Riptide (FBI Series #5) [NOOK Book]

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 ...
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Riptide (FBI Series #5)

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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.


When the governor is shot in the neck, Jessie flees for the safety of coastal Maine, choosing to hide not only from the stalker but also from the authorities. For sanctuary, she goes to Riptide, the home of a college friend--but soon finds herself at even greater risk.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Becca Matlock thought she had it made when she landed a job as political speechwriter for the campaign to re-elect a popular New York governor. Then the nasty phone calls began, the threats reached a fever pitch, and an innocent person was killed. Now, as a stalker draws nearer, Becca flees for the safety of coastal Maine and the sanctuary of Riptide. But the only thing waiting for her at the seaside estate is a killer fueled by a generation of hate -- and a watery grave.
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: 9781101191262
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 7/1/2001
  • Series: FBI Series , #5
  • Sold by: Penguin Group
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 368
  • Sales rank: 9,888
  • File size: 715 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 ReadMoi@aol.com.





Biography

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 ...

TOP TEN SLEUTHS:
Hercule Poirot
Jane Marple
Columbo
Inspector Morse
Jack Ryan
Indiana Jones
Pink Panther
Sherlock Holmes
Sid Halley

TOP TEN HEROS:
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



Chapter One


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 policepsychologist 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 bone-grinding 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.


Six Days Later Riptide, Maine

She pulled into the Texaco gas station, waved to the guy inside the small glass booth, then pumped some regular into her gas tank. She was on the outskirts of Riptide, a quaint town that sprawled north to south, hugging a small harbor filled with sailboats, motorboats, and many fishing boats. Lobster, she thought, and breathed in deeply, air redolent of brine, seaweed, and fish, plus a faint hint of wildflowers, their sweetness riding lightly on the breeze from the sea.

Riptide, Maine.

She was in the sticks, the boondocks, a place nobody knew about, except for a few tourists in the summer. She was sixty-four miles north of Christmas Cove, a beautiful small coastal town she'd visited once as a child, with her mother.

For the first time in two and a half weeks, she felt safe. She felt the salty air tingling on her skin, let the warm breeze flutter her hair against her cheek.

She was in control of her life again.

But what about Governor Bledsoe? He would be all right, he had to be. He had cops everywhere, brushing his teeth for him, sleeping under his bed-no matter who he was sleeping with-hiding in his washroom off his big square office with its huge mahogany power desk. He would be all right. The crazy guy who had terrorized her until six days ago wouldn't be able to get near him.

The main street in Riptide was West Hemlock. There wasn't an East Hemlock unless someone wanted to drive into the ocean. She drove nearly to the end of the street to an old Victorian bed-and-breakfast called Errol Flynn's Hammock. There was a widow's walk on top, railed in black. She counted at least five colors on the exterior. It was perfect.

"I like the name," she said to the old man behind the rich mahogany counter.

"Yep," he said, and pushed the guest book toward her. "I like it, too. Been Scottie all my life. Sign in and I'll beam you right up."

She smiled and signed Becca Powell. She'd always admired Colin Powell. Surely he wouldn't mind if she borrowed his name for a while. For a while, Becca Matlock would cease to exist.

She was safe.

But why, she wondered yet again, why hadn't the police believed her? Still they were providing the governor extra protection, so that was something.

Why?

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First Chapter

Chapter 1
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 bone-grinding 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.

Six Days Later Riptide, Maine
She pulled into the Texaco gas station, waved to the guy inside the small glass booth, then pumped some regular into her gas tank. She was on the outskirts of Riptide, a quaint town that sprawled north to south, hugging a small harbor filled with sailboats, motorboats, and many fishing boats. Lobster, she thought, and breathed in deeply, air redolent of brine, seaweed, and fish, plus a faint hint of wildflowers, their sweetness riding lightly on the breeze from the sea.
Riptide, Maine.
She was in the sticks, the boondocks, a place nobody knew about, except for a few tourists in the summer. She was sixty-four miles north of Christmas Cove, a beautiful small coastal town she'd visited once as a child, with her mother.
For the first time in two and a half weeks, she felt safe. She felt the salty air tingling on her skin, let the warm breeze flutter her hair against her cheek.
She was in control of her life again.
But what about Governor Bledsoe? He would be all right, he had to be. He had cops everywhere, brushing his teeth for him, sleeping under his bed-no matter who he was sleeping with-hiding in his washroom off his big square office with its huge mahogany power desk. He would be all right. The crazy guy who had terrorized her until six days ago wouldn't be able to get near him.
The main street in Riptide was West Hemlock. There wasn't an East Hemlock unless someone wanted to drive into the ocean. She drove nearly to the end of the street to an old Victorian bed-and-breakfast called Errol Flynn's Hammock. There was a widow's walk on top, railed in black. She counted at least five colors on the exterior. It was perfect.
"I like the name," she said to the old man behind the rich mahogany counter.
"Yep," he said, and pushed the guest book toward her. "I like it, too. Been Scottie all my life. Sign in and I'll beam you right up."
She smiled and signed Becca Powell. She'd always admired Colin Powell. Surely he wouldn't mind if she borrowed his name for a while. For a while, Becca Matlock would cease to exist.
She was safe.
But why, she wondered yet again, why hadn't the police believed her? Still they were providing the governor extra protection, so that was something.
Why?
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 150 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(77)

4 Star

(30)

3 Star

(19)

2 Star

(11)

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(13)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 150 Customer Reviews
  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    Excellent romantic suspense thriller

    Some spies prefer to never come out of the cold, but thinking about secret agents would never enter the mind of speechwriter Rebecca Matlock. Espionage belongs in movies and books to her. That changes when her father, who she thought died when she was a child, surfaces with a deadly enemy after him and now her. Working for the Governor of New York, Rebecca begins to receive threatening calls from a person demanding she end her affair with her boss. Not having an affair and a bit frightened, Rebecca turns to the Albany police, who discount her story. <P>She leaves the state capital to stay with her dying mother in the Big Apple where she receives another call. Not long after, someone is killed outside her window. The police treat Rebecca as the suspect. <P>After her mother passes away, Rebecca goes into hiding using a new identity and changing her looks. She resides in RIPTIDE, Maine, but her stalker follows. So does Adam Carruthers, a security expert who is close to Rebecca¿s father. Her foe kills a woman in RIPTIDE and abducts Rebecca. Everyone involved knows that they must work quickly to stop a rogue deep cover agent from assassinating the Matlocks. <P>Catherine Coulter¿s suspense thrillers seem to get better and better with each new release. Her latest tale, RIPTIDE, is filled with complex charcaters, who have appeared in previous novels and provide continuity. The heroine is a strong person who is just an everyday individual thrust into extraordinary circumstance outside her normal existence. Her heroic efforts insure Ms. Coulter¿s novel will appeal to fans of suspense, thriller, police procedural, and romance. <P>Harriet Klausner

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2005

    Good Read

    Everyone has their own opinion. I personally thought 'Riptide' was pretty good. It was the first Catherine Coulter book I have read. I am planning on reading 'The Cove' next!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 17, 2003

    A GREAT DISAPPOINTMENT FOR CATHERINE COULTER FANS

    The people who actually liked this book should read her 'GOOD' novels. This book seemed to be written out of necessity to fill in before she was ready to submit a real novel. Her characters were not well formed or in-depth. There wasn't much to them to want to know it seemed. Her plot was very amateur/lame that it didn't help to develop the story line. I kept reading hoping she would quit 'fooling around with us' and start to write like herself but it never happened. If was probably an okay read if you have never read one of her real 'novels' like: Target, The Cove, Edge, The Maze, Blind Side, Impulse, Eleventh Hour. Now that is GREAT entertainment and REAL talent. This book unfortunately is not; it's basically amateur writing at best; a real disappointment to her fans: Just like her book Hemlock Bay - DON'T purchase that one either. Everyone has hard times, and those two books were hers, so her stead fast fans will stick it out over her hard times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 16, 2013

    Didn't want it to end. I could not put this book down

    Didn't want it to end. I could not put this book down. Want to know what was going to happen to becca next. Would she escape the man call him her boyfriend? This is the 1st book in the FBI thriler tht I read and can't wait to read the rest of them

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 9, 2013

    Riptide

    Good read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Another good one.

    I liked the part where Savich was trying to get his son to go back to sleep.

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  • Posted July 2, 2012

    Recommend

    Could not put it down. Always wanted to know what happened next. Love the FBI Series.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 18, 2012

    Outstanding read

    The entire FBI series makes for an engrossing read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2012

    Great Read, highly recommeded

    As always twists and turns to keep reader wanting more. Never a dull moment.

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  • Posted December 21, 2011

    Awesome book

    I love Coulter's FBI books with Dillon and Sherlock, I am trying to read all the books she has written with them, I think there is only a couple of more that I have to read and hope she comes out with some more. I would highly recommend this book to anyone that like mystery and romance and nurder. Great book

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  • Posted April 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Not my favorite.

    This book was a quick read, but I didn't really enjoy it. It seemed wordy to me and the protag was willful, headstrong, and down-right dangerous to those around her. I do like strong female characters, but there were really only two characters in the entire story that I liked and they had bit parts. The descriptions were very good of the locations, but the dialogue was choppy and repetitious. I was disappointed in the overall juvenile feel of the story. I have not read the series in order so this could well be a factor, but I'm not sure that I will try the first at this time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 27, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I dislike stupid characters

    The main character of this story was portrayed by the author as being intelligent and intuitive. Yet throughout the book she does stupid stuff over and over that makes no sense. The FBI agents were stupid too. They didn't even secure the house or do a head count after a serious security breach? All I'm saying is, if I had a madman after me, I would check my closet before I went to bed. Maybe they were all too tired from looking after the baby which the FBI agents brought around frequently despite the fact that there was death everywhere and a psycho on the loose. The Cove and The Maze were entertaining, creepy mysteries, but after this book, I will think twice before reading another Catherine Coulter.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 17, 2010

    Poorly written

    This was my first book by Coulter and I did not enjoy it. Plot was not believable and it was written poorly - I'll never read another of hers.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 10, 2010

    Catherine Coulter knows how to start a book

    Catherine Coulter grabs your attention from the start. Sometimes books can be boring in the beginning getting to the point but not this author she keeps you enticed right from the start. Its a mystery mixed with a bit of romance. Very good read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2010

    Riptide Plot is Thrilling!

    Great book! Hard to put down. Enjoy characters -- Dillon and Lacey feel real. All of Catherine Coulter's FBI series makes you want to read more and stay in touch with the characters. Also, the plot twists and turns and it's not unusual to think you have it figured out but ultimately you don't. Great books to read on an airplane on a rainy day or when you want to sit down and get away from it all!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 1, 2009

    Another great book in the FBI series by Catherine Coulter!

    Another great thriller in the FBI series by Catherine Coulter.

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  • Posted May 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Riptide

    Hsven't read this book yet

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2008

    A reviewer

    Read the reviews can not believe anyone would give this any stars. Poorly written, need a score card for the number of characters that kept poping up. The worst part was the ridiculous kidnapping-a woman surrounded by a minimum of 9 FBI agents and special forces people guarding her, house at the end of a lane, no houses around it, and she gets kidnapped out of an upstairs bedroom and spirited away??????? The author writes her romance section of the story much as a 12 year old might.Want a A class mystery/love story read anything by JD Robb-you wont be able to put the books down.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2007

    Great Book...

    I am pregnant, and home alone most of the day... i read this book in less than 12 hours! i couldnt put it down.. i loved it, and now im hooked on books by Catherine Coulter, i just ordered 3 more... and i dont usually order books online. I am also very picky about the books i read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2004

    Very Good Read

    I really liked this book. I wasn't quite sure what it would be like, but I'm glad that I got it. I has just the right amount of suspence and romance, intertwined very well. After the first chapter, I couldn't put it down, and I read anytime I could. This was the first book by Catherine Coulter I've read, and I have a feeling I'll be reading the rest. I would recommend this book to anyone. Good job Catherine!

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