Whiplash by Catherine Coulter

Whiplash (FBI Thriller, #14)Barbara’s rating: 4 of 5 Stars
Series: FBI Thriller #14
Publication Date: 6/15/2010
Period: Contemporary
Number of Pages: 482

I thought I had read all of the books in this series, but I found I’d missed this one. How did I do that? At the moment, the series is up to book #26. So, of course, I immediately had to read the book I’d missed. It was nice to see that the author used Savich’s sixth sense in this book because she’d gotten away from that in the later books. I didn’t realize I’d missed it until it made an appearance. I must mention that I love this series, but you should be prepared (as always) for giant leaps toward the solution of the cases. The FBI agents just have these ‘hunches’ or ‘intuitions’ or they must get information behind the scenes that we are not privy to – at any rate, you’ll get giant leaps toward the solution and you’ll wonder – wait – where did that come from. Even with that, I still love the series and want to read each and every book.

As is the standard in this series, we have two mysteries that are being worked on simultaneously. To me, the main case is the case in Connecticut where Special Agent in Charge of the New Haven field office, Bowie Richards, gets a case where a murdered man is found in Van Wie Park – which is federal land. On the same night as the body is found, there is a break-in at the corporate offices of the Schiffer Hartwin Pharmaceutical company that abuts the park. When the victim is identified as Helmut Blauvelt, an employee of that company, it is assumed there is an association between the two crimes.

The second case has to do with the ‘haunting’ of Senator David Hoffman. While Hoffman doesn’t believe it is an apparition, he is spooked and wants to know what it is and who is behind it. When he calls the director of the FBI to ask for assistance, Agent Savich is assigned to the case. When someone is actually murdered and then the vice-president is almost killed – all while eating or using things only Hoffman would normally have been using, Savich believes there is truly a threat to Hoffman. Now, to figure it out. Who would want to harm Hoffman? The trail to the solution is convoluted and surprising.

In the Connecticut case, both Sherlock and Savich are assigned to help Bowie however they can. While Bowie isn’t happy about the ‘help’, he shows his professionalism by welcoming them and folding them right into his investigation. The scenario could be pulled directly from some of today’s headlines. A multi-national pharmaceutical company seems to be cutting production of a vital drug in the treatment of colon cancer. Without that drug, those diagnosed with colon cancer have to switch to a very costly medication that isn’t covered by insurance. Whoever broke into the US headquarters of the pharmaceutical company managed to get documentation of the company’s wrongdoing.

Danger flirts with all of those involved in the cases and more dead bodies appear. The Connecticut case is much faster-paced and more exciting than the Senator’s case, but both are interesting and you have to wonder how many people are involved and will the agents actually get to the bottom of it. Will the pharmaceutical company get away with just a few fines as is the standard or will they actually pay for all they’ve done? You’ll just have to read the book to get to the bottom of those questions.

I listened to the book in audiobook format and thoroughly enjoyed the narrators – Paul Costanzo and Renee Raudman. It was nice to have two narrators – one for the female characters and one for the male. They nicely displayed different voices for each of the characters, and they also conveyed the appropriate emotions as well. The story experience was nicely enhanced by their narration.

I enjoyed the story and I am so glad I went back and read this one. It is a good story, and I enjoyed all of the characters and mysteries. I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as I did.

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Avid reader/reviewer of historical romance and historical mysteries.

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