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20 September 2013

Catherine Coulter and J.T.Ellison: The Final Cut

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Entertaining new page-turning thriller series
This is a good start to an entertaining easy-reading new series jointly written by successful authors Catherine Coulter and J.T.Ellison. The combination has worked seamlessly to produce an interesting mixture of FBI and Scotland Yard.

The series introduces Detective Chief Inspector (Sir?) Nicholas Drummond of New Scotland Yard. Nicholas is not your run of the mill British DCI. He was born in the US but brought up in England by his father, a hereditary Baron. He is very close to his American Uncle, a very respected former senior FBI officer. Nicholas is a cosmopolitan character with a varied career, including a testing time in the intelligence service before joining Scotland Yard. He is a world away from the regionally orientated fictional Inspectors Grace and James who would have some difficulty working with the FBI.

Nicholas' police and personal partner, Detective Inspector Elaine York, is in New York to oversee security for the  Queen Mother's Crown (which features the famous Koh-I-Noor diamond) while it is on exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum. On hearing that she has been found dead under suspicious circumstances Nicholas immediately flies to New York.

Because of his Uncle's contacts he is able to work with the FBI on the case. While Nicholas partners with FBI Agent Michaela (Mike) Caine to work on the case they are given assistance by Coulter's FBI characters Savich and Sherlock. Mike is an attractive, efficient, motivated and respective FBI agent and they join forces pretty easily. (Why are so many fictional female FBI agents so attractive - I'm sure this isn't so in real life).

The authors' can't resist giving the enigmatic Nicholas a bit of a James Bond image - handsome, rich and well connected. He drops by his house on the way to the airport to pick up his "go bag" from his butler. Later on in New York when he has to attend a classy reception for the exhibition at the Met is asked by Mike if he has a tux - "my tux is in my bag, I never leave home without it."

The case is really about the career of the Fox who has been commissioned to steal the diamond. While the Fox is well known as one of the world's most successful art and jewel thieves few people know that the Fox is a young woman. She is a woman of patience and has spent two years planning to steal the Koh-I-Noor diamond by inserting herself into the security for the exhibition. The case is also about the reason why someone commissioned her to steal the diamond. Nicholas and Mike end up chasing the Fox all the way around Europe to get the answers and face a wide range of dangers during the chase.

This is a good start to a new escapist series which I expect to become very popular. If you like easy reading, page-turning escapist thrillers without the really dark side of extreme violence then this is the book for you.

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