Riptide (FBI Series #5)

Riptide (FBI Series #5)

3.9 150
by Catherine Coulter
     
 

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FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock must protect a young political speechwriter who has received threats against her life. But they could never guess that the danger is already close to his prey-and about to strike.

FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock must protect a young political speechwriter who has received threats against her life. But they

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Overview

FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock must protect a young political speechwriter who has received threats against her life. But they could never guess that the danger is already close to his prey-and about to strike.

FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock must protect a young political speechwriter who has received threats against her life. But they could never guess that the danger is already close to his prey-and about to strike.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
“This terrific thriller will drag you into its chilling web of terror and not let go until the last paragraph…The perfect beach book—fast-paced twists and turns driven by believable dialogue between a cast of well-developed characters. A ripping good read.”—The San Francisco Examiner

“All the elements of a real spellbinder: glamour, romance…murder, colorful characters, sinister settings and a hidden motive for revenge that goes back decades. The plot twists at every turn…Excellent.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“[Riptide] plunges ahead at a breathtaking pace…Coulter's fans will be pleased to see the return of some of the characters from her previous suspense novels. Riptide will be in high demand, and deservedly so.”—Booklist

“[Coulter] successfully layers one mystery atop another, giving away a teaspoon of information at a time.”—The Cincinnati Enquirer

“If there was an award for ‘Thriller of the Year,’ Riptide would win, hands-down.”—The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL)

Jill M. Smith
Riptide taks old cold war enmities and refines them with new twists. Shadowy individuals with undefined motives and jurisdictional clashes make this book highly intriguing and a great romantic read.
Romantic Times
Barnes & Noble Guide to New Fiction
Revenge and murder entwine in this suspense novel by best-selling author Coulter. When political speechwriter Jessie Matlock, working for the reelection campaign of New York's popular governor, begins receiving threatening phone calls, the police refuse to believe her claims. But the stakes are raised when the stalker murders an innocent person and the governor is shot. Jessie flees for the safety of Riptide, Maine, choosing to hide not only from the stalker but also from the authorities, but finds herself at even greater risk.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Trouble, in the form of psychopathic madmen, seems to follow political speechwriter Becca Matlock around like a personal storm cloud in bestselling historical romance (False Pretenses) and thriller (The Edge) author Coulter's newest suspense novel. When a stalker who calls himself Becca's "boyfriend" accuses her of sleeping with the governor and threatens to kill his perceived rival if she doesn't stop, Becca turns to New York's finest, but the cops repeatedly dismiss her. Worse, when the governor is shot, they assume she's responsible. With nowhere to turn, Becca retreats to coastal Riptide, Maine, a sleepy community that is also home to her college friend Tyler. But all is not peaceful there either. Tyler's wife apparently disappeared a while back, the locals think he killed her, and a skeleton falls out of the basement wall of Becca's rented house. Things get really out of hand when it looks as though Becca's problems can be traced to an axe-grinding former KGB agent. Although the book's setting shifts from New York City streets to rural New England, there is little atmospheric detail. The unsettling tone moves from NYPD Blue to Murder, She Wrote with creepy Cold War inflections. But convolution doesn't camouflage the fact that the heroine has more guts than brains, and the villains are ultimately silly rather than menacing. When Dillon and Sherlock Savich, FBI computer specialists from Coulter's The Maze, enter the plot, one gets the feeling that the gang's all here, but the hijinks remain untethered. Only diehard Coulter fans will want to tread water with this one. Doubleday Book Club main selection; 20-city author tour. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Library Journal
When Becca answers the phone, she knows that it is the stranger calling himself her boyfriend, and she knows that his threats are real. He proves it by casually blowing up the bag lady in the park across the street. The police do not believe her explanation, however, believing that she was involved in that death and those that followed. She flees to Riptide, a small town on the coast of Maine. After having been completely alone, Becca is suddenly surrounded by friends, including Lacy Sherlock Savich and Dillon Savich, last seen in Coulter s The Edge. Who sent them, and, most importantly, who is the stalker? The suspense builds and with it a romance between Becca and Adam, her main protector. Coulter has penned another fun read. The characters are well drawn and act plausibly. With fewer outrageous outside elements thrown in, this book is somewhat more believable than The Edge. For popular fiction collections. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 3/1/00.] Andrea Lee Shuey, Shuey Consulting, Dallas Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
School Library Journal
Trouble, in the form of psychopathic madmen, seems to follow political speechwriter Becca Matlock around like a personal storm cloud in bestselling historical romance (False Pretenses) and thriller (The Edge) author Coulter's newest suspense novel. When a stalker who calls himself Becca's "boyfriend" accuses her of sleeping with the governor and threatens to kill his perceived rival if she doesn't stop, Becca turns to New York's finest, but the cops repeatedly dismiss her. Worse, when the governor is shot, they assume she's responsible. With nowhere to turn, Becca retreats to coastal Riptide, Maine, a sleepy community that is also home to her college friend Tyler. But all is not peaceful there either. Tyler's wife apparently disappeared a while back, the locals think he killed her, and a skeleton falls out of the basement wall of Becca's rented house. Things get really out of hand when it looks as though Becca's problems can be traced to an axe-grinding former KGB agent. Although the book's setting shifts from New York City streets to rural New England, there is little atmospheric detail. The unsettling tone moves from NYPD Blue to Murder, She Wrote with creepy Cold War inflections. But convolution doesn't camouflage the fact that the heroine has more guts than brains, and the villains are ultimately silly rather than menacing. When Dillon and Sherlock Savich, FBI computer specialists from Coulter's The Maze, enter the plot, one gets the feeling that the gang's all here, but the hijinks remain untethered. Only diehard Coulter fans will want to tread water with this one. Doubleday Book Club main selection; 20-city author tour. (July) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.|
Beth Amos
August 2000

Coulter's Riptide

Catherine Coulter proved her talent for romance and intrigue by penning more than 40 highly successful historical romances. Recently, Coulter has applied her talent to a series of contemporary novels that combine the same elements of romance and suspense, but in a modern-day setting. The first four (The Cove, The Maze, The Target, and The Edge) all made the New York Times bestseller list with their intriguing plot twists, edge-of-your-seat suspense, and compelling characters. Coulter's cadre of dedicated fans have eagerly accepted the switch from historical to contemporary, and a growing element of new fans have now entered the fold. All will be delighted to know that the fifth novel, Riptide, is finally here.

As a highly successful speech writer for the governor of New York, Becca Matlock isn't surprised when she receives her first threatening phone call. High-profile politicians and their crews are often the target of such attacks. But the calls continue and grow in both degree of threat and frequency. Even more puzzling is the caller's primary demand -- that Becca stop sleeping with the governor or else the caller will kill them both. The problem is, Becca isn't sleeping with the governor at all.

The calls escalate just as Becca's mother reaches the final stages of a terminal disease, bringing Becca's stress level to nearly unbearable heights. Right after her mother's death, Becca's mystery caller provides her with a little demonstration: He kills an innocent woman right before her eyes, then threatens to target the governor next. When Becca goes to the police, they decide she's just another nut case with an infatuation for the governor. But when the governor is actually shot and nearly killed, Becca suddenly becomes a highly sought fugitive, both from her stalker and the authorities.

On the run, Becca heads for the tiny seaside town of Riptide, Maine, a place she knows of from Tyler, an old college buddy. There she buys a house and settles in with hopes of remaining hidden. But when a skeleton is found in Becca's closet -- both literally and figuratively -- her notoriety soars. Adding to the muddle is a strange but attractive man, Adam Caruthers, who seems to be watching over Becca. This mystery man turns out to have connections to Becca's father, a man she had long assumed dead. Instead, Becca learns her father is alive and well, though he holds a terrible secret that may be behind most of Becca's problems. Soon Becca's stalker tracks her to her newest hideout, and things escalate at a breathtaking pace to a startling and tense conclusion.

Coulter is at the pinnacle of her career, and it shows. Readers will be enthralled by the convoluted plot twists and passionate characters that walk the pages of this latest romantic thriller. While the style and passion in each of Coulter's books is a reliable and satisfying trademark, her plots and characters are always fresh and newly exciting, a trait that will undoubtedly increase her loyal following.

--Beth Amos

Beth Amos is the author of several novels, including Second Sight, Eyes Of Night, and Cold White Fury.

Kirkus Reviews
Regency novelist Coulter moved to suspense a few years back and now offers her fifth thriller (after The Edge, 1999, etc.). And what is a thriller these days without a serial killer? Becca Matlock, a speechwriter for the governor of New York, keeps getting threatening phone calls that accuse her of sleeping with the governor. She goes to the police in Albany, who think she's a liar, then to the police in New York City, who insult her when their investigation turns up no leads. Meanwhile, Becca's mother is dying, and Becca doesn't want leave her. But when the caller blows up a bag lady under her Manhattan apartment's balcony, then follows up (we assume) by shooting the governor through the neck just after he's addressed a medical convention, Becca flees the city and hides out in Riptide, Maine, where she rents an old Victorian house. Gosh, and who is there to greet her but her old geek friend from college, Tyler McBride, who has refashioned himself into a buff stud. Will the phone caller follow? Will night follow day? Well paced but undistinguished. (Doubleday Book Club main selection) Doubleday main selection

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780515130966
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
07/10/2001
Series:
FBI Series, #5
Edition description:
Reissue
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
105,320
Product dimensions:
4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Read an Excerpt

New York City

June 15

Present

Becca was watching an afternoon soap opera she’d

seen off and on since she was a kid. She found herself

wondering if she would ever have a child who needed a

heart transplant one month and a new kidney the next, or a

husband who wouldn’t be faithful to her for longer than it

took a new woman to look in his direction.

Then the phone rang.

She jumped to her feet, then stopped dead still and

stared over at the phone. She heard a guy on TV whining

about how life wasn’t fair.

He didn’t know what fair was.

She made no move to answer the phone. She just stood

there and listened, watching it as it rang three more times.

Then, finally, because her mother was lying in a coma in

Lenox Hill Hospital, because she just plain couldn’t stand

the ringing ringing ringing, she watched her hand reach out

and pick up the receiver.

She forced her mouth to form the single word. “Hello?”

“Hi, Rebecca. It’s your boyfriend. I’ve got you so

scared you have to force yourself to pick up the phone.

Isn’t that right?”

She closed her eyes as that hated voice, low and deep,

swept over her, into her, making her so afraid she was

shaking. No hint of an Atlanta drawl, no sharp New York

vowels, no dropped R’s from Boston. A voice that was well

educated, with smooth, clear diction, perhaps even a touch

of the Brit in it. Old? Young? She didn’t know, couldn’t

tell. She had to keep it together. She had to listen carefully,

to remember how he spoke, what he said. You can do it.

Keep it together. Make him talk, make him say something,

you never know what will pop out. That was what the police

psychologist in Albany had told her to do when the

man had first started calling her. Listen carefully. Don’t let

him scare you. Take control. You guide him, not the other

way around. Becca licked her lips, chapped from the hot,

dry air in Manhattan that week, an anomaly, the weather

forecaster had said. And so Becca repeated her litany of

questions, trying to keep her voice calm, cool, in charge,

yes, that was her. “Won’t you tell me who you are? I really

want to know. Maybe we can talk about why you keep calling

me. Can we do that?”

“Can’t you come up with some new questions, Rebecca?

After all, I’ve called you a good dozen times now.

And you always say the same things. Ah, they’re from a

shrink, aren’t they? They told you to ask those questions,

to try to distract me, to get me to spill my guts to you.

Sorry, it won’t work.”

She’d never really thought it would work, that

stratagem. No, this guy knew what he was doing, and he

knew how to do it. She wanted to plead with him to leave

her alone, but she didn’t. Instead, she snapped. She simply

lost it, the long-buried anger cutting through her bonegrinding

fear. She gripped the phone, knuckles white, and

yelled, “Listen to me, you little prick. Stop saying you’re

my boyfriend. You’re nothing but a sick jerk. Now, how

about this for a question? Why don’t you go to hell where

you belong? Why don’t you go kill yourself, you’re sure

not worth anything to the human race. Don’t call me anymore,

you pathetic bastard. The cops are on to you. The

phone is tapped, do you hear me? They’re going to get you

and fry you.”

She’d caught him off guard, she knew it, and an

adrenaline rush sent her sky-high, but only for a moment.

After a slight pause, he recovered. In a calm, reasonable

voice, he said, “Now, Rebecca sweetheart, you know as

well as I do that the cops now don’t believe you’re being

stalked, that some weird guy is calling you at all hours, trying

to scare you. You had the phone tap put in yourself because

you couldn’t get them to do it. And I’ll never talk

long enough for that old, low-tech equipment of yours to

get a trace. Oh yes, Rebecca, because you insulted me,

you’ll have to pay for it, big-time.”

She slammed down the receiver. She held it there, hard,

as if trying to stanch the bleeding of a wound, as if holding

it down would keep him from dialing her again, keep

him away from her. Slowly, finally, she backed away from

the phone. She heard a wife on the TV soap plead with her

husband not to leave her for her younger sister. She

walked out onto her small balcony and looked over Central

Park, then turned a bit to the right to look at the

Metropolitan Museum. Hordes of people, most in shorts,

most of them tourists, sat on the steps, reading, laughing,

talking, eating hot dogs from the vendor Teodolpho, some

of them probably smoking dope, picking pockets, and

there were two cops on horseback nearby, their horses’

heads pumping up and down, nervous for some reason.

The sun blazed down. It was only mid-June, yet the unseasonable

heat wave continued unabated. Inside the apartment

it was twenty-five degrees cooler. Too cold, at least

for her, but she couldn’t get the thermostat to move either

up or down.

The phone rang again. She heard it clearly through the

half-closed glass door.

She jerked around and nearly fell over the railing. Not

that it was unexpected. No, never that, it was just so incongruous

set against the normalcy of the scene outside.

She forced herself to look back into her mother’s lovely

pastel living room, to the glass table beside the sofa, at the

white phone that sat atop that table, ringing, ringing.

She let it ring six more times. Then she knew she had to

answer it. It might be about her mother, her very sick

mother, who might be dying. But of course she knew it was

him. It didn’t matter. Did he know why she even had the

phone turned on in the first place? He seemed to know

everything else, but he hadn’t said anything about her

mother. She knew she had no choice at all. She picked it up

on the tenth ring.

“Rebecca, I want you to go out onto your balcony again.

Look to where those cops are sitting on their horses. Do it

now, Rebecca.”

She laid down the receiver and walked back out onto

the balcony, leaving the glass door open behind her. She

looked down at the cops. She kept looking. She knew

something horrible was going to happen, she just knew it,

and there was nothing she could do about it but watch

and wait. She waited for three minutes. Just when she

was beginning to convince herself that the man was trying

new and different ways to terrorize her, there was a

loud explosion.

She watched both horses rear up wildly. One of the cops

went flying. He landed in a bush as thick smoke billowed

up, obscuring the scene.

When the smoke cleared a bit, she saw an old bag lady

lying on the sidewalk, her market cart in twisted pieces

beside her, her few belongings strewn around her. Pieces

of paper fluttered down to the sidewalk, now rutted with

deep pockmarks. A large bottle of ginger ale was broken,

liquid flowing over the old woman’s sneakers. Time

seemed to have stopped, then suddenly there was chaos as

everyone in view exploded into action. Some people

who’d been loitering on the steps of the museum ran

toward the old lady.

The cops got there first; the one who’d been thrown

from his horse was limping as he ran. They were yelling,

waving their arms—at the carnage or the onrushing

people, Becca didn’t know. She saw the horses throwing

their heads from side to side, their eyes rolling at the

smoke, the smell of the explosive. Becca stood there

frozen, watching. The old woman didn’t move.

Becca knew she was dead. Her stalker had detonated a

bomb and killed that poor old woman. Why? Just to terrorize

her more? She was already so terrified she could hardly

function. What did he want now? She’d left Albany, left the

governor’s staff with no warning, had not even called to

check in.

She walked slowly back inside the living room, firmly

closing the glass door behind her. She looked at the phone,

heard him saying her name, over and over. Rebecca, Rebecca.

Very slowly, she hung up. She fell to her knees and

jerked the connector out of the wall jack. The phone in the

bedroom rang, and kept ringing.

She pressed herself close to the wall, her palms

slammed against her ears. She had to do something. She

had to talk to the cops. Again. Surely now that someone

was dead, they would believe that some maniac was terrorizing

her, stalking her, murdering someone to show her he

meant business.

This time they had to believe her.

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What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
“This terrific thriller will drag you into its chilling web of terror and not let go until the last paragraph…The perfect beach book—fast-paced twists and turns driven by believable dialogue between a cast of well-developed characters. A ripping good read.”—The San Francisco Examiner

“All the elements of a real spellbinder: glamour, romance…murder, colorful characters, sinister settings and a hidden motive for revenge that goes back decades. The plot twists at every turn…Excellent.”—The San Diego Union-Tribune

“[Riptide] plunges ahead at a breathtaking pace…Coulter's fans will be pleased to see the return of some of the characters from her previous suspense novels. Riptide will be in high demand, and deservedly so.”—Booklist

“[Coulter] successfully layers one mystery atop another, giving away a teaspoon of information at a time.”—The Cincinnati Enquirer

“If there was an award for ‘Thriller of the Year,’ Riptide would win, hands-down.”—The Florida Times-Union (Jacksonville, FL)

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