Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Whiplash by Catherine Coulter

Whiplash by Catherine Coulter
Jove Books, New York
July 2011
Trade Paperback, 433 pages

First line: Erin used her third-generation lock picks.

From the inside cover: When Yale professor Dr. Edward Kender's father undergoes chemotherapy for colon cancer and the supply of the critical drug Culovort suddenly runs short, Kender hires P.I. Erin Pulaski to prove that something more sinister is going on at Schiffer Hartwin Pharmaceutical. On the same night Erin finds proof of malfeasance, the pharmaceutical company's "Mr. Fix-It" is murdered behind the drug company's U.S. headquarters. The big guns, Savich and Sherlock, are sent to Connecticut to join the local Special Agent in Charge, Bowie Richards. The case becomes more complicated for Erin, since the brutal murder can only mean that the pharmaceutical house has a secret of epic proportions - one it would do anything to keep hidden - and she alone holds the key evidence that will nail them.

Back in Washington, Senator David Hoffman is experiencing a ghostly apparition with unknown intent, and Savich can find no earthly explanation. There are attempts on Hoffman's life, resulting in the murder of an innocent. When the vice president of the United States is nearly killed, Savich and Sherlock know they must act fast...

My thoughts: This is the 14th book in Catherine Coulter's FBI Thriller series and it was another solid hit. Once again Savich and Sherlock are investigating two cases simultaneously, this time cases that have them traveling back and forth between DC and Connecticut. The cases keep them on their toes as they work to put all the clues together. Working side by side and then apart, it is clear to see that they really can put their private lives aside to focus on their work. 

Sherlock is quite an amazing agent - going from a motherly figure to hard-core agent as the case merits. She is able to make connections and pick up on things that the male agents seem unable to see, as in the case of Erin Pulaski, a private investigator/ballet teacher turned child care provider for none other than Agent Bowie's daughter. This certainly allows for some interesting scenes as Erin knows she should inform Bowie that she was the one to break-in to Schiffer-Hartwin and Bowie realizes that Erin is a little too curious about the murder victim and it's connection to Schiffer-Hartwin.  I also liked the hint of a romance that ensues between Bowie and Erin - I just wish that we would get to see what becomes of it as because they are minor characters, we don't always get to revisit them in later books.

I was a little skeptical that once again, there is the hint of paranormal plot, but in this case, it wasn't as big as it could be. It seems that again Savich's sixth sense is bringing him cases, in this case, the deceased wife of the senator contacts Savich. Hopefully this is not going to be the norm in the rest of the series. I do plan on reading the next two books and will see what happens with them. I love how these books keep you on you hooked right from the beginning and there are just enough twists and turns to keep you in suspense without going overboard.

So, have you ever wished that one or more of the minor characters become regulars in a series or get their own story?

(I received this book from a family member.)

Books in the series:
  1. The Cove                            9.  Blowout
  2. The Maze                         10.  Point Blank
  3. The Target                       11.  Double Take
  4. The Edge                          12.  Tailspin
  5. Riptide                              13.  Knockout
  6. Hemlock Bay                   14.  Whiplash
  7. Eleventh Hour                15.  Split Second
  8. Blindside                           16.  Back Fire - due out July 2012

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