Eleventh Hour, etc.) delivers some of the things her fans have come to expect—"/>


Catherine Coulter, Author . Putnam $25.95 (370p) ISBN 978-0-399-15056-2

The newest installment in historical romance author Coulter's FBI series (Eleventh Hour, etc.) delivers some of the things her fans have come to expect—a fast-moving investigation, a mind-bending mystery—but readers will have difficulties getting past the book's wooden dialogue, pointless plot digressions and superficial characterizations. Married FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock are on the trail of a serial killer who targets math teachers, but when Sam Kettering, the son of their widower friend Miles, is kidnapped, they turn their attention to getting the boy back. Six-year-old Sam and Sheriff Katie Benedict, of Jessborough, Tenn., already have the situation in hand, however. After escaping from his kidnappers, Sam runs into single mother Katie, and now all they have to do is wait for the cavalry to arrive. To everyone's surprise, the kidnappers resurface, leaving Katie and the FBI wondering who's really behind the attempts. While Savich and Sherlock return to Washington, D.C., to all-too-easily wrap up their serial killer investigation, Miles and Katie pursue their primary suspects and decide whether to marry for the sake of their kids, who bonded instantly. The relationship between Miles and Katie is hasty and underdeveloped, and their brash investigative methods will raise eyebrows. Still, the mystery at the heart of this talky tale is intriguing and the pacing is brisk, which makes this a capable, if not thrilling, summer diversion. Major ad/promo; main selection of the Doubleday Book Club, Rhapsody Book Club; featured selection of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild; author tour. (July 28)

Reviewed on: 06/30/2003
Release date: 07/01/2003
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