jilly tasted in the back of her throat. She banged her fists on the steering wheel, hard, harder still, rhythmically, to make the malevolent voice go away. She opened the window, pressed it all the way down and leaned out, letting the wind tear her hair back, and her eyes sting and water. She shouted into the night, "Make it stop!"

It stopped. Suddenly.

Jilly drew a deep breath and pulled her head back into the car. The wind whooshed through the car and she sucked in mouthfuls of the cold air. It tasted wonderful. It was over. Thank God, finally it had stopped. She raised her head, looking around, wondering where she was. She'd been driving for hours, it seemed, yet the dashboard clock read only midnight. She'd been gone from home for a half hour.

Her life had become whispers and screams until she couldn't bear it. Now there was silence, deep and complete silence.

Jilly began counting. One, two, three-no curses, no whispers, no small child's pleading, nothing, just her own breathing, the soft hum of her car. She threw back her head and closed her eyes a moment, relishing the silence. She began counting again. Four, five, six-still blessed silence.

Seven, eight-soft, very soft, like a faraway rustling of leaves, coming closer, closer. Not rustling, no, whispering. Laura was whispering again, begging not to die, begging and pleading and swearing she'd never meant to sleep with him, but it had just happened, he'd made it happen. But Jilly hadn't believed her.

"Please, stop, stop, stop," Jilly chanted over that feathery voice. Laura began screaming that Jilly was a pathetic bitch, a fool who couldn't see what she was. Jilly stomped down on the gas pedal. The Porsche lurched forward, hitting seventy, eighty, eighty-five. The coast road swerved. She kept the car directly in the center of the road. She began singing. Laura screamed louder, and Jilly sang louder. Ninety. Ninety-five.

"Go away. Damn you, go away!" Jilly's knuckles were white on the steering wheel, her head low, her forehead nearly touching the rim. The engine's vibrations made Laura's screaming voice convulse with power.

One hundred.

Jilly saw the sharp turn, but Laura yelled that they would be together soon now, very soon. She couldn't wait to get Jilly, and then they'd see who would win. Jilly screamed, whether at Laura or at the sight of the cliff dropping some forty feet to the heaped and tumbled black rocks below. The Porsche plunged through the railing, thick wood and steel, picking up speed, and shot out to the vast empty blackness beyond.

One more scream rent the silence before the Porsche sliced nose first through the still, black water. There was scarcely a sound, just the fast downward plunge, the sharp, clean impact, then the quick shifting and closing over, the calm water returning to what it had been just a second before.

Then there was only the black night. And calm and silence.


Excerpted from The Edge by Catherine Coulter Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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