The Cove - Catherine Coulter

There is so much about this book that is bad that I can't even review it fully. 


Susan "Sally" St. John is running from everyone after escaping an institution where she has been involuntarily committed for a mental breakdown. She also, possibly, killed her father. FBI agent, James Whatshisface, I dunno his name, I've forgotten, is tasked with tracking her down so that he can get to the bottom of the murder. Sally lands in "The Cove", seeking refuge with an estranged Aunt (because law enforcement would never investigate estranged family members) and they both figure that she can really fool everyone if she just wears a black wig.  


FBI agent James shows up in "The Cove" and immediately is on to stealthy Sally. There's something about her idiocy that is irresistible and he practically falls in love with her on the spot -- putting him in quite a pickle.


The mystery ensues, new people are killed, the questions keep pouring in.


I can't decide what I hated more - the dialogue or the characters?


The dialogue is cringe-worthy:


"James, you're wonderful. Even in all this mess, you can laugh and make me laugh and you weren't angry that I poked a gun in your stomach and stole your car. I had to just ditch the car, James. Then I bought the motorcycle. I had to get away. I think if you could forget who you are and come to Bar Harbor with me, everything would be better than what it's going to be soon. I used to love life, James, before - well that's not important right now."


The characters are stupid, flat and poorly drawn. For example, when 'Sally' needs clothing because she's fleeing in the middle of the night in a hospital gown, an FBI agent buys her apparel from the children's section by mistake. Consequently, her pants are 'very tight' and her shirt barely buttons allowing many opportunities for shenanigans.


Also, Coulter seems to think that creating characters that are FBI agents means that they have carte blanche to just do whatever in the hell they want - jaunt half-way across the country without checking in, steal witnesses and cozy them away in personal retreats, chase down random motorcycles and threaten them at gunpoint... the list goes on.


And don't get me started on the bad guys who are practically twirling their mustaches. Oh, the number of villains in this, not just henchman mind you, are in the double digits. This is possible thanks to the many, many absurd sub-plots that make this novel painfully long.


The ending was completely over the top and I didn't even care because I was so relieved it was over. As it stands today, this series has 20 books in it. On one hand, I get that this is written in 1996 and in many ways it is a product of it's era, but on the other hand, this book is crap and I can't believe that her style would turn around drastically enough to make me want to read another entire installment, let alone 18 after that.