A Book Spy Review: ‘Paradox’ by Catherine Coulter

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Paradox.jpgWhen a dangerous psychopath escapes prison, it’s all hands on deck in Catherine Coulter’s latest FBI thriller.

Startled in the middle of the night by an unusual noise, Lacey Sherlock and her husband, Dillon Savich, armed themselves before charging to their son’s bedroom. To their horror, the couple, both FBI agents, entered little Sean’s room just in time to find a mysterious man standing over their child. A knife in one hand and a gun in the other, the intruder remained calm before suddenly fleeing while Sherlock fired her weapon in the man’s direction as he leaped through the bedroom window and disappeared into the night. 

Two days later, Police Chief Ty Christie witnessed a murder, the first in her long career as a police officer. It happened as she was taking in the autumn morning on the back deck of her cottage, which overlooks Lake Massey in Willicott, Maryland. Through the dense fog, Ty saw a man kill the other passenger in their small rowboat, before tossing the body overboard and throwing up a ceremonial fist bump to celebrate his victory. 

As Chief Christie rallies her troops to find the killer, the evidence leads them to a mansion rich with history, all of which is bad. 

Surrounded by oak trees and water, the Gatewood mansion has all the makings of a beautiful, secluded piece of real estate located in a tourist-heavy location. . . and yet it’s sat vacant for fifteen years. Originally owned by a couple who had one child, the husband was found dead in the home prior to the 1980s. Many believed the wife killed him, but she was never charged and lived in the home until she died, at which point a reverend from Boston purchased the place. Reverend McCluen and his family were eventually murdered, their bodies dumped in the lake. 

The last couple to occupy the mansion was the Piersons, who, tragically, all suffered the same fate as the Gatewood occupants before them. The husband and wife, along with their children, were all found brutally murdered on the dock by the water. The only family member absent was their daughter, Albie, who currently remains missing. 

Believed to be haunted, Gatewood has been reduced to a supernatural spectacle where teenagers go to act brave and dare one another to enter the home. That is, until Ty and her deputies, along with Agent Savich, storm the house in search of the rowboat killer. Instead, they find a prisoner who turns out the be an old colleague of Savich’s, who then helps connect the dots that eventually lead to a crazed psychopath who recently escaped from a mental institution. But when investigators find the remains of more than a dozen bodies at the bottom of Lake Massey, they quickly realize that the crazy patient is also a serial killer working his way through a hit list, and it’s up to Agents Sherlock and Savich to stop him before he claims all his victims.

Catherine Coulter remains one of the very best at what she does, and Paradox is some of her very finest work yet. While the story takes a little more time to get going than her fans may be used to, it’s all worth it in the end. By slowly setting the stage for later on, Coulter builds layers of suspense that’ll keep readers guessing as the story unfolds. Along the way, she unleashes a brilliant twist or two, all while building up the book’s antagonist into one of her most disturbing villains yet. Like the Gatewood house — which causes everyone who enters it to suffer odd symptoms — the bad guy here is quite unnerving, and Coulter’s prose fits him perfectly. More than a few readers will find themselves sleeping with one eye open after finishing this one. 

Eerie, unsettling, and breathlessly terrifying, Paradox is another gripping read from Catherine Coulter, who, at twenty-two books into her bestselling series and counting, shows no signs whatsoever of slowing down anytime soon.

Book Details

Author: Catherine Coulter
Series: FBI #22
Pages: 448 (Hardcover)
ISBN: 150113812X
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: July 31, 2018
Book Spy Rating: 8.0/10

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Praised as “one of today’s finest book reviewers” by New York Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, Ryan Steck (“The Godfather of the thriller genre” — Ben Coes) has “quickly established himself as the authority on mysteries and thrillers” (Author A.J. Tata). He currently lives in Southwest Michigan with his wife and their six children.

 

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