While her husband was in medical school, author Catherine Coulter worked as a speech writer, but spent many evenings alone with only romance books for company. That's when the Texas native realized she, who came from a family of creative people, could come up with better stories. And the rest is history! Since publishing her first novel, The Autumn Countess, in 1972, she has written more than 60 romance books, including 59 (and counting!) New York Times bestsellers. What's more, Catherine Coulter books come in multiple genres: romantic thrillers and historical romance a la The Bride series, Devil's Duology, Star Quartet and the Legacy trio, as well as thrillers such as The Cove (the first book in her FBI Suspense Thriller Series featuring agents Dillon Savich and Lacy Sherlock that sold more than a million copies and spent 9 weeks on the New York Times bestsellers list), The Maze, Double Take and TailSpin. When it comes to romance books or thrillers, author Catherine Coulter's books "keep readers guessing" (Booklist) and keep them craving more!
Backfire (Large Print)
Judge Ramsey Hunt listened to the lapping water break against the rocks below, a sound that always brought him back into himself and centered him. He stood at this exact spot every night and listened to the waves, as unending and as infinite as he knew he wasn’t. Only the sound of the waves, he thought. Otherwise, it was dead silent, not even a distant foghorn blast from the huge cargo ship that was nearing the Golden Gate through a veil of low-lying fog.
A light breeze ruffled the tree leaves and put a light chop on the ocean below. It was chilly tonight. He was glad Molly had tossed him his leather jacket on his way out. A week before Thanksgiving, he thought, a week before he would preside over the turkey carving and feel so blessed he’d want to sing, which, thankfully, he wouldn’t.
Ramsey looked up at the low-hanging half-moon that seemed cold and alien tonight. His ever-curious son, Cal, had asked him if he could sink his fingers into the pitted surface. Would it be hard, like his wooden Ford truck, he wondered, or soft like ice cream?
At least his day had ended well. In the late afternoon, he’d met Molly and the twins at Davies Hall to hear Emma rehearse Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue with the San Francisco Symphony, smiling and nodding as they listened. Ramsey had long thought of her as his own daughter, and here she was, a prodigy, of all things. He had to be careful or he’d burst with pride, Molly always said. Remarkably, Cal and Gage hadn’t raised too much of a fuss at having to sit still during the rehearsal. Well, Cal did yell out once, “Emmy, I want you to play ‘Twinkle Twinkle Little Star’!” which had brought warm laughter from the violin section.
They’d enjoyed enchiladas and tacos an hour later at La Barca, the family’s favorite Mexican restaurant on Lombard, always an adventure when the three-year-old twins were anywhere near chips and guacamole.
Ramsey rested his elbows on the solid stone fence built when his boys had reached the age of exploration a year and a half ago. Better than nightmares about them tumbling off the sixty-foot cliff into the mess of rocks and water below.
He looked out across the entrance to the bay at the Marin Headlands, as stark and barren as the half-moon above them. Soon the winter rains would begin to green things up, as green as Ireland in some years, his second favorite place on earth after San Francisco. It was a blessing that this incredible stretch was all a national recreational area so he would never have to look at some guy sipping a nice fruity Chardonnay across from him on a condo balcony. He noticed a Zodiac sitting anchored below him, nearly as still as a small island in the ocean. There were no other boats around it that he could see. Who would be out so late, anchored in open water? He saw no one aboard, and for a moment, he felt alarmed. Had someone fallen overboard? No, whoever motored over in the Zodiac could easily have swum or waded to the narrow beach. But why? Not to get a suntan, that’s for sure. He wondered if he should call 911 when he heard Molly open the family room door behind him. “Goodness, it’s cold out here. I’m glad you’re wearing your jacket. Is your favorite sea lion talking to you again?”
Copyright (c) 2012 by Catherine Coulter
Georgetown, Washington, D.C. Tuesday night
Nonfat milk, Fritos, and bananas, Savich repeated to himself as he pulled into the parking lot of Mr. Patil’s Shop ’n Go. It was after eight o’clock, and Savich was on his way home from a hard workout at the gym. He felt good, his muscles relaxed and warm, and he looked forward to playing with Sean, maybe with his new video game, Wonky Wizards. He breathed in deeply, enjoying the bite of fall in the air. He looked up at the low-lying clouds that promised to bring a shower in the next couple of hours. Nonfat milk and Fritos and—what else?
There was only one car in the parking lot, which wasn’t unusual at this time of the evening. A strange play of rapid movement behind the store’s large glass window caught his eye. He pulled the Porsche to the far side of the parking lot, out of the line of sight, got out, quietly closed the car door, and walked to the edge of the window. He could see a man inside, his face flattened in a leg of panty hose, standing in front of the counter, pointing a Saturday night special at Mr. Patil’s chest. Mr. Patil, who wasn’t more than five-five with lifts in his shoes and was at least seventy-five years old, looked petrified. Savich watched his hands shoot into the air above his head. He could hear the man yelling at him, but couldn’t make out what he was saying. Then he saw a customer. At the end of the counter stood a man about his own age, wearing a bright red Red- skins sweatshirt, jeans, and glasses.
Savich felt his heart seize.
Pressed against the man’s legs were two small children, a boy and a girl. His hands were wrapped around their shoulders, hugging them tightly against him. Each child held an ice-cream bar, now forgotten.
Keep it together. He couldn’t call 911, and take the chance of sirens freaking the guy out, not with the kids still in the line of fire. He quickly ran around to the back of the Shop ’n Go and heard the engine running before he saw the Chevy Impala, tucked in the shadows off the parking asphalt. He saw a woman in the driver’s seat, leaning in toward the passenger’s side to get a partial view inside the store. Since she wasn’t wearing panty hose on her head, she obviously wasn’t slated to join the actual robbery; she was just there to drive the man in the store out of here. Savich couldn’t see the license plate. No matter. She hadn’t seen him. Good.
Forget her, let her get away. He crouched down and ran back around to the front of the store. He held his SIG at his side and began whistling. He opened the door and called out, “Good vening, Mr. Patil,” and the man in the panty hose whirled around, his gun leading, as the little girl yelled, “He’ll hurt you!”
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