Sunday, September 12, 2010

Review: Whiplash by Catherine Coulter

Author: Catherine Coulter
Publication: Putnam Adult; 1st edition (June 15, 2010)

Description: Yale professor Dr. Edward Kender's father is undergoing chemotherapy when the supply of a critical accompanying drug suddenly runs out. Unwilling to accept the drug company's disingenuous excuse of production line problems, Dr. Kender hires private investigator Erin Pulaski to prove that something more sinister is going on at Schiffer Hartwin. 

Meanwhile, in Maryland, married FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich are investigating a rather unusual case: Senator David Hoffman is experiencing a ghostly apparition with possible malicious intent. The case is baffling, and Sherlock and Savich are not sure what to believe, even after witnessing the disturbing specter for themselves. They're no closer to cracking the case when a call comes in from Connecticut: A top foreign Schiffer Hartwin employee has been found murdered behind the drug company's U.S. headquarters. 

Unbeknownst to the FBI, Erin Pulaski had uncovered a bombshell in her investigation: The Culovort shortage is set to bring in a windfall profit in excess of two billion dollars. Upon learning of the murder, Erin is certain it has something to do with her findings, but she risks exposing herself by coming forward. As the feds move in, the case becomes even more complicated for Erin, since the murder of a foreign national on federal land can mean only that the pharmaceutical house has a secret of epic proportions-one it would do anything to keep hidden.

My Thoughts: This was a nice entry into the Sherlock and Savitch series. I liked Erin Pulaski who was a combination ballet instructor and private investigator - a combination as mixed as her Polish-Irish-American heritage. Erin breaks into an office of a drug company CEO to discover if the shortage of a cancer drug is an accident or deliberate. Only a murder occurs near there and she is afraid that she will be accused since she was committing a crime in the area. Life gets even more complicated when the FBI agent in charge asks her to look after his young daughter who is one of her ballet students. She'd rather be far away from the FBI investigation but agrees so that she can find out what is going on. She and the FBI agent do begin a romance which is complicated by the secrets she is keeping. The FBI agent's daughter Georgie is quite a character and adds a lot to the story. 

Sherlock and Savitch get involved too and soon discover that the drug company is keeping lots of secrets and has an overabundance of villains. Meanwhile, the case in Washington also serves as a distraction for Savitch as he tries to figure out who is trying to kill a long-term senator.

The book was filled with action and suspense and a good dose family life. There was also a lot of family drama in the part of the story that takes place in Washington, D.C. I recommend the book to lovers of romantic suspense and to those who are following this series.

Favorite Quote: 
Crouching in a dark maintenance closet for three hours with two bottles of water and a PayDay candy bar hadn't been fun, but surely it wasn't all that illegal. What she was doing now, though, it was the real deal. She wasn't just twisting the law, she was stomping on it. She was breaking and entering.
Challenges: RYOB Reading Challenge

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