Tag: Catherine Coulter

Vortex Book Review

FBI Favorites: Sherlock and Savich

My immediate thought after finishing Vortex by Catherine Coulter was power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely. (My apologies to the descendants of Lord Acton for an inexact quote.) Following that, I began analyzing the writing itself, perhaps due to time spent editing my own writing earlier in the day. My conclusion was surprising.

Coulter is a master writer and Vortex is well written with no editorial problems. The plot is believable and the story flows. Yet, my sense of satisfaction upon completion is missing. And I am not sure why. Perhaps a lack of romance often found in her FBI thrillers. More likely, a feeling of forced involvement of series regulars.

Main Plot

The unsettling topic, a missing woman, is one with closure without hope. The protagonist, Mia Briscoe, is a journalist newly focused on the plight of a close friend, Serena Winters. Pictures discovered by yet another friend yield a clue to the men last seen near Serena before her disappearance.

Not surprisingly, her mission to discover what happened to Serena dovetails with her assignment of interviewing a young charismatic and powerful candidate for the position of New York City mayor. I was ok with this tie-in. But the additional backstory of FBI agent Tommy Maitland as the boyfriend of the missing girl and the subsequent interaction between long-time series heroine Agent Sherlock and Mia felt strained.

Vortex Subplots

Sherlock just happens to be in New York City to lend a hand in a case of a Black Widow and jilted lover-a psychopath murderess. So, she can easily switch her efforts to the main story line as a favor to Maitland. This is a refreshing change from all the subplots tying together.

Furthermore, the unique subplots continue with the storyline created for Sherlock’s husband Dillon Savich. A missing CIA agent and flash drive keep him busy. He aids and protects a co-team member, CIA agent Olivia Hildebrandt. The storylines do not merge even though the series characters bounce back and forth.

Forced Threads in Vortex

In addition to the involvement of Sherlock in multiple storylines, the forced relationships of the main characters troubled me. Does Mia’s boyfriend even need a place in the story? The relationship feels inconsequential as compared to the one between Olivia and the missing Mike.


I enjoyed Vortex and yet I am glad it was a library check-out. While the unique storylines did not bother me, they also did not do much for the overall book. One could even imagine two separate books. Furthermore, Savich and Sherlock working together always works better than when they go their separate ways. Longtime readers will enjoy but newcomers need to start with another book in the series.

Deadlock Book Review

Cover of Deadlock by Catherine CoulterDeadlock is Catherine Coulter’s newest release in her FBI series featuring Savich and Sherlock. The duo play important roles in this mystery along with a couple of new FBI characters. Unlike previous Coulter releases, Deadlock has little to offer for romance fans and plenty of excitement for thrill seekers. Best of all, the two threads offer plenty twists and turns to keep the reader guessing.

Key Characters in Deadlock

In addition to super sleuths and happily married Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock, Deadlock features FBI Agent Pippa Cinelli in one of the two story lines. Cinelli returns to her hometown of St. Lumis, Maryland to solve the puzzle delivered to Savich. While on location she teams up with local law enforcement Chief Wilde, an outsider to the town. The post-Halloween timetable lends itself nicely to the macabre puzzle.

Meanwhile, FBI agent Griffin Hammersmith is assigned protection duty to Rebekah Danvers, the wife of Congressman Danvers. Savich saves Mrs. Danvers from a kidnapping attempt in early action of Deadlock. Of the two plot threads, the kidnapping has the most surprises. Griffin develops an “off the pages” romance with Danvers’ personal assistant. The bodyguard is quick thinking and action oriented. And he saves more than one life.


Personal revenge lies at the base of both story lines. The taunting puzzle sent to FBI headquarters revolves around sudden death and blackmail. The master mind behind the mystery is seeking revenge against Savich. Agent Cinelli and Chief Wilde perform much of the legwork needed to keep a psychotic criminal behind bars. Good prevails over evil.

The Danvers storyline is much more complex. Long held secrets are revealed. Both greed and deep seeded animosity are the explanation behind the kidnapping plot. The conspiracy does not lend itself to a happy ending for Rebekah Danvers. Yet, Coulter offers hope to the character and the reader with a message from beyond the grave: Life is an incredible gift, regardless of its unexpected tragedies (Coulter, p. 446).



Wizard’s Daughter Book Review

Wizard’s Daughter combines magic with witches, wizards, ghosts and unearthly realms with Regency England. Catherine Coulter is a masterful writer regardless of which genre she chooses. Her tales are part romance and part adventure.

Sherbrooke Series

Even though Coulter is one of my favorite authors and the Sherbrooke Series is also much loved, Wizard’s Daughter escaped my attention when it was released over ten years ago. However, a positive side to the pandemic is discovering many books I previously missed upon publication. Wizard’s Daughter is quite the mystical escape. Perfect for a lazy afternoon.

Nicholas Vail

The young Lord Mountjoy has returned to England after learning of his father’s death. He is the oldest and inherits what is tied up through primogeniture…and nothing else. All monies were passed onto three half-brothers.

But that is not the only thing that draws him back from foreign shores. He knows it is time to find the girl who has haunted his dreams since he was a small boy. She is now a grown woman, and a ward to Ryder Sherbrooke.

Wizard’s Daughter

Found near death as a small urchin Rosalind has no memory before her rescue. Not even of her identity. Yet, as soon as she spies Nicholas across the room at a ball she knows he is the one for her.

Their whirlwind romance takes on an unearthly mystery. Clues to the hidden secret swirling around Nicholas and Rosalind appear through coded passages in a book and strange visions to both Nicholas, Rosalind, and Richard, the oldest half-brother.

Paying a Debt

Behind the many secrets surrounding the young couple is a generational debt to be paid. Both must travel beyond the pale to rescue a young boy from an evil witch. Along the way they must navigate along a path filled with flying dragons, wizards and mythical beasts.

The many visions delivered in England come to pass. And yet the outcome is twisted. For in the realm beyond the pale things are not as they seem.

Catherine Coulter

Ms. Coulter is a prolific writer. Earlier reviews include Paradox, The Last Second and The Devil’s Triangle. She covers many genres and each story is a treat to behold. Wizard’s Daughter is an excellent example. Coulter combines regency romance with mysticism and the end result is an entertaining tale for fans of both genres. I enjoyed both the romance of Rosalind and Nicholas along with their adventure in a mythical realm.

Paradox Book Review

The latest Savich and Sherlock FBI thriller from Catherine Coulter that I have read is Paradox. Since these two characters are among my very favorites, it is only fair to warn you I may be biased. Nonetheless, I think Paradox is worth reading. There are plenty of psychological components to make it a thriller.

Coulter’s opening scene captures your attention. There is a break-in and an unknown man is found looming above a sleeping Sean Savich. His mom, FBI agent Lacey Sherlock, interrupts the kidnapping. The couple, familiar to many readers, race to discover the identity of the would-be kidnapper of their son Sean.

Parallel Stories

Simultaneously, Chief Ty Christie witnesses a murder from her back deck. She is helpless to do anything but watch since the event takes place in the middle of the lake. Coulter melds the two stories into one in prime fashion.

Christie is the protagonist for the parallel story line. Coulter does a good job with her character. She becomes a friend more than a love interest to another key character. This is refreshing.


A paradox is a seemingly absurd or self-contradictory statement that when investigated may prove well-founded or true according to my online dictionary. There are multiple instances of paradox in this novel. All but one proved easy to understand.

People act against or outside their personality for a variety of reasons. Coulter is masterful at manipulating the actions of characters both main and secondary in ways that are paradoxical throughout Paradox. The title truly fits the story.

Earlier editions of the FBI series which featured Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock coupled thrills with steamy romantic scenes. Perhaps because the two are a married couple, Coulter has toned the action down quite a bit.

Furthermore, the relationship Ty Christie engages in does not meet the criteria needed to make Paradox a romance as much as a thriller. The book’s focus is that of a thriller joined with a bit of the paranormal and a hefty dose of psychotic killers. A good book to read- but perhaps not just before you sleep.


The Last Second Book Review

Authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison writing the Brit in the FBI series have released a good summer read in The Last Second. Even though the plot leads us to the far corners of the world, the story line is easier to accept than that of The Devil’s Triangle also written by the duo. You can read that review by clicking here.

Familiar Characters

FBI agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine (Mike) are on vacation. Shortly after a visit with old friends Grant Thornton and his wife Kitsune, they spring into action.  Drummond and Caine leave their European vacation to go to the rescue of Grant.

Thornton is acting as bodyguard to Jean-Pierre Broussard founder of Galactus Space Industries. Broussard’s hobby is finding treasures lost at sea. He has just found the Holy Grail when he is betrayed. The Holy Grail is stolen and the ship’s passengers are left for dead.

New Villains

Ellison and Coulter believe in equal opportunity. Once again the bad guys are bad gals. Ex-astronaut Navaeh Patel believes she was rescued in space by aliens called Numen. Her henchwoman is Kiera Byrne. A formidable bodyguard with an IRA background.

The two women must be stopped. Not an easy task when one is a brilliant scientist bent on contacting the aliens who saved her life.

The Last Second

This action adventure novel would make a great movie. The twists and turns and subplots keep you turning the pages. Naturally, Drummond and Caine manage to solve each problem they encounter at the last second. Since there are multiple scenes leading to the apex, the duo have plenty of opportunity to display their skills.

There are a few subplots that touch on current events. First is the commercial space race. Second is the concern of an EMP. This type of weapon would send current civilization backward in time. New characters include a terrorist who in reality is an agent deep undercover. Thus, the authors stretch the imagination.

The Last Second is an easy read. The book is a great way to escape on a summer afternoon. The fast paced action dovetails with the two main themes. Saving an innocent life with the Holy Grail and the halting of space junk with the EMP are ideas with multiple layers. Coulter and Ellison give the reader something to ponder after the tale is told.

The Devil’s Triangle-A Book Review

The Devil’s Triangle By Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison


The Devil’s Triangle is the latest Brit in The FBI series from the writing duo of Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison. This action adventure has a quick pace and is easy to read. The characters are likeable but the plot does require a suspension of belief.

British born FBI agent Nicholas Drummond and his partner Michaela “Mike” Caine receive a mayday call from known cat thief Kitsune. She needs their help. Her latest theft, the staff of Moses, has gone awry. Her clients, an evil pair of twins in search of the Ark of the Covenant, have kidnapped her husband.

Exciting chases from the canals of Venice to hidden islands off of Cuba provide the background for the story. Underground labyrinths also play a role, but it is the characters which keep the plot moving. The theme of good vs. evil is somewhat muddied by Kitsune. Her allegiance to Drummond and Caine is strong. They defend and protect her. Thus the authors are indicating many grey areas in a world that likes to think in terms of black and white.

The background for the development of the evil twins did not quite work for me. The maternal grandfather blames their behavior on a son-in-law. The twins’ kill their father previous to the action in the book, but his retold actions do not paint him as disturbed. However, the twins do make perfect villains.

The writing clearly portrays the twins, a brother and sister, as brilliant but flawed. The psychotic episodes which increase throughout the novel are well done. I could believe they were obsessed with finding the Ark of the Covenant. In fact, I want to know why and how they diverged so much from previous family members. Is it the obsession alone?

Coulter’s FBI stories usually involve romance between agents. Evidence of the special relationship between Nicholas and Mike can be found throughout. I love Mike’s Bond reference toward the end. The Devil’s Triangle has what is known in the industry as a sweet romance wrapped in the storyline. I like this approach and believe the book should not offend in this regard.

While the character relationships are G rated, there is quite a bit of violence. That is the norm for this genre. The description is not especially gory, but if you do not like murder and mayhem there may be parts you want to skip over. I found this an entertaining summer read and I recommend you check it out at your nearest library.