Thursday, July 7, 2011

Split Second by Catherine Coulter

A serial killer is on the loose, and it's up to FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock to bring him down. They soon discover that the killer has blood ties to the infamous now long-dead monster, Ted Bundy. Savich and Sherlock are joined by agents Lucy Carlyle and Cooper McKnight, and the chase is on.

At the same time, Special Agent Lucy Carlyle learns from her dying father that her grandfather hadn't simply walked away from his family twenty-two years earlier: he had, in fact, been murdered by his wife, Lucy's grandmother. Determined to uncover the truth, Lucy moves into her grandmother's Chevy Chase mansion. What she finds, however, is more in the nature of a nightmare. Not only does she discover the truth of what happened all those years ago, but she faces a new mystery, a strange ring that holds powers beyond her ken. She learns about obsession and destruction and ultimate power.

As the hunt for the serial killer escalates, Savich realizes he's become the killer's focus, and the hunted. It's up to Lucy to stop this madness before Savich dies.

This is one of the rarer instances where I wish I had more of an exacting scale for my reviews. Not to say that this book doesn't deserve a thumbs up, it definitely does, but I feel like it's more 75% positive and unfortunately you're going to have to deal with me being a little lengthy in my explanation to say why. 

The first thing that bothered me is a slight SPOILER. SPOILER I'M TELLING YOU!!! You can skip this little bit, though I don't think what I'm about to say impacts anyone's enjoyment of the story. I didn't really like how the ring Lucy finds/inherits from her family stops and rewinds time for a short while. It just seemed very abrupt and misplaced in the middle of a very non-paranormal contemporary thriller. It kind of jolted me from what I was reading, especially since it seemed so sudden to what was happening amongst all the characters. SPOILER END!!

The other thing that I didn't love I have to admit may be specific to my experience. I've never read a Coulter book before and I have no familiarity with the series this book is from. For the most part it works well as a stand alone, but I did find that I had a hard time in the beginning figuring out who would be the main characters. As in Lucy and Cooper are the budding romance focus, but with already married Dillion and Sherlock, I would get confused. I guess I'm too used to the Eve Dallas books, where just because Eve and Roarke are married, it doesn't take away from them being the center of any controversy. Eventually everything in Split Second becomes clear, but I did take notice of how many times I had to refocus exactly on who's veiw point I was reading and where they fit in with everyone else.

But the good! This book has a lot of good. Once I knew everyone I got very involved with the characters. They were dynamic and interesting, some even possessing little quirks (I got the feeling there was some psychic stuff going around that I didn't know enough about), and in general held the story. Even the origins of the killer and they way they function through the book is engaging. So violent! So gory! Definitely a great thrill ride, and something that makes me interested in picking up the books at the beginning of the series.

And unsurprisingly to anyone I'm sure, the romance was a big part of what I enjoyed. Being already married with a son, Dillion and Sherlock had that long time familiarity with each other and how they work together in the FBI  which was fun to read. Lucy and Coop though, as the new romance, was even better. There were sparks galore and a very believable build up between the two. Lucy has some assumptions about Coop and his background that are a little hard to overcome but as they work together the two finally  get  a chance to talk beyond 'Hi, how are you' and are able to move past it. I never felt like the relationship was rushed and his determination to take care of her (in a non-domineering kind for way) and not buy her bull about the ring but want to help her with, is very endearing.

I recommend this book  and I think anyone who's read the previous books will like it even more than I did.
Overall Feeling - Thumbs up

Series - ...15) Split Second (Released 7/19/11)

**Received from Putnam for review consideration**