Cover image for The edge
The edge
Coulter, Catherine.
Personal Author:
[Large print edition].
Publication Information:
Thorndike, Me. : Thorndike Press, [1999]

Physical Description:
492 pages ; 23 cm

Format :


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Material Type
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Item Holds
X Adult Large Print Large Print
X Adult Large Print Large Print

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Catherine Coulter's first three New York Times bestselling suspense thrillers (The Cove, The Maze, and The Target) dazzled readers with extraordinary plot twists, incomparable characters, and elegant, tough-to-solve mysteries. Writing about The Target, Publishers Weekly called it "an absorbing read." Now comes a new tale of riveting suspense, a novel in which a small town falls prey to pure evil. FBI agent Ford MacDougal--"Mac"--is recovering from a terrorist car bombing when his sister appears to purposely drive her Porsche off an Oregon cliff. Curiously, Mac felt as if he was in the car with her as she sailed toward the sea, even though he was really in a hospital bed on the other side of the country. By the time Mac arrives in Portland, his sister--Dr. Jilly Bartlett, a medical researcher--has come out of the coma she's been in for four days. But after a few scant hours with her brother, Jilly vanishes without a trace. In searching for her, Mac gets a different story from everyone he encounters. When the local sheriff enlists Mac's aid in a puzzling murder of an elderly resident, Mac little suspects that the case connects to his sister's disappearance. FBI agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich (last seen in The Target) join Mac to ride shotgun, only to find their search leading from a small town on the Oregon coast to the rain forests of Costa Rica. Together, they must escape relentless pursuers as well as the hostile jungle itself before discovering the true nature of the evil at The Edge.

Author Notes

Catherine Coulter was born on December 26, 1942 in Cameron County, Texas. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Texas and a master's degree in early 19th century European history from Boston College. Her first novel, The Autumn Countess, was published in 1978. Before becoming a full-time writer in 1982, she worked on Wall Street as a speech writer. Since then she has written over 65 books including The Aristocrat, Afterglow, False Pretenses, Impulse, and Born to Be Wild. She also writes the FBI Thriller series and numerous historical romance trilogies including the Song, Star, Magic, Night, Bride, Viking, and Legacy Trilogies. She writes A Brit in the FBI series with J. T. Ellison.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Coulter, known for her historical romances, can really write good page-turning contemporary romantic thrillers--such as The Maze (1997) and The Target (1998)--when she wants to. This one begins with a nightmare. While in the hospital recuperating from an explosion in Tunisia, FBI agent Ford "Mac" MacDougal has a terrifying dream in which he plunges off a cliff into deep water. When he awakes, he realizes that his dream is somehow related to his sister Jilly, who lives in a small town on the Oregon coast. He calls his brother-in-law early in the morning and discovers that Jilly drove her Porsche off a cliff into the ocean the night before and is in a coma. Flying to Jilly's side, he has another paranormal experience when he hears her say someone named Laura betrayed her. When Mac investigates, he discovers that Laura is a reference librarian in nearby Salem. He brings her to Jilly's bedside; Jilly awakes, then promptly disappears. As Mac and Laura search for her, mysteries multiply, and the two become embroiled in a caper that involves a newly developed supersex drug and a drug-running cartel. Mac and Laura, along with two other FBI agents now on the case, are kidnapped and taken to a tropical compound, and Coulter keeps serving up adventure, intrigue, and romance until the very end. --Diana Tixier Herald

Publisher's Weekly Review

Like Jilly Bartlett, who drives her white Porsche off an Oregon cliff in the prologue, Coulter (The Target) has an uncertain hand on the wheel of her rambling thriller. FBI agent Ford "Mac" MacDouglas, Jilly's brother, is a tough-but-tenderhearted protagonist unraveling the mystery surrounding his sister's plungeÄwith frequent interruptions for sex and violent surprises. Jilly, a brilliant chemist, survives the accident (or is it a suicide attempt?), only to disappear upon awaking from a four-day coma, leaving Mac with some vexing questions. What kind of drug have Jilly and her unpleasant scientist husband, Paul, developedÄa fountain of youth, a wild libido enhancer, a fertility drug, a memory-eraser, or all of the above? Why is Jilly deathly afraid of beautiful Laura Scott, who's ostensibly a reclusive research librarian but obviously far too street smart to play that role convincingly? Who killed retired cop Charlie Duck? Coulter risks exasperating her readersÄwho may tire of the relentless questions this book raises in increasingly heavy dosesÄwith excessive and transparent collusions; it turns out that the highway patrolman who rescues Jilly has ties to sheriff Maggie Sheffield, and that Sheffield is the ex-wife of a detective. The intrigue doesn't really add up to much, whether the action is taking place amid flowing champagne in the Edgeworth, Ore., home of wealthy evildoer Alyssum Tarcher or in the rain forest of Costa Rica where Mac and Laura are whisked, after being gassed, then drugged. Coulter, who made her name writing historical romances before shifting into modern suspense mode, packs her newest tale with an overabundance of perilous contrivances, and for the most part, between drug cartel kidnappers and love on the lam, the plot buckles under its own weight. Author tour. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Library Journal Review

Coulter adds another romantic suspense title to her series that began with The Cove. FBI agent Ford MacDougall is recovering from a car bomb blast when he suddenly begins to share a paranormal connection with his sister, Jilly, who is in a coma after driving her Porsche off a cliff in Oregon. He leaves his own hospital bed to fly to her side just in time to experience another supernatural experience. Mysteries multiply, Jilly disappears, and Ford hooks up with a reference librarian to deal with a situation involving a sex drug that renders its users psychotic, leading our hero to the rain forests of Costa Rica. Unfortunately, this novel is written in the first person, with all the problems that that entails. Brilliance has followed its routine of having the narrators read at a lightning pace to conserve cassette space, and if that isn't distracting enough, the readers change. Robert Lawrence reads Ford's part, and an unnamed actress performs Jilly's role. If someone is speaking from a telephone, there is an electronic sound, and when Jilly narrates from her coma, her voice comes to us with an echo similar to the bottom of a well. The writing is juvenile, the dialog is laughable, the characters undeveloped, and the ending falls flat. Libraries would do well to spend their money elsewhere. Not recommended.--Barbara Perkins, Irving P.L., TX (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.



PROLOGUE Edgerton, Oregon The night was black and calm, silent except for the mellow whine of the newly tuned Porsche engine, yet she heard the soft, sobbing voice pleading with her again, whispering low and deep. It never left her alone now. No one else was near, it was just Jilly driving alone on the coast highway. The ocean stirred beside her, but with no moon out, it looked like an empty, black expanse. The Porsche, sensitive to the slightest touch of her fingers, gently swerved left, toward the cliff, toward the endless expanse of black water beyond. Jilly jerked the car back to the center line. Laura's voice began sobbing in her brain, then grew louder, filling her, until Jilly wanted to burst. "Shut up!" Jilly's scream filled the car for a brief moment. Her voice sounded harsh and ugly. It was nothing like Laura's had been, like a small child's sobbing, lost and inconsolable. Only death would bring peace. Jilly felt that voice, Laura's voice, build inside her again. She gripped the steering wheel and stared straight ahead, 2 _ Catherine Coulter praying to herself, chanting for it to stop, for Laura to go away. "Please," she whispered. "Please stop. Leave me alone. Please." But Laura didn't stop. She was no longer a child, speaking in a sweet, terrified voice. She was herself again, angry now, and this time foul words frothed from her mouth, spewing rage and saliva that Jilly tasted in the back of her throat. She banged her fists on the steering wheel, hard, harder still, rhythmically, to make the malevolent voice go away. She opened the window, pressed it all the way down and leaned out, letting the wind tear her hair back, and her eyes sting and water. She shouted into the night, "Make it stop!" It stopped. Suddenly. Jilly drew a deep breath and pulled her head back into the car. The wind whooshed through the car and she sucked in mouthfuls of the cold air. It tasted wonderful. It was over. Thank God, finally it had stopped. She raised her head, looking around, wondering where she was. She'd been driving for hours, it seemed, yet the dashboard clock read only midnight. She'd been gone from home for a half hour. Her life had become whispers and screams until she couldn't bear it. Now there was silence, deep and complete silence. Jilly began counting. One, two, three--no curses, no whispers, no small child's pleading, nothing, just her own breathing, the soft hum of her car. She threw back her head and closed her eyes a moment, relishing the silence. She began counting again. Four, five, six--still blessed silence. Seven, eight--soft, very soft, like a faraway rustling of leaves, coming closer, closer. Not rustling, no, whisperThe Edge _ 3 ing. Laura was whispering again, begging not to die, begging and pleading and swearing she'd never meant to sleep with him, but it had just happened, he'd made it happen. But Jilly hadn't believed her. "Please, stop, stop, stop," Jilly chanted over that feathery voice. Laura began screaming that Jilly was a pathetic bitch, a fool who couldn't see what she was. Jilly stomped down on the gas pedal. The Porsche lurched forward, hitting seventy, eighty, eighty-five. The coast road swerved. She kept the car directly in the center of the road. She began singing. Laura screamed louder, and Jilly sang louder. Ninety. Ninety-five. "Go away. Damn you, go away!" Jilly's knuckles were white on the steering wheel, her head low, her forehead nearly touching the rim. The engine's vibrations made Laura's screaming voice convulse with power. One hundred. Jilly saw the sharp turn, but Laura yelled that they would be together soon now, very soon. She couldn't wait to get Jilly, and then they'd see who would win. Jilly screamed, whether at Laura or at the sight of the cliff dropping some forty feet to the heaped and tumbled black rocks below. The Porsche plunged through the railing, thick wood and steel, picking up speed, and shot out to the vast empty blackness beyond. One more scream rent the silence before the Porsche sliced nose first through the still, black water. There was scarcely a sound, just the fast downward plunge, the sharp, clean impact, then the quick shifting and closing over, the calm water returning to what it had been just a second before. Then there was only the black night. And calm and silence. Excerpted from The Edge by Catherine Coulter All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.