Riptide

Coulter, Catherine

Published by G. P. Putnam's Sons, 2000
ISBN 10: 0399146164 / ISBN 13: 9780399146169
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the fifth catherine coulter fbi suspense novel.spring sale. 40% off regular price of 80.00. now Size: 8vo. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: Revenge and murder become entwined in this riveting new contemporary suspense novel by the New York Times bestselling author of The Edge.

With four back-to-back bestselling suspense thrillers to her credit, Catherine Coulter has earned an ever-growing following thanks to her original plots, vivid characters, unexpected twists, and satisfyingly unpredictable denouements. The Los Angeles Times found The Edge "full of surprises." Now Coulter delivers a novel predicated on a baffling threat, fueled by an animus dating back a generation.

Political speechwriter Jessie Matlock is at the top of her professional game, working for the re-election campaign of New York's popular governor, when she receives the first phone call: "Stop sleeping with the governor or I'll kill him." Though Jessie isn't sleeping with the governor, the menacing ultimatums persist. The police suddenly stop believing her, even after the stalker murders an innocent person to prove his point.

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.

Review: Rebecca Matlock is in the thick of politics, enjoying her work as a speechwriter for the governor of New York, who's facing a reelection campaign. What she's not enjoying are the menacing phone calls from a stranger who refers to himself as "your boyfriend" and warns her that he will kill the governor if she doesn't stop sleeping with him. Although Becca has never had a sexual relationship with her boss, she is increasingly frightened by the phone calls. The police, who were initially sympathetic to her plight, make it clear that they regard her as a hysteric, even after the stalker murders an innocent bystander to convince her that he means business. Becca seeks refuge in Riptide, an isolated community on the Maine coast, but terror continues to dog her. The skeleton of a woman who may be the missing wife of a college friend is unearthed in the basement of her new house; the stalker tracks her to her chosen refuge; and she is sought by the police and the FBI following an assassination attempt on the governor.

With the appearance of Adam Carruthers, a stranger who says he's her guardian angel but doesn't tell her who sent him, the plot makes a dramatic right turn that requires a willing suspension of disbelief. It seems that Becca's father, a high-ranking intelligence officer, went underground when she was a baby in order to protect his family from reprisals by a Soviet agent whose wife he had accidentally killed. Now it's payback time, as Thomas Matlock calls in his own intelligence community to neutralize the threat on his daughter's life. All the attendant testosterone speeds up the action and propels it toward a shoot-'em-up conclusion, but it also sacrifices a clearer portrayal of Becca's feelings about her father's deception and abandonment. At the same time, the switch from a damsel-in-distress story to a high-velocity espionage thriller relegates the skeleton in Becca's basement to a secondary plot point that is resolved a bit too tidily. Catherine Coulter is short on character development and explication, but she weaves a suspenseful web of danger and intrigue, and for her many admirers, the fact that there seem to be two novels trying to coexist in one book may not be too much of a good thing. --Jane Adams

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Riptide
Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hardcover
Book Condition: Fine
Edition: First Edition.

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