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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine addition to series
This book published on a heavy bond paper feels a lot more substantial than the 370 pages that it contains but the story is entertaining and the characters appealing. The eighth entry in Catherine Coulter's exciting FBI series it is not quite as well conceived as the first four, THE COVE, THE MAZE, THE TARGET and THE EDGE, but it is an improvement over the weaker recent...
Published on August 4, 2003 by S. Gould

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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (2 1/2) BLINDSIDED AND DISAPPOINTED
Catherine Coulter's editor did her a major disservice by not insisting on an extensive rewrite prior to the publication of this book. While it is advertised as "an FBI Thriller" and the next book in the series featuring Dillon Savich and his wife Lacey Sherlock, the author's attempt to fit the book into that mold in order to appeal to her loyal readers will...
Published on July 28, 2003 by Tucker Andersen


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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (2 1/2) BLINDSIDED AND DISAPPOINTED, July 28, 2003
Catherine Coulter's editor did her a major disservice by not insisting on an extensive rewrite prior to the publication of this book. While it is advertised as "an FBI Thriller" and the next book in the series featuring Dillon Savich and his wife Lacey Sherlock, the author's attempt to fit the book into that mold in order to appeal to her loyal readers will probably backfire by disappointing them. Just as in her previous book, THE ELEVENTH HOUR, Savich and Sherlock are peripheral to the main plot, as is in fact the whole FBI. AND BY TRYING TO GIVE THEM A MEANINGFUL ROLE SHE HAS DETRACTED FROM WHAT COULD HAVE BEEN A FIRST CLASS NOVEL.
The book begins as a standard FBI procedural, with Savich trying to track down an apparent serial killer of math teachers in the Washington, D.C. area. However, after a few chapters that case becomes almost an afterthought to the central plot, the kidnapping of six-year-old Sam Kettering, the son of Savich's friend and widowed former FBI agent Miles Kettering. Sam escapes his kidnappers after being mysteriously tranported to eastern Tennessee and is saved from being recaptured by the local sheriff, Katie Benedict. (This all happens within the first thirty pages.) As he gradually recovers from the post traumatic stress brought on by his ordeal, Sam forms a strong bond with Keely, Katie's five-year-old daughter.
So, the stage is set. The kidnappers are still on the loose. The reasons for Sam's kidnapping are a complete mystery. Miles is a former FBI agent who wants to interface with the local FBI office. Of course, Savich and Sherlock want to help their good friend. As the investigation begins, it soon leads to the Reverend Sooner McCamy and his beautiful wife Elsbeth. They appeared in town several years ago and he has founded a very strict fundamentalist evangelical church and which has attracted an extremely devoted congregation. Clearly these elements provide enough potential for a great plot, an interesting police procedural, and a concomitant opportunity to examine how moments of stress can become life changing experiences (for Sam, Keely, Katie, and Miles). Unfortunately, the negatives of the book outweigh the positives.
The dialog is stilted and often seems contrived; it was also jarring to me that in their conversations the characters are consistently referred to by their first names as is Dillon (Savich), yet throughout the book even in the same paragraphs the author constantly refers to him as Savitch. It is understanable since this has been his personna throughout the series, but the constant juxtaposition is disturbing. (This is one of the many things a good proofreader should have caught; among other errors even the number of teachers murders as listed in the promotional blurb on the dust jacket is incorrect.) The chapter breaks were on occasion absurd. It seemed like in an attempt to mimic James Patterson the publisher decided no chapters could be too long so some breaks were even right in the middle of conversations. (E.g. pages 196 and 232) One other minor complaint is that I still have no idea why Valerie Ripper was in this story except to provide some misdirection.
More importantly than these minor annoyances, I have five major complaints which are responsible for my low rating. First, the story is more like a Harlequin romance novel than an FBI thriller. Second, the villians seem almost immortal. They are constantly put in situations where they should be captured or killed but continually and sometimes miraculously escape to continue to torment Miles, Katie, Keely and Sam. However, after the first few times the surprise element is gone and it just seems unreal. And it also seems that it would have ocurred to Katie and Miles that danger continued to exist. Third, early during the book it becomes relatively obvious who is behind the kidnapping, and while the reasons remain a mystery a lot of the intrigue disappears. Fourth, Sam and Keely are wonderful, but a lot of their charm is the innocence engendered by their youth. Yet, in order for the plot to work, they have to be so precocious for their ages that it strains the reader's credulity. Last, the D.C. murders are solved almost as an afterthought to flesh out the book and give Savich a larger role, but the two cases are totally unrelated and the reader is provided basically no meaningful clue in that case until after the murderer is apprehended.
So what saved this book from a one star rating? First, Sam And Keely and their magical relationship. The author actually made it come alive. They and Katie, whose character was wonderfully drawn, were the central elements of the story and if a lot of the distractions were eliminated this story could have been first rate. Second, the way the story evoked the small town rhythms of eastern Tennessee and the beauty of the Smoky Mountains resonated with me. Third, the basic elements of the plot had great potential if there had been a greater element of mystery and the solution had involved a greater examination of the philosophical implications inherent in the crime. Fourth, it was a very fast moving, easy read that kept my attention despite its flaws.
So, I generously rounded up my rating to three stars, and recognize that die hard C fans might enjoy this book. But if you haven't read ELEVENTH HOUR, read that instead. It is a better plot, although the characters aren't quite as good except with the exception of Nick Jones. But the reason that the technique of two mysteries works so well in that story is that they are ineluctably interrelated, rather than simply a device which in the end detracts from a more nuanced development of the main story.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Sorely disappointing work from an otherwise fantastic author, September 4, 2004
By 
N. Morgen "professionally adorable" (Indianapolis, IN United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blind Side (Mass Market Paperback)
The concept behind this book was great - the execution - MISERABLE. I've enjoyed Coulter's "FBI" series books in the past, but this book was a serious deviation from her typical fare.

When I picked up this book at the bookstore, I was instantly intrigued by the plot - little Sam Kettering is kidnapped from his home in the middle of the night, while dad Miles sleeps in the other room. Meanwhile, teachers are being murdered by a sniper, which has Coulter's mainstays Savitch and Sherlock left scratching their heads.

Savitch and Sherlock, take the backseat in this novel. Instead, Coulter focuses on developing additional characters - Sam, Miles, Sheriff Katie Benedict and her daughter, and Valerie Rapper.

Coulter probably would have been better served focusing on the kidnapping and leaving the teacher murders and associated characters to another novel. The plot felt rushed and underdeveloped. The dialogue was a huge deviation from the normal witty banter between Coulter characters. The budding love between Miles and Katie was trite, and forced. The ultimate reason behind Sam's kidnapping was just plain bizarre.

The only redeeming factor in this book was the adorable kids, and their sweet interactions. However, it was grossly overshadowed by the rest of the garbage.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe this book made it to publication, November 4, 2004
By 
K. Barger (Flower Mound, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Blind Side (Mass Market Paperback)
I honestly wish I could give zero stars for this book because that is exactly what it did for me - ZERO. There are 2 separate crimes, math teachers getting killed and a little boy being kidnapped. I kept waiting for the two to connect somehow, but they never do. The math teacher killer is resolved in about 2 paragraphs - no given clues or that sense of chase. So the main flux of the story is about the kidnapping. The dialogue is unrealistic (I kept asking myself who would say that?) and doesn't flow. Some one will be talking about 2 different and unrelated things in one sentence. It is definitely not worth the paper it is written on.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine addition to series, August 4, 2003
By 
S. Gould "gouldpjaks" (Woodmere, NY United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)   
This book published on a heavy bond paper feels a lot more substantial than the 370 pages that it contains but the story is entertaining and the characters appealing. The eighth entry in Catherine Coulter's exciting FBI series it is not quite as well conceived as the first four, THE COVE, THE MAZE, THE TARGET and THE EDGE, but it is an improvement over the weaker recent entries HEMLOCK BAY and THE ELEVENTH HOUR. In this episode Sherlock and Savich come to the aid of former FBI agent and friend Miles Kettering after his six year old son ,Sam, has been kidnapped. Sam manages to escape and is recovered by local sherrif and single mom, Katie Benedict. It is now up to Sherlock, Savich, Miles and Katie to discover the reasons for Sam's abduction and to apprehend the culprits. The story moves quickly along with the appropriate amounts of danger, suspense and romance to make a great summer read. (I do agree, however, with a previous review that occasionally the relationship between Sherlock and Savich and their somewhat stilted dialogue slows rather than enhances the plot.) Overall this is another winner for Coulter.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Train Wreck., March 9, 2006
This book was just plain awful. Yet, like the way one is compelled to watch a train wreck, I finished listening to the book on CD.

I believe this tried to be both a romance and a thriller and therefore failed to be decent at either genre. Coulter needed to research or-SOMETHING-in order to throw this mess into the outermost regions of plausibility.

After reading the other reviews, I learned that Sherlock, her husband, and most probably her hair curlers are recurring characters in a series. What a relief! I couldn't figure out any other reason for them to exist in this novel.

(SPOILERS BEGIN HERE!!!)

I found myself yelling "YEAH, RIGHT!" at several points during this book. First, we have Fatso, whose vehicle explodes and he walks away unscathed. Then, we have the Sheriff, a couple of kids and daddy, whose house explodes and they walk away unscathed (hey, she just had a feeling something was wrong.) Yet, when the home of Reverend Obvious and his obedient wife explodes, 'no one could have survived that.' No corpses are produced. The logical thing for the sheriff to do in this instance is put it all in the past and get married at the demands of two children. Then, when she gets shot and gets a couple of Effa Bee Eye bodyguards, it's completely sensible for them to unquestioningly let anyone claiming to be her sister follow her into an empty building. With a gun. Especially when she was supposed to be a dead kidnapper.

The entire psychodrama is further decorated by a crazy postal worker, a sex room with multicolored objects of pleasure and pain, stigmata on a child's hands, and let's not forget that nutty Math Teacher Killer. Why why why?

Laughably, horribly bad on so many levels.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't be "blindsided" by this book!, August 3, 2004
By 
This review is from: Blind Side (Mass Market Paperback)
Blindside is about the kidnapping of a six-year-old boy. He manages to escape the world's stupidest kidnappers, only to have them return again and again for him. He's found and protected by a local sheriff, his father (a former FBI agent) and two other married FBI agents. These folks have got to be among the most inept cops/agents in the world. They lose their man so many times it's comical (and it's not supposed to be!). The book is predictable, and the characters are simplistic: black or white, good or evil, with little development. Oh, where to begin? The way that the marriage develops between Miles and Katie is ridiculous. There is absolutely no resolution as to how the tape of Sam came into being. It would be completely inappropriate for two agents to work on the same team (ask any local cop shop). The freaky woman hitting on Savich at the gym defies explanation (why is she even here?). The inclusion of a sideline plot about a math teacher killer makes no sense whatsoever. The dialogue was stilted and unnatural, with odd cadences and repetitive use of phrases such as "down to her toes." The author may love her characters, but they inspired no feelings in me. If you're desperate for the written word, then Blindside will do. It may even give you a few unintentional laughs. If you want a great thriller that will keep you guessing, look elsewhere. Blindside is just plain silly.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the best FBI series book!, August 9, 2004
This review is from: Blind Side (Mass Market Paperback)
Actually, it's quite possibly the worst one. The plot is great! I like the fact of the kidnapping and the mystery surrounding it, but COME ON! Miles and Katie get married after barely a week and she doesn't call him by his first name the whole time. Then all of a sudden they're cozy, cozy, let's get married? My other pet peeve about this book is the weird woman at Savich's gym. What is up with her? Where did she come from? and why doesn't she go back there? Is she supposed to some character that may appear in a later book? If so, don't bother! And the dialogue!!! I've heard better conversation between 3-yr olds. Like when Savich is in the ambulance and the sheriff is with him and calling him Agent Savich (which is what I expect a county sheriff to call a Special Agent with the FBI). He tells her to call him Dillon (only natural as they had gunplay together previously). You would think that would end it, but NNNOOOO!! He says, "that's what my wife calls me" Who cares, I ask. Is his wife supposed to call him Agent Savich? AAAARRRGGGHHH! It drove me crazy! I had to stop and read some adult fiction for a while before I could go back to that craziness! I don't think Catherine Coulter wrote this book. I think her 3-year niece did.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Yawn!, July 18, 2004
By 
sandy (Gillette, WY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Blind Side (Mass Market Paperback)
I bought this book because I love all of Coulter's older novels. I am really into the mystery thrillers right now and this sounded great. What a waste! I've never read a book where the characters lacked so much personality and chemistry. Even the dialog was boring and bland. As for the romance, what romance?! Are we really expected to believe that Katie and Miles get married after 1 week when they have barely talked to each other the entire time. This book was such a waste of time and money and a huge disappointment to a long time Catherine Coulter fan. Will think twice before buying any of her newer books.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars moves right along, twists and turns, September 25, 2003
I was pleasently surprised with this novel after reading what several reviewers had written.
I am a fan of Coulter and enjoy this FBI series, If someone thought character development missing it was because they haven't read past books with Savich and Sherlock, anyone who knows this team would enjoy this read and the new Sheriff Katie with Miles & kids! Oh yeah I hope to see much more in future books as these characters deveolp. I thought keeping 2 plots going was good and kept me reading. Give it a shot.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not worth the money, August 3, 2003
By A Customer
Years ago, I loved all of Catherine Coulter's books, but after reading Blindside, I've decided from now on rather than pay for her books I'll wait until my local library has them.
The conversations in Blindside were so unbelievable - no one talks in such stilted sentences! The plot was thin and way out there. Save your money.
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Blindside (An FBI Thriller Book 8)
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