Apr 12, Adam Wilson rated it did not like it Did you all hear that massive thudding sound? That was me finally hitting rock bottom. Never before have I read a book so indescribably, savagely putrid as Riptide by Catherine Coulter. In this terrible book, I found flaws on nearly every page. Sadly, I was Did you all hear that massive thudding sound? Sadly, I was drawn in by the fast-paced beginning which, despite being poorly written, seemed to promise entertainment if nothing else.

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Then the phone rang. She jumped to her feet, then stopped dead still and stared over at the phone. She made no move to answer the phone. She just stood there and listened, watching it as it rang three more times. She forced her mouth to form the single word.

A voice that was well educated, with smooth, clear diction, perhaps even a touch of the Brit in it. She had to keep it together. She had to listen carefully, to remember how he spoke, what he said. You can do it. Keep it together. Make him talk, make him say something, you never know what will pop out. That was what the police psychologist in Albany had told her to do when the man had first started calling her. Listen carefully. Take control. You guide him, not the other way around.

Becca licked her lips, chapped from the hot, dry air in Manhattan that week, an anomaly, the weather forecaster had said. And so Becca repeated her litany of questions, trying to keep her voice calm, cool, in charge, yes, that was her.

I really want to know. Maybe we can talk about why you keep calling me. Can we do that? And you always say the same things. They told you to ask those questions, to try to distract me, to get me to spill my guts to you. No, this guy knew what he was doing, and he knew how to do it. Instead, she snapped. She simply lost it, the long-buried anger cutting through her bone-grinding fear. She gripped the phone, knuckles white, and yelled, "Listen to me, you little prick. Now, how about this for a question?

The cops are on to you. The phone is tapped, do you hear me? After a slight pause, he recovered. She held it there, hard, as if trying to staunch the bleeding of a wound, as if holding it down would keep him from dialing her again, keep him away from her. Slowly, finally, she backed away from the phone. She heard a wife on the TV soap plead with her husband not to leave her for her younger sister.

She walked out onto her small balcony. It was one-fifteen. She looked over Central Park, then turned a bit to the right to look at the Metropolitan Museum. The sun blazed down. It was only mid June, yet the unseasonable heat wave continued unabated. Inside the apartment it was twenty-five degrees cooler.

The phone rang again. She heard it clearly through the half-closed glass door. She jerked around and nearly fell over the railing. Not that it was unexpected. No, never that, it was just so incongruous set against the normalcy of the scene outside.

She let it ring six more times. Then she knew she had to answer it. It might be about her mother, her very sick mother, who might be dying. But of course she knew it was him. Did he know why she even had the phone turned on in the first place? She knew she had no choice at all. She picked it up on the tenth ring. Look to where those cops are sitting on their horses. Do it now, Rebecca.

She looked down at the cops. She knew something horrible was going to happen, she just knew it, and there was nothing she could do about it but watch and wait. She waited for three minutes. Just when she beginning to convince herself that the man was just trying new and different ways to terrorize her, there was a loud explosion.

She watched both horses rear up wildly. One of the cops went flying. He landed in a bush as thick smoke billowed up, obscuring the scene. When the smoke cleared a bit, she saw an old bag lady lying on the sidewalk, her market cart in twisted pieces beside her, her few belongings strewn around her. Pieces of paper fluttered down to the sidewalk, now rutted with deep pockmarks. Time seemed to have stopped, then suddenly there was chaos as everyone in view exploded into action.

She saw the horses throwing their heads from side to side, their eyes rolling at the smoke, the smell of the explosive. Becca stood there frozen, watching. Becca knew she was dead. Her stalker had detonated a bomb and killed that poor old woman. Just to terrorize her more? She was already so terrified she could hardly function. What did he want now? She walked slowly back inside the living room, firmly closing the glass door behind her. She looked at the phone, heard him saying her name, over and over.

Rebecca, Rebecca. Very slowly, she hung up. She fell to her knees and jerked the connector out of the wall jack. The phone in the bedroom rang, and kept ringing. She pressed herself close to the wall, her palms slammed against her ears.

She had to do something. She had to talk to the cops. Surely now that someone was dead, they would believe that some maniac was terrorizing her, stalking her, murdering someone to show her he meant business.

This time they had to believe her. Other books in series.


Catherine Coulter

John of Washington, D. But is she really? Enter Lacey Sherlock, a very well-qualified new agent who seems bright and eager and on the up-and-up. Escaping unwanted media attention after a notorious incident, Ramsey Hunt retreats into the solitude of a cabin high in the Colorado Rockies. But his isolation is shattered when he rescues a small girl unconscious in the forest and strangers invade his private meadow, their intent to kill.


Riptide: An FBI Thriller, Book 5



Riptide (FBI Series #5)


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