Point Blank (FBI Series #10)

Point Blank (FBI Series #10)

by Catherine Coulter

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Agents Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich are up against an unstable villain with a very long memory in this FBI Thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter.

The explosive action kicks off as treasure-hunting FBI agent Ruth Warnecki is on the trail of stolen Confederate gold hidden in Winkel’s cave in western Virginia. She never expects to find herself chin-deep in a grisly murder that leaves her nearly dead and rocks the town of Maestro.

Then, at a stake-out in Maryland, FBI agents Dillon Savich and Dane Carver are nearly killed in a horrific explosion while attempting to rescue kidnap victim, Pinky Womack. They are led to Arlington National Cemetery where they not only find Pinky, but Savich also takes a fateful call on his cell from an old man out to kill both him and Sherlock. The thing is they have no clue why.

Pitted against an insane killer and his psychotic teenage girlfriend, Savich and Sherlock find themselves fighting a hate-driven villain with a grudge worth killing for...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780515141689
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/27/2012
Series: FBI Thriller Series , #10
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 64,364
Product dimensions: 4.18(w) x 6.74(h) x 0.99(d)

About the Author

Catherine Coulter is the author of the New York Times-bestselling FBI thrillers The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, TailSpin, KnockOut, and Whiplash. She lives in northern California.

Read an Excerpt

Point Blank

By Catherine Coulter

Putnam Publishing Group

ISBN: 0-399-15322-5

Chapter One

Ruth froze. From the moment she'd finessed the pathetic lock and begun her trek into the cave, there'd been only the noise made by bats and the sound of her own voice, of her own breathing. But now she held her breath. Her mouth was suddenly as dry as the sandy floor beneath her boots. She strained to listen.

There was only silence, as absolute as the blackness.

All right, she'd take silence. Silence was good. She was alone, no monsters hanging around at the edge of her light. She was freaking herself out for no reason, she, who took pride in her control. But why couldn't she see any cave walls?

She knew the rough distance of a foot, not much longer than her own foot, and started counting. When she reached about fourteen feet, she stopped, stretched out her hand as far as she could, and her flashlight and head lamp cut a huge swath farther ahead of her. No wall. All right, so her distances were off. No problem, no reason to panic.

But she'd heard something-for an instant. What was the noise she'd heard?

She kept counting and crawling forward. At least another twenty feet. Okay, this was ridiculous. Where was the opposite wall?

She rose to her feet, shone her head lamp and flashlight together in a circle around her. She pulled out her compass again and pointed it. She stared at the needle. West. No, that couldn't be right. She wasn't facing west, she was facing east, the direction of the opposite wall. But there was no sign of a wall in any direction. She shook the compass. It still read west. It couldn't be functioning properly.

She stuffed it back in her pocket and pulled her hefty twenty-five-foot measuring tape off her belt. She slowly fed out the metal strip in a line directly in front of her, into the blackness. Finally she reached the end of the tape. There was no wall.

She felt fear, raw and paralyzing, crawl right up her throat. Why was she feeling this way? She was a cop, for heaven's sake, she'd been in much tougher spots than this. She prided herself on her focus, on her ability to keep panic at bay, on her common sense. Nothing could shake her, her mother had always said, and it wasn't necessarily a compliment.

But she was shaken now.

Get back on track, Ruth, get back on track, that's what Savich would say.

All right, bottom line: The chamber was bigger than the damned map said it was. Another effort at misdirection, like the arched doggy door covered with a slab of limestone. So what? No big deal. She'd go back out of the chamber and think things over. How many feet had she come? A good long ways. She turned and fed out the measuring tape back toward the archway. Naturally, she couldn't see the arched opening beyond the dissipated circle of light from her head lamp. She crawled on the tape to make sure she kept in a straight line. When she reached the end of it, she fed out a second twenty-five feet. Nothing. Then another twenty-five feet. She shone her head lamp together with her flashlight all around her. Nothing at all. She looked at her compass. It said she was moving northeast. No, that was absurd. She was heading due west, right back toward the opening.

She looked up again, realized that her flashlight had faded away into a ghostly beam. All right, she'd walked a mile, who cared? And the compass was all screwed up. She didn't need it to make her think she was crazy. She stuck it in her pocket, picked up the tape and fed it out another twenty-five feet, sure she'd see the archway at any moment. She'd come a hundred feet. At any moment, the tape would slither right through the opening back into the corridor. She crawled more slowly. By the time she'd crawled the full twenty-five feet, she was shaking.

Stop it, stop it. She pressed the retract button and heard the hiss of the tape as it smoothly ran back in. She stood there, holding the tape, knowing she was afraid to feed it out again. What was the point?

No, no, that was stupid. She had to. She had no choice. She fed out the tape again, smoothly and quickly. But even as she worked it out to its maximum twenty-five feet, she knew in her gut it wouldn't touch anything. Still, she crawled the distance, then stopped, looked. She was nowhere, surrounded by black; she was being pressed in by black. No, no, stop it.

She knew she'd crawled in a straight line, but it was obvious now that she hadn't; it was the only explanation. She'd veered off to the left or right. But still, shouldn't the tape measure hit a wall? Of course it should, but you're not near a wall, are you? You're not near anything at all.

Ruth began to move in a circle, keeping the measuring tape fully extended. No wall, nothing.

She was losing it, her brain was twisted up, gone squirrelly. At a wave of dizziness and nausea, she sat on the floor, barely breathing now. She felt cold raw fear skitter through her, a deadly fear that made the hair on her arms stir. Her heart pounded, her mouth was dry.

And she thought, I'm in the middle of a void and there's no way out because I'm trapped in a black hole larger than anything I can imagine.

That thought, fully blown clear and as bright headlights in her brain, shook her to the core. Where had it come from? She couldn't seem to draw a deep breath, couldn't seem to focus her brain. This was ridiculous. She had to think her way out of this. There was an answer, there was always an answer. It was time to get her brain working again. All right then. She was in a cave chamber. She'd simply crawled in farther than she'd thought, the ridiculous chamber was much larger than on the map -

She heard the noise again, a soft, sibilant sound that seemed to be all around her, but there were no visual reference points, like a snake slithering through sand, a snake so heavy it made a dragging sound as it pulled itself along. It was a snake that was coming toward her but she couldn't see it, couldn't get out of the way, couldn't hide. Maybe it was one of those South American boas, thick as a tree trunk, heavy and sinuous, probably twenty feet long, dragging itself toward her; it would wrap its huge body around her and squeeze - She jerked the compass out of her pocket and hurled it as far away from her as she could. She heard it thud lightly against the cave floor.

The sound stopped. Once again the silence was absolute.

She had to get a grip. Her imagination was having a hoedown.

Stop it, just stop it, you'rein a damned squiggly hole deep in the side of a mountain, nothing more than a maze.

Maybe now she was at the center of the maze - bad things could happen at the center of a maze, things you didn't expect, things that could crush your head, smash it into pulp, things - She was lost in the silence, she would die here.

Ruth tried to concentrate on breathing slowly and deeply, drawing in the blessed fresh air, and that strange sweet smell, on cutting off the absurd images that wanted to crash into her brain to terrify her, but she couldn't seem to. She couldn't find anything solid, anything real, to latch onto. The fear danced through her. She yelled into the darkness, "Stop being like your father, stop it!" To her relief, the sound of her own voice calmed her. She managed to clamp down on the panic. All she had to do was follow the straight line of the tape measure. It was metal, it couldn't turn into a circle, for heaven's sake, she'd follow it and end up somewhere, because there had to be a somewhere. Her heart slowed its mad hammering, her breathing became smoother. She leaned down and spread the map on the floor, held the flashlight close.

The only crazy thing here was the damned lying map. After all, the arch wasn't where the map showed it to be. The arch, that was it, she'd gone through the wrong arch. Maybe, just beyond where she'd stopped looking, she would have found the arch the map showed and crawled into the right chamber. Or maybe the map was just a trap.

But the fresh air, where was it coming from?


Ruth felt her head begin to pound, felt saliva fill her dry mouth, felt a scream bursting from deep in her gut. She knew in that instant she was going to die. She stood up, weaved a bit, and listened for the noise. She wanted that noise. She would go toward it; there had to be something alive, and she wanted to find it. It wasn't a huge serpent- no, that was ridiculous. Oh God, her head was going to explode. The pain nearly sent her to her knees. She grabbed her head with her hands. Her fingers sank into her head, into her brain, mixed with the gray matter, and it was sticky and pulsing, and she screamed. The screams didn't stop, just kept spurting out of her, louder and louder, echoing back into her head, through her wet brains oozing between her fingers. It took all her strength to pull her fingers out of her head, but they felt wet and she frantically rubbed them on her jeans, trying to wipe them clean, but they wouldn't come clean. She was crying, screams blocking her throat, then bursting out, so loud, filling the silence. Please, God, she didn't want to die. She started to run, stumbling, falling, but she scrambled up again, didn't care if she slammed into a wall. She wanted to hit a wall.

But there weren't any walls.


Excerpted from Point Blank by Catherine Coulter
Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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From the Publisher

Coutler deftly orchestrates her fast-paced, intricate story threads and the disparate cases challenging her agents with a concertmaster's touch. (BookPage)

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Point Blank (FBI Series #10) 3.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 112 reviews.
EdieDew More than 1 year ago
Love all her books -
mcfan More than 1 year ago
Well written but unbelievable. I enjoy series with new and repeating characters and am very disappointed in the turn this series is taking. One must suspend belief in reality and basic good investigative practices to make this serier a success. Perhaps it is for a much younger and very gullible reader. Such a shame for a talented author. Bunny
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the part where Savich was takingbcare of Sherlock after she got hurt.
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
The story line is two-fold, and at first glance extremely interesting. We find married FBI agents Savich and Sherlock involved in a case of kidnapping and murder, the victim being a stand-up comic at a club Savich is involved with. The two kidnappers, an old man and his equally young side-kick, seem to be engaged in a personal vendetta against Dillon Savich, and have targeted Lacey Sherlock as one of their next victims.

Meanwhile, Special Agent Ruth Warnecki is treasure-hunting in a cave in Virginia , and stumbles upon something that frightens her enough that she ends up left for dead in the woods, with no memory of who she is or what she was doing. She's found by Dix, the local Sheriff, and although physically in good condition, she seems to have temporary amnesia.

POINT BLANK is definitely a quick read, and the story lines are interesting. But there were too many things that irritated me to let me enjoy the book the way I wanted to. For one, Ruth's amnesia--she went from not knowing who she was, what she did for a living, or what she was doing in Virginia to seeing Savich and Sherlock and "miraculously" having everything come back to her in about two minutes. Second, I have to agree with the reviewer who said the dialogue in the book was "stiff." There were instances during my reading that I knew I should be laughing or at least chuckling, but it didn't happen. The way the sentences were worded, and the dry words used in everyone's conversations, left me with the feeling that something essential was missing from the story.

Overall, POINT BLANK isn't the best Savich and Sherlock story, but it won't stop me from reading Ms. Coulter's next release. As long as you know in advance that you're not getting ready to read Ms. Coulter's best work, you'll be fine.
Anonymous 9 months ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
No ending to the story. Im puzzled.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read. Keeps you guessing until the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Why is this book and others over 2.99 in this selection?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
catmommie on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Definitely enjoyed this book and feel it would be a fantastic movie, if it wasn't done already? I was able to vividly imagine the characters and the action. Takes a good writer to activate your imagination like that!
Hazel_H on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wish I could give this less than 0 stars. I absolutely hated this book. Her writing has become odd, stilted, cheesy, and dull. First, the case was very creepy and I was nauseous through the entire book with the descriptions of the old man's coughing and abusing little girls. So glad they got killed at the end, but even that was flat and unsatisfying. Then there was a fight between Savich & Sherlock that I thought would & should never have happened as they get along so well. It was really ugly and not resolved. Although, to be honest, I've also become irritated with their home life descriptions of her curly hair/rollers/Sean being so adorable, etc. etc. Then there was the storyline with Dix & Ruth which irritated me that she basically moved in and got along so well with the teenage boys. It's typical romance stuff, but so fast? The boys wouldn't accept anyone when their mother is just "missing". Neither did Dix fully commit because of that. I understand that the next book she addresses the missing wife issue. But, because this book, and the last few Coulter books, have been really going downhill writing-wise, I won't be reading it.
onyx95 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Finding buried treasure sounded like a fun vacation for Special Agent Ruth Warnecki, but after finding the tunnel, she ran into some problems and then lost her memory for a bit. Luckily the local Sheriff, Dixon Noble, took his dog for a walk and found her in the snow. Savich and Sherlock were quickly deciding that they wish they had gone on vacation too. A new bad guy was in the area and he targeted Dillon Savich and anyone he knew. They needed to find the connection to him, while Ruth and Dix tryed to connect theirs to the local music school. The close calls where following Savich, Sherlock, Warnecki and Noble as they tried to sort out both of these investigations. Another good set of mysteries to solve for Savich and Sherlock. I am not sure how I feel about their 'fight'. This time around, Savich was not his normal self, the confidence and strength seemed to be lacking and he let Sherlock and Ruth down (in my opinion). His normal grace and style was shaken. The part of Sheriff Dix Noble was really good, but there was something missing there also, he had too many doubts about himself.
Jthierer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Terrible, terrible writing. The plot would be moving along, then I'd be struck with cheesy or nonsensical phrases that just spoiled any sense of suspense or tension that had managed to build.
Snuggles1990 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I highly recommend it for those who have read previous Catherine Coulter FBI thrillers and even newbies to her books. This one is more thrilling than some of her previous FBI thrillers but retains the same intrigue of previous books. I won't spoil the plot for you, because it's so worthwhile to read it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ilove the FBI series every book is so interesting.. but i just loved this book so much
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Go to oliver twist res 1 meet up with hoxton and kill dusk dont make it sudden
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Whoops! I meant blanck res one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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bookaholicsf More than 1 year ago
I do enjoy these books. Really pull me in.
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