Catherine Coulter is the author of the New York Timesbestselling FBI thrillers The Cove, The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, TailSpin, KnockOut, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire and Bombshell. She lives in Sausalito, CA.
J.T. Ellison is the bestselling author of nine critically acclaimed novels, including Edge of Black and A Deeper Darkness, and her work has been published in over twenty countries. Her novel The Cold Room won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original and Where All The Dead Lie was a RITA® Nominee for Best Romantic Suspense. She lives in Nashville with her husband.
Excerpt from book:
Thursday, before dawn
Nicholas Drummond lived for these moments. His shoulders were relaxed, his hands loose, warm, and ready inside thin leather gloves. He could feel his heart beat a slow, steady cadence, feel the adrenaline shooting so high he could fly. His breath puffed white in the frigid morning air, not unexpected on an early January morning in London. There was nothing like a hostage situation to get one’s blood pumping, and he was ready.
He took in the scene as he’d been trained to do, complemented by years of experience: shooters positioned on the roofs in a three-block triangular radius, sirens wailing behind shouts and screams, and a single semiautomatic weapon bursting out an occasional staccato drumbeat. The streets were shut down in all directions. A helicopter’s rotors whumped overhead. His team was lined up behind him, waiting for the go signal.
His suspect was thirty yards away, tucked out of sight, ten feet from the left of the entrance to the Victoria Street Underground, and not shy about letting them know his position. He’d been told the guy was a nutter—not a surprise, given he’d been wild-eyed in his demands for money from a second-rate kiosk at dawn. Instead of making a run for it, he’d grabbed a woman and was now holed up, shooting away. Where he had found a semiautomatic weapon, plus enough ammunition to take out Khartoum, Nicholas didn’t know. He didn’t care about the answer, only wanted this to end peaceably.
At least the hostage hadn’t been killed yet. She was a middle-aged woman, now lying on her side maybe six feet from the shooter, trussed up with duct tape. They could see her face, leached of color and terrified. He could imagine her screams of terror if her mouth weren’t taped.
No, she wasn’t dead. Yet. Which presented a problem—one wrong move and a bullet would go into her head.
Nicholas glanced over his shoulder at his second, Detective Inspector Gareth Scott, tucked against the curb, his expression edgy, a flash of excitement in his eyes. He clutched his Heckler & Koch MP5 against his chest. His Glock 17 was in its shoulder holster.
The suspect stopped firing his weapon, and there was sudden blessed silence. Nicholas didn’t think the guy had run out of bullets. Had the gun jammed? They should be so lucky. What was he thinking? Planning?
Nicholas dropped down beside Gareth. “We have ourselves a crazy. Brief me on the rest.”
“We have a photo, taken from the eastern rooftop. It’s blurred, but Facial Recognition did their magic. The guy’s name is Esposito, out of prison only a month. I guess he woke up real early and decided he needed some excitement in his life and went on this little rampage.”
“What set him off?”
“We don’t know. He took four quid out of the kiosk till, all the guy had at thi
PRAISE FOR THE FINAL CUT
THE FINAL CUT
“Fast-paced and action-packed, with the promise of romance to come, this entertaining thriller merges fact and fiction to superb effect.”
—Library Journal (starred review)
“Coulter and Ellison have created a new son of Bond licensed to shine in future thrillers. Genre fans will find the action nonstop.”
“A thriller that manages to be both intricate and full of jaw-dropping action sequences….Drummond connects in entertaining fashion with Coulter’s main series heroes, FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock….Ingenious disguises, daring bluffs, and hair-breadth escapes add to the fun of the chase.”