Insidious (FBI Series #20)

Insidious (FBI Series #20)

by Catherine Coulter

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781501150319
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication date: 08/09/2016
Series: FBI Thriller Series , #20
Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 1,354
File size: 7 MB

About the Author

Catherine Coulter is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eighty-three novels, including the FBI Thriller series and The Brit in the FBI international thriller series, co-written with J.T. Ellison. Coulter lives in Sausalito, California. You can reach her at ReadMoi@gmail.com or visit Facebook.com/CatherineCoulterBooks.

Read an Excerpt

Insidious


  • LAS VEGAS, NEVADA

    LATE JUNE

    SATURDAY AFTERNOON

    Missy Devereaux, whose real name was Mary Ann Duff, fluffed her hair as she pretended to look in the store window, scanning behind her, wondering if he’d followed her to Las Vegas. And then she saw him, across the street, ducking behind an old gray Volvo in the thick Las Vegas Strip traffic. He looked thin in his baggy jeans and his loose-hanging dark blue shirt. She couldn’t see his face—he wore dark sunglasses and a Giants baseball cap.

    It wasn’t fair. She’d just landed a six-month stint here at the Mandalay in a Beatles musical retrospective, hoping for half a year of peace and calm without a stalker to tie her stomach in knots, but here he was, after only four days. She’d been so careful when the taxi picked her up at her cottage in Malibu nearly a week before—had the driver drop her off at LAX, a terminal away from the airline she’d booked—but still he was here, watching her, following her. All she’d wanted was her life to return to normal. She’d done everything she could. She’d gone to the cops to see if they could stop him. Movie star stalkers were old hat to the Calabasas Sheriff’s Department, responsible for handling all the criminal problems in Malibu. They had a protocol in place, a pleasant older cop had told her four months before, they would talk to him if she would point him out. What, she’d asked, would her stalker do when he got tired of following her around? Attack her? The friendly older cop only shook his head, avoided answering that question. That same day, Missy bought a Becker Ka-Bar knife, a fixed blade three and a quarter inches long, with a three-inch handle. It was made of Cro-Van steel, the salesman had told her, and was favored by sailors going back nearly to the ark. She liked the sound of that, carrying something badass enough for the marines. She liked the feel of the Ka-Bar, too, solid, and ready to go in its sheath hooked onto her waistband.

    The cops hadn’t caught the stalker, even following their protocol.

    She kept fluffing, touched on some lip gloss, and continued to stare into the window. She didn’t see him now, but she knew he was there, watching. She was so used to feeling acid burning her gut, so used to the overwhelming urge to run as fast as she could, that she didn’t at first recognize the bolt of rage that splashed through her. She felt her adrenaline spike, felt her blood pumping hard and fast, the mad mix making her shake. For the first time she let the heat of anger wash over her, and she saw clearly who and what he was—nothing. She wasn’t going to let him destroy her life. Not anymore. She turned on her heel and worked her way through the gridlock traffic on the Strip, not even aware of the horns honking, the tourists jostling her or the wolf whistles. All her focus was on that miserable little man who probably spent his nights licking her publicity photos.

    She saw him straighten, stare at her, then draw back when she started running toward him, not away, her Ka-Bar in her hand.

    She heard growling, realized it was from her, and yelled, “You miserable little worm! I’m going to carve out your tonsils!” He sprinted away, Missy after him, running fast and strong. She’d been a blimp in high school, but all that had changed when she’d turned twenty. Six years later, she was in top-flight shape, ran three miles every single day, worked out at Sam’s Muscle Bar, in L.A. Catch him? Not a problem. He wove through crowds of tourists on the sidewalk, knocking some out of his way, going around others, and Missy followed in his wake, closing in on him. He ran past the Venetian hotel with its Grand Canal and gondolas floating past, knocking two people aside, leaving them cursing after him. When the crush of tourists became too thick, she ran in the street, close to the sidewalk, and gained on him more. When he turned right, toward the Wynn hotel and looked back over his shoulder, she saw it clear as day—fear. He’s afraid of me! It was heady to see that look after so many months of aggravation and, yes, fear. Now it was his turn. She felt fierce, unstoppable. She amped up her speed.

    He was tiring fast as he ran into the huge hotel garage, nearly empty this time of day, Missy on his heels. She lost him for a moment in the shadows, then spotted him running across to the far side of the garage that opened onto the gardens of the Wynn. She was nearly on him now. Without hesitating, Missy took a flying leap and landed on his back, wrapping her arms around his neck. He fell forward under her weight, half on the grass, half on the concrete garage floor.

    “You move, and I’ll slice off your ear!” She pricked his neck with her Ka-Bar, enough to draw a drop of blood, to show him she was serious. He became still as a stone. So he wasn’t a complete moron. She jerked off his ball cap, grabbed a tangle of brown hair, and pulled his head back. She elbowed off his sunglasses and looked down into a thin, good-looking face, marred by some acne scars on his forehead, and pale brown eyes filled with fear. Of her. Of her Ka-Bar digging into his neck. He didn’t outweigh her by more than twenty pounds. She felt triumphant; she’d brought him down, and not a cop in sight. Missy leaned close, thought about biting him but didn’t. She whispered in his ear, “You’re the one who’s scared now, aren’t you, you creep? Who are you? Why have you been stalking me?”

    “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I never saw you before in my life. You started ch-chasing me and I-I saw the knife. I ran.” His voice was high, twitchy, with a bit of a stutter that pleased her immensely.

    “You puking little liar!” She jerked up his head by the hair, dug the knife a bit deeper. He groaned, music to her ears.

    A man’s deep voice from just above her said quietly, easily, “Please don’t carve him up here, ma’am. Mr. Wynn wouldn’t be pleased. I’m Del Conroy, head of security.”

    Missy stilled, craned her neck to look up into a hard face, at odds with that smooth cowboy voice. He was older, with iron-gray hair cut short, a white shirt and slacks. “Please don’t stop me, Mr. Conroy. I’m Missy. Missy Devereaux. I want to carve him up, but I won’t if he tells me why he’s been stalking me.”

    “A stalker? And you brought him down. Well done.” He squatted down beside her. “Nice to meet you, Missy. And what’s your name, sir?”

    “I didn’t do anything. She attacked me!”

    Conroy studied the young man’s face, spotted the midwestern accent, stood. “Up you go, Missy, I’ve got this now, if you don’t mind.” And he scooped her up beneath her armpits and set her on her feet. Both of them stared down at the man, who was rubbing his neck. Missy saw the smear of blood from her Ka-Bar and smiled.

    Conroy said in the same calm, soothing voice, “I suggest you don’t move or I’ll let her cut your ears off.” He turned back to Missy, who was still breathing fast and hard, not from all the running, but from the adrenaline rush. “Talk to me.”

    Missy’s foot was raised to slam down on his back if he moved. The urge to kick him was nearly overpowering.

    “Talk to me,” Conroy said again.

    “Phew, well, okay. Like I said, this out-of-shape worm is a stalker, been lurking around corners for months, even followed me here from L.A.” And Missy couldn’t stop herself, she kicked him, not very hard at all, really, since she wasn’t in her boots, only sneakers.

    He lurched to the side, hugging himself, and yelled, “You saw what she did. I’m going to have her arrested; I’m going to press charges. I didn’t do anything. I was walking down the Strip, minding my own, and she starts screaming at me and waving that knife! I want you to call the police.”

    Del Conroy, a retired cop himself and head of security at the Wynn for three years now, knew that very probably nothing was going to happen to this guy, and hated it. He said politely, “Sir, again, what is your name?”

    “Blinker—well, that’s my nickname—I’m John Bayley. I have a good job. I’m a fine citizen.”

    “Why does anyone call you Blinker?”

    “I’m a bond trader. I’m fast, I can make a trade in the blink of an eye.”

    A bond trader who was a stalker? That was a new one, even to Conroy. He said, “Please give me your wallet, Mr. Bayley.”

    The man pulled out a butt-flat alligator wallet, good quality, Conroy saw, and handed it to him. A California driver’s license, three credit cards, an AAA card, a gym membership for Fit Bods in Santa Monica, a couple of hundred-dollar bills. “You want to tell me what you’re doing here in Las Vegas, Mr. Bayley?”

    “Just like the other hundred thousand mutts wandering the streets out there, I’m here to unwind from the high-stress job I’ve got—see shows, play some machines—until this crazy girl came after me with a knife.”

    “You’re thirty-two.”

    “Yeah. Let me up.”

    Conroy memorized the address in Santa Monica and gave Mr. Bayley back his wallet. “Get up, Mr. Bayley. We’ll go back to my office and call the police.” Del Conroy prayed the guy had prior charges, or he’d get off without a doubt.

    Missy became vaguely aware of people’s hushed voices and looked up to see a good dozen bystanders watching the little drama. She slipped the knife back into her pocket, tossed her head until her beautiful hair swirled and danced, and gave them a huge wave. “Come see me sing at the Mandalay tonight! I’m in The Beatles Retrospective.” She turned, shook Del Conroy’s hand. “Thank you for keeping me from sticking my knife in this pervert’s neck. But I wanted to, I really did.”

    “I know, but you didn’t. You did good.”

    “I didn’t do anything! It’s you who’s going to jail!”

    “Be quiet, Mr. Bayley,” Del Conroy said. He turned to Missy. “Keep that Ka-Bar in its sheath, Ms. Devereaux. You don’t want the cops to see it. How’d you get it through airport security?”

    “I bought it here, at Larry’s Pawn Shop. Why would the cops care? I was defending myself.”

    “Better to play it smart. With Mr. Bayley ranting how you sliced him up, they’ll probably take it anyway.”

    Well, that didn’t sound right. Missy eyed her stalker. “It’s over now, anyway, you pervert. I know who you are and I’ll soon be free of you. You’re going to leave me alone or you’ll be going to jail for a good long time. And me? I’ll be normal again.” She felt so very fine she started to sing her favorite song, “Twist and Shout.”

  • Customer Reviews

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    Insidious 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 34 reviews.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Never saw the ending coming ,I have read all of Catherine Coulter's books this is one of her best thro I've never read a books of he's that wasn't top notch
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another fantastic book in the series! My only problem was that I couldn't stop reading it and finished it in a few days. Can't wait for Ms. Coulter's next book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Another fabulous read in the FBI series. The bicoastal story lines kept you on the edge of your seat and the ending as always was a surprise. Well done!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great wounderful what a book hated to c it end the series is just great want another one soon her books have never failed to hit the mark read this u will be glad u did
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    I have never found a book of Mrs. Coulter's that I didn't enjoy. She has given me years of exciting reading. And I sincerely hope she gives me many more years of exciting books to read. I is
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    As always a page turner loved the characters lov Cam Witt tier a page turner enjoyed the plot and characters hope to see more of cam . cam wittier
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great "Who done it" novel
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Great read, just like all the others. Hope there will be more .
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Finish was so-so. Good book just not my favorite by this author.
    GratefulGrandma More than 1 year ago
    This is the 20th book in the FBI series and I really enjoyed this one. As in the last book, there are two simultaneous stories going on that keep you wondering. They fit together very well so there is no issue keeping up and keeping them separate. On the east coast in Washington DC, husband and wife team, Savich and Sherlock, are trying to figure out who is trying to kill an elderly socialite who also happens to be a personal friend as well as an industrialist. Is it a family member? Is it an employee? Savich and Sherlock will have to investigate everyone whether they like it or not. On the west coast in Los Angeles, up and coming FBI superstar, Cam (Cammie, Camille) Wittier, is trying to find out who is killing young, beautiful starlets in California and Las Vegas. It has been determined it is a serial killer, but do the local police want to work with the FBI who will be taking over their cases? Is one of the murders a copycat? These books have been recognized as Romantic Thrillers but the romance has been toned down in this book. There is still some romance and relationships developing and they still happen rather quickly, but they were integral to the plot and were not as much a part of the story as in the past. I liked that. The plotlines tend to be stronger this way and the characters do as well. Cam Wittier is a smart, classy agent. She used her great people skills to get the local police on her side in order to be able to utilize their expertise on the case. The two main local police were also smart and even though there was some animosity at the beginning, they worked well with Cam. The young actresses that survived and helped somewhat to solve the case were also portrayed well. They were not "bubble headed bleach blondes" but smart, serious women who just happened to want to be actresses. One of the other things I love about this series is that even though there are major characters in every story, there are always new characters being introduced. I am pretty sure we will see more of Cam Wittier as she is still single, so there is a chance she will show up in another book in order to find her match. I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    The plot kept my interest and I didn't know who did it until the end
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love this series. Can’t wait to read the next book!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    This was awesome. It kept me guessing constantly. I love her characters and stories. I cannot wait for more.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Love the FBI series
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Characters fun. Although two plots are running one doesn't get confused , although I would like to see a bit more integration to add interest. If
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Having two major plotlines going at once keeps me twice as involved and needing to read until I find the solutions!
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Entertaining, non stop action, could not wait to turn the pages to see what happens next.
    InspirationalAngel531 More than 1 year ago
    Title: Insidious - FBI Thriller Book 20 Author: Catherine Coulter Publisher: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Book Published: 8-9-2016 Pages: 369 Genre: Mystery, Thrillers & Suspense Sub-Genre: Espionage; Spies & Politics; Murder; Police Procedurals; Romance ISBN: 9781501150296 ASIN: B01BT5YB8G Reviewed For NetGalley and Reviewer: DelAnne Rating: 4 Stars Venus Rasmussen, fearing someone is trying to kill her, calls Savich and Sherlock asking for their help. As they rout out the suspects and more attempts are made the killer comes closer to succeeding with each attempts. While Savich and Sherlock are busy trying to keep Venus alive, Agent Cam Witter teams up with Detective Daniel Montoya in search of a serial killer. I fell in love with this series years ago, but I found this book rather hard to get as involved in like I usually did. Savich putting the FBI resources into helping Venus, a friend of his family. Even with her money and political clout. There is much to enjoy in the book as well. I just wish the switching between to two cases were smoother. My rating of "Insidious" is 4 out of 5 stars.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    As always the FBI series is a great read.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Not the best book she has written.
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Constant intrigue -fast paced
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Really enjoy the flu series, love the regular charactors.
    Cambo More than 1 year ago
    Coulter brings us another winner FBI Thriller First, I would like to express my thanks to GoodReads Give-Aways, Simon & Schuster’s Gallery Books Publications, with a special thank you going out to marketing assistant MacKenzie Hickey, who made my day. Insidious is Coulter’s 20th FBI thriller, and she knows her stuff quite well by now, and this shines in her writing. Insidious again features Coulter’s staple FBI agents, an inseparable team, Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock, who are now married. However, there is an interesting twist to this Catherine Coulter novel. Insidious is a dual-case murder thriller. Savich and Sherlock were to leave for the West Coast, but someone has made an attempt on the life of the corporate head, and a dear and very wealthy family friend of the Savich family, Venus Rasmussen. Agent Cam Wittier leaves Washington for Los Angeles to work a case with Detective David Montoya and other local law enforcement agencies. Savich and Sherlock get down to the business of solving the crime of who is trying to kill Venus and why? Moreover, why is her grandson, Alexander being framed for the attempts? And, why has the other grandson, Rob entered back into the picture after a ten year absence? Meanwhile, Cam Wittier is in Santa Monica co-ordinating with several law enforcement agencies to bring in the who the media has dubbed the Starlet Slasher, a serial killer with five actresses to his credit to date. This situation needs to be handled quickly and efficiently. The city is edgy. Coulter does what she has to with characterization and she does it sparingly, yet well. (Sometimes I have trouble getting behind her Savich and Sherlock characters.) Her plots and storylines are very good once again, something that I have found in all of the Coulter novels that I have read. The idea of having two cases going on at once works very well with diverting the reader’s attention while keeping their attention and not wanting to put the book down. This gives one the feeling of drinking too much coffee too late and then picking up an exciting book and getting all jittery. The only criticism that I could really have is that at first the book had too much of a “Murder She Wrote” feel like she knew someone that knew someone. What was it that George Thorogood once said, “I met a German girl from England that was going to school in France. It was Jackson, Mississippi at an Alpha Kappa dance. It wasn’t me…” Sorry, couldn’t resist. Anyway, Coulter quickly puts this notion to rest and it is forever out of my mind. The only other thing that is even close to resembling a criticism is actually a compliment. Insidious is a very good FBI thriller. I read several of Coulter’s early FBI thriller books including The Maze and The Cove, and they were fabulous. This, IMHO, is unfortunate for Coulter, who is a better writer than that, but hey, Dylan can’t write a hit song like “Like a Rolling Stone” every ten years, either. If one is into FBI thrillers and psychological thrillers, Insidious might just be a very good choice. I surely did enjoy Insidious, and I hope that many others will do the same. I give this one a 3.8 stars. Thanks again, Mackenzie. 4-stars
    Anonymous More than 1 year ago
    Catherine Coulter does it again ! Excellent characters couldn't stop reading ! Loved it !