The Cove (FBI #1) by Catherine Coulter

Although it may not seem like it from what has appeared on the blog thus far, I do actually read outside of the urban fantasy genre.  Not very often these days but I do break away occasionally, especially when I go home to visit my folks, which is what I’m doing right now.  My mum has a fairly extensive library herself, but her books tend to run along the lines of Nora Roberts, Elizabeth Lowell, Linda Howard, etc.  In this case, the book I’ve picked up is The Cove, the first book in Catherine Coulter‘s series centred FBI agents Dillon Savich and Lacey Sherlock.

That being said, The Cove is actually not about Dillon and Sherlock, although Dillon does have a supporting role in the book.  Instead, The Cove is about FBI Special Agent James Quinlan and his relationship with Sally Brainerd, who disappears after her father was murdered.  The book is set primarily in a small community called The Cove, and involves the the investigation not only of Sally’s father’s murder but also the goings-on in this quaint little town.  It’s hard to provide a more detailed plot description without giving away the game so that’s all I’ll say about plot.

I’ve read this book several times before but this is the first time when I’ve really noticed how lame some of the dialogue is.  Don’t get me wrong, I think it’s a solid mystery but some of the writing is pretty heavy-handed and I found it a bit jarring – jarring enough to pull me out of the story, at least.  I don’t think everyone will have this problem but I like my people to seem real, and Coulter’s characters don’t have that air about them.  They’re clearly characters at certain moments, rather than fully sketched-out people.  Some of the dialogue also feels like it’s come out of a bodice-ripper, the type of romance novel I preferred in my teens, and which I don’t enjoy nearly as much now, which may be why I find it so noticeable.  I guess my favourite part o the book is the fact that it introduces Savich, and serves as the beginning of a fairly solid series.  In and of itself, The Cove felt pretty so-so this time around but that doesn’t mean I won’t pick it up again in a few years to revisit the characters.

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