Catherine Coulter’s Eleventh Hour

This is a mystery novel involving the (apparently) reccurring characters of Dillon and Sherlock Savick. A string of murders unites FBI agent Dane Carver with the local police of San Fransisco and a homeless woman, with whom Carver falls in love, of course. The homeless woman’s hidden past and Carver’s present combined serve to tell the story of several serial killers in California.

This isn’t the type of book I would normally read, by any means. This book was obtained through the Doubleday Book Club, which immediately plants it as a romance novel to me. There was actually quite a bit of mystery, however, and while the relationship between Carver and the homeless woman is an undercurrent, there is very little explicit sex.

I found Coulter’s style of writing to be a little odd, truth be told. The way her characters told jokes just didn’t strike me as being natural speech. I thought the majority of the dialogue to be unnatural, in fact. Coulter uses speech to deliver the action, and while this is not necessarily a bad thing, it becomes stilted, like the characters are reading from a play. Characters in dire situations say things like, “Wow. Do you see the way he moves? He is just like the guy you described when you told us about the murderer in the church back at the police station two days ago. And look at his gun…” while the “murderer” is standing right in front of them holding a gun. It’s as though it’s assumed the reader can’t keep up with the time flow of the book (which was not odd or particularly cyclical) or the character being spoken to needs to be reminded of just which guy she described in terms of his movement. It just felt somewhat wordy and awkward.

In summary, the storyline of the book was good, the jokes were funny, if not particularly well delivered, and the sex was minimal. I would only recommend this to previous fans of Coulter.