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Blindside (FBI Thriller) Hardcover – July 28, 2003

Book 8 of 19 in the An FBI Thriller Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The newest installment in historical romance author Coulter's FBI series (Eleventh Hour, etc.) delivers some of the things her fans have come to expect-a fast-moving investigation, a mind-bending mystery-but readers will have difficulties getting past the book's wooden dialogue, pointless plot digressions and superficial characterizations. Married FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock are on the trail of a serial killer who targets math teachers, but when Sam Kettering, the son of their widower friend Miles, is kidnapped, they turn their attention to getting the boy back. Six-year-old Sam and Sheriff Katie Benedict, of Jessborough, Tenn., already have the situation in hand, however. After escaping from his kidnappers, Sam runs into single mother Katie, and now all they have to do is wait for the cavalry to arrive. To everyone's surprise, the kidnappers resurface, leaving Katie and the FBI wondering who's really behind the attempts. While Savich and Sherlock return to Washington, D.C., to all-too-easily wrap up their serial killer investigation, Miles and Katie pursue their primary suspects and decide whether to marry for the sake of their kids, who bonded instantly. The relationship between Miles and Katie is hasty and underdeveloped, and their brash investigative methods will raise eyebrows. Still, the mystery at the heart of this talky tale is intriguing and the pacing is brisk, which makes this a capable, if not thrilling, summer diversion.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

The sheriff of Jessborough, Tennessee, Katie Benedict, meets up with best-seller queen Coulter's ever popular FBI agents, Sherlock and Savich, when she and her five-year-old daughter, Keely, rescue a six-year-old boy fleeing kidnappers. He is the son of Miles Kettering, a former FBI agent. Sam is so traumatized that a local psychiatrist thinks he should remain in Katie and Keely's house, along with his father. But after another kidnapping attempt, Katie realizes that the motive behind the attacks is an unusual one, and that the relentless kidnappers will never give up. Along the way to solving the mystery, Katie runs into a sadomasochistic couple: the pastor of the Sinful Children of God Church and his bizarre wife, who just happens to be the sister of one of the kidnappers. Meanwhile, Savich is working on the case of a serial killer who is targeting math teachers. Even though Coulter's eighth FBI thriller (the last was Eleventh Hour [BKL Jl 02]) is marred by some continuity and consistency problems, it still delivers an entertainingly romantic mystery with endearing new characters as well as beloved recurring ones. Diana Tixier Herald
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Product Details

  • Series: FBI Thriller (Book 8)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: G. P. Putnam's Sons; 1st edition (July 28, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0399150560
  • ISBN-13: 978-0399150562
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (154 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #251,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Catherine Coulter is the author of the New York Times-bestselling FBI thrillers The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh House, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take and TailSpin. She lives in northern California.

Customer Reviews

I can't wait until the next book arrives.
C. Bartlett
The characters and dialogue are ridiculous and stilted.
M. O'Neill
You would think that would end it, but NNNOOOO!!
B. Thompson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Tucker Andersen VINE VOICE on July 28, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N. Morgen on September 4, 2004
Format: 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 By K. Barger on November 4, 2004
Format: 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 By S. Gould VINE VOICE on August 4, 2003
Format: Hardcover
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 By Mrs. K on March 9, 2006
Format: Hardcover
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.


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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