Book Review Split Second – By: Catherine Coulter

Welcome to Book Review Friday

Reviews from an Authors Perspective.



 By: Catherine Coulter

 Book Details:

  • Published: 2001
  • ISBN: 978-0-399-15743-1
  • Hardback
  • 419 Pages
  • SRP: USA $26.95 Canada $31.80
  • Fifteenth Book the FBI Suspense – Thriller Series
  • Joes Rating 3 out of 5 Stars

Split Second is the first book by Catherine Coulter I have read. This book is part of an ongoing series, like Flesh and Blood written by Patricia Cornwell which I reviewed in February. Both are stand-alone stories that can be enjoyed separate without reading anymore of the series. Sure it didn’t get into great detail about Dillon Savich and his wife Lacey Sherlock, who both work for the FBI, same department, same cases, and he’s in charge. I did wonder if they have always had this working arrangement and what their history was. My curiosity peaked when I read in the later chapter’s one of them shot the other in Hogan’s Alley six years go. Not knowing the particulars of the relationship didn’t take away from the book, gave me something to think about in-between chapters. Split Second introduced two new characters to Savich’s team, Special Agent Lucy Carlyle and Cooper McKnight.

The story starts with a simple robbery, which turns bad at a local Shop ‘n Go, as Dillon arrives for some chips. Something about it didn’t add up in Dillon’s eyes. Before he can sink his teeth into the case, a woman is killed in Ohio. His team swings into action as another woman survived an attack in Philly. Could the two be related? After further investigation they are shocked, DNA has linked the suspect to Ted Bundy. Savich decides that Carlyle and McKnight, the two newbies, will work together and learn to get along. Lucy Carlyle, trying to stay away Cooper McKnight, who has reputation as a ladies man, isn’t fond of the idea. Soon she has to depend on Cooper as she suffers a setback in life. Her father passes revealing a family secret in his dying moments to Lucy. The skeletons began to tumble from the attic.

The story flows well with a steady pace intertwining three separate crimes. I enjoyed reading the book, and I don’t like the FBI or books about them, the characters make the story as they are believable. Will I read more of the series? I doubt it like I said not a real fan of the FBI.

With any book you find things that stick out below are a few from this book.

  • Over use of words: ‘leeched’, ‘arty’. The words are fine, but unusual which jumped off the page each time I read them.
  • First names that start with the same letter: I didn’t like the new character being named Lucy Carlyle when we already had a Lacey Sherlock, what makes it work, most law enforcement agencies call each other by last name.
  • Unrealistic: Everybody drives an expensive car, a Porsche, Land Rover, and Corvette. The book explains that the new agents’ cars were gifts from their family, gives you a feeling that only rich kids should apply for the FBI.
  • Carrying a subplot to long: Towards the end of book, it gets a little irritating switching from one plot to the next to get them closed out

Catherine Coulter’s writing in Split Second showed me by example the following.

  • Plot and Sub-Plot: One of the subjects taught in writers class is plot and sub-plot, a book needs a both. Catherine Coulter does this to perfection in this book, and takes it a step further. The three different plots contain mystery, romance, and suspense while all being packed with action. They unfold early in the story and continue to the end.
  • Chapter formatting: There were times when McKnight was investigating in one city, Sherlock and Savich in another and Carlyle with neither one all on the same day. I thought giving the day along with location in a chapter heading a nice touch. I can see using this style when there is a lot of activity and different places.
  • Epilogue: Catherine Coulter closes the book out with an excellent epilogue, written the way one should. Newbies, like me, have a hard time with this along with Prologues. I use the one of Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing and never use a Prologue or introduction, I drop the needed back story in the novel. I do use Epilogues to tie up loose ends for the readers.
  • Series Bait: Drop back story to lead your readers to the other books in the series. To me this was pure genius. Split Second is a novel on its own. However to tease you to read the others she drops little back story lines to make you want to find out what has happened in an earlier writing. Example: ‘I wonder if Carlyle and McKnight are sleeping together like we did when we first met’, and ‘I rode in on my white horse and saved the day’, ‘more like your white boxers’ she replied, and the one that hit me, ‘we would’ve never met if I hadn’t shot you in that alley’. I love it.

Joe Clay is a new author, check his work out on his Website, Smashwords and Kindle. Joe can also be found on Goodreads where he answers questions every Friday. To see what Joe is working on visit WIP.



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