Tue
Mar 14 2017 1:00pm

Review: The Devil’s Triangle by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison

The Devil's Triangle by Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison is a highly anticipated thriller in their Brit in the FBI series, featuring special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine in their new roles as heads of the Covert Eyes team.

Catherine Coulter’s A Brit in the FBI series would make a perfect Tom Hanks-style Da Vinci Code vehicle. The Devil's Triangle is the 4th in the series, and—as in Dan Brown’s stories—the ancient world extends its tentacles into modern day, and Biblical knowledge is as important as crack surveillance skills to win against the enemy.  

An idiom that never loses its sting: “It takes a thief to catch a chief.” So when master-thief Kitsune feels a frisson of worry on her way to make a delivery in Venice, it’s an instinct to be taken seriously. For the princely sum of five million Euros, Kitsune—aka The Fox—agreed to steal the staff of Moses from the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. Of course, Kitsune was successful, so why, on her way to Venice to make the delivery, does she feel worried?

Kitsune had been a thief for too long to ignore the prickle of unease that went down her neck. The tube was heavy, and she hugged it closer.

Turns out her Spidey sense saves her life. After the handover, “she felt that familiar shiver down her neck and went on red alert.” Later, after a vicious gun battle through the rooftops and canals of Venice, Kitsune is breathing hard and bleeding, but she commandeers a water taxi and is on her way out of Dodge. She tears into her pay packet.

She opened it and saw a rough drawing of a dead fox. She felt the tearing pain in her arm as she wadded up the paper and tossed it overboard. Five million Euros was that critical to them? But why had they wanted her dead? It didn’t matter; she didn’t care. There would be hell to pay.

Kitsune turns to FBI Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela “Mike” Caine and their Covert Eyes crew to a) find out who her clients really are and b) help her rescue her husband Grant, who has been kidnapped. What a cinematic plea for help.

Moments later, she heard a deep male voice with a posh British accent say, “Drummond here.”

“Hello, Nicholas. I trust Michaela is nearby?”

“Yes.”

“This is Kitsune. I need your help.”

Nicholas, Mike, and their team uncover the truth. Kitsune’s client is the Koath family, reputed to be descendants of Moses. The Koath’s ultimate goal is to find—shades of Raiders of the Lost Ark—the Ark of the Covenant. Once they have that in their possession, they’ll be able to ramp up their “engineered-storm business” into a world-destroying weapon. Mike lays it out to the team.

“We have it from a reliable source that this monstrous sandstorm from the Gobi Desert that is hitting Beijing isn’t a natural disaster.” She drew a deep breath. “It was engineered.”

Kitsune, Nicholas, Mike, and their team fight their enemy on multiple fronts: cyber warfare, shoot-outs in Venice’s fabled St. Mark’s Square, and interrogations masked as civilized discussions in Italy—like when Nicholas talks to the enigmatic Cassandra Koath at her family’s ancient castle:

“You are full of questions, aren’t you? My father died two weeks ago, a heart attack, we were told. We weren’t close. He left the business, nearly 10 years ago. I suppose you could say he was eccentric, a man who liked his parties and conspiracy theories. But of course, your family’s history is much more illustrious than mine. I’ve seen photos of the Drummond estate in Farrow-on-Gray as well as photos of the gardens—and your labyrinth is famous. I’d love to visit sometime. And you’ll be a peer soon enough, won’t you?”

“Not for a very long time. You’ve learned a lot in the past day and a half.”

She laughed. “Come now, Agent Drummond. You were all over the news last week. You’re famous, the man who saved the lives of the president and vice president of the United States. And now you’re here, killing off Italians.”

Nicholas smiled at her.

Perhaps Nicholas is thinking, “Life moves pretty fast.” Certainly, Nicholas and his team have to race to stop Cassandra and her twin Ajax before the duo can wrest control of the family weather weaponry from their elderly grandfather. The struggle culminates in a climatic showdown in the heart of the Bermuda Triangle. Nicholas snarls at Ajax, who is lunging at him with a knife, “Well, come on, you puking little nutter, let’s get this over with.” 

Fast-paced and scarily prescient, The Devil’s Triangle will keep you up until you turn the last page. 

Read J. T. Ellison's guest blog “Sometimes, Dreams Do Come True—Literally”!

 

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Janet Webb aka @JanetETennessee has unpredictable opinions on books. Season ticket holder of the Oakland Athletics baseball team. Social media devotee. Stories on royals and politics catch my eye. Ottawa born. Grew up on the books of Helen MacInnes, Mary Stewart, Dorothy L. Sayers, and Anne Perry ... I'm always looking for a great new mystery series.

Read all of Janet Webb's articles for Criminal Element!

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