Blindside (FBI Series #8)

Blindside (FBI Series #8)

by Catherine Coulter

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FBI agents Savich and Sherlock face two baffling cases in this riveting novel of knife-edge suspense from #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.

When 6-year-old Sam Kettering manages to escape after being kidnapped, FBI Agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich join forces with the boy’s father Miles—an ex FBI agent—to pursue his kidnapper, a creepy, charasmatic Southern evangelist.

As if the kidnapping case weren’t enough, Savich and Sherlock are at the same time desperate to find the cold-blooded killer of three high school math teachers in the Washington, D.C. area.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781101214725
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 06/29/2004
Series: FBI Thriller Series , #8
Sold by: Penguin Group
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,489
File size: 651 KB

About the Author

Catherine Coulter is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the FBI Thrillers featuring husband and wife team Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock. She is also the author—with J. T. Ellison—of the Brit in the FBI series. She lives in Sausalito, California.

Read an Excerpt


It was pitch black.

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

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

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

Savich couldn't tell.

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

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

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

Where was Marvin Phelps?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"It's not dawn yet!"

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

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

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

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

The sniper, Kurt Cooper, had fired.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Par for the course.

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

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Blindside 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 137 reviews.
JeSuSfReAkLP More than 1 year ago
Blindside was a great book that really kept my attention. From the very first page, it was hard to put the book down. From the relationship between Savich and Sherlock to the kidnapping of Sam, the action was non -stop and never boring. The writing, although a lot of people seem to be criticizing it, was beyond great. Catherine Coulter is a truly amazing writer and one of my all-time favorite authors. In the very first sentence of Blindside, ¿It was pitch black¿, she caught my attention. By then end of the first paragraph, you are hooked. By the end of the first page, you will never want to put the book down again. This is definitely my favorite book of hers and I can¿t wait to read the rest of her novels. The constant surprises make the book even more exciting and the many unexpected twists make it intriguing. You never know what is going to happen next and believe me it is not predictable at all. I don¿t want to ruin the book for anyone, but I strongly suggest reading it! My favorite books are FBI thrillers, so I may be kind of partial to it though. I love how Coulter worked the romance into all of the action¿. It made the book even more spectacular! The romance also makes it appeal to a larger portion of readers. Throughout the entire book your mind is trying to figure out why Sam was kidnapped in the first place, who the serial killer is, and how Savich and Sherlock¿s relationship will turn out. And I will tell you now, the end is not a disappointment. If you are looking for a book full of action and romance that will without a doubt keep your attention, then this is the book for you!
soontobelolly More than 1 year ago
This was the dumbest Catherine Coulter book I've read.  I can see how the bad guy got away the first time.   Then they catch him and even with three...experienced... law enforcers there, nobody thinks to tie him up. Then they catch him again and STILL don't tie him up.  By this time I just threw up my hands, put the book down and reached for something else to read.  I have read Catherine Coulter before and she usually does a better job.
Smilingrn More than 1 year ago
I love reading books by this author and this one is no exception. It was filled with twists and turns and kept my attention very well. I finished it in one day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I listened to the audiobook while walking on my treadmill. I could have walked for hours the book was just that interesting.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I buy every book by Catherine Coulter that I can find. I was a little disappointed in this book. I didn't care for the way it jumped from the murders of math teachers to the kidnapping of Miles son, Sam. Dillon Savich and Sherlock, as always, make for enjoyable reading so I kept at the book until the end. Still a big Catherine Coulter fan even though I was disappointed in this book.
harstan More than 1 year ago
A child goes missing and his father is petrified because ex-FBI agent Miles Kettering knows all too well what could happen to a snatched child. While Miles prays in his Coburn, Virginia home, his son Sam escapes from his abductors. The local sheriff of Washington County, Tennessee completes the rescue.

Katie Benedict phones Miles who immediately flies up to retrieve his son. Accompanying him are FBI agents Savich and Sherlock, still deliriously in love with each other. Sam has bonded with Katie¿s daughter and after everything he has been through Katie invites Sam and his father to spend the night in her spare room. Their nightmare isn¿t over because the two kidnappers try to abduct Sam again only this time Katie kills one of them and later the other during a third grab. Local, state, and federal authorities remain vigilant because it is obvious the two dead men were working for someone in the area. The only way for Sam to be safe is to find the mastermind and put him behind bars.

BLINDSIDE is the perfect suspense thriller, loaded with plenty of action a lot of romance and a reunion with Savitch and Sherlock who play a large secondary role. Catherine Coulter has written a novel that will appeal to readers of romantic suspense and fast paced thrillers. The author deftly handles the romantic between Miles and Katie so subtly readers will accept that under heavy fire people can still fall in love. Ms. Coulter is a one of a kind author who knows how to hook her readers and keep them coming back for more.

Harriet Klausner

Anonymous 7 months ago
Great characters
Anonymous 7 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Buffy-Tinkes on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the 8th installment in Catherine Coulter's FBI series. It fallows Savech and Sherlock as they track down the Math teacher Killer, as well as helping out their friend Miles Kettering save his son from kidnappers and helping him find love with the local Sheriff Katie. The plot is fairly predictable on all counts you pretty much can suspect the main criminal players as well as figuring out how Miles' and Katie's relationship will develop. That is the only complaint about Coulter's FBI series!
jbemrose on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I like to read about Dillon Savich & Lacey Sherlock thrilling adventure. They are good FBI agents and happly marred. I think they meet alot of different kinds of people through their cases.
missmath144 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked the main characters okay, but all the other characters, from the really bad guys to the obnoxious woman in the gym, were very unrealistic. Three mysteries were going on at once and -- surprise, surprise -- the author was able to solve them all. But there were no viable hints to enable to reader to figure the mysteries out, so it left me with a so-what feeling.
nepejwster on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Good guys and bad guys. No in-betweens. Children, moms, dads, apple pie, and happily ever after.
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Six year old Sam ran out of the forest in the pouring rain and changed Sheriff Katie Benedicts life forever. Getting him dried off and his father, Miles Kettering, called, the Sheriff found out that he had been kidnapped. Brave Sam had saved himself and with the help of Sheriff Benedict and her daughter, he got warm and they settled to wait for his dad. Miles was flying out to get his son with long time friend Dillon Savich and got to the sheriffs house in time to see that it was not over yet. This story is about kid strength, I am not sure if anyone that young would really react that well. The story also incorporated a lot of bits from previous book. If you have not read the series, you may not follow all of the 'inside jokes', or know the other people involved. Since I have read the series, in order now, I have to say that seeing some of the same characters over again is fun. This book showed Savich get hurt and little Sean be threatened and their reaction to it. Wonderful characters, thank you Catherine Coulter.
unrequitedlibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Tone of language: Chatty, colloquialPlot twists: Beaten criminals keep returningCharacters: Law enforcers all in one moldValues: Be softhearted or tough as neededPace: Elusive criminal motive is intriguingSexuality: Sweet-talk leads to a little moreBackground research: Truck mechanicsEnding: Heroism in defense of the familyOffensive to any group: Evangelicals; GaysTargeted audience: WomenFlaw: What really happened in the video showing Sam's illness is never fully explained.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good enough. I'll try another.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was definitely a nail biter. It was such a good book. And I thought I knew the ending but I was so wrong. Now I am going to go read the first ones of this series.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great book with lots of twists.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love her books of the fbi series. Always look forward to the next one.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love to try and figure out the bad guy. This author makes this fun.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago