Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Review - The Last Second

Title:   The Last Second
Author:  Catherine Coulter, J.T. Ellison
Series:  A Brit in the FBI #6
Genre:   Mystery/Thrillers
Publisher:   Gallery Books
Format:  Kindle ARC
No. of Pages:  515
Date of Publication:  March 26, 2019
My Rating:  5 Stars

From New York Times bestselling authors Catherine Coulter and J.T. Ellison comes a riveting thriller pitting special agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine against a private French space agency that has the power to end the world as we know it.

Galactus, France’s answer to SpaceX, has just launched a communications satellite into orbit, but the payload actually harbors a frightening weapon: a nuclear-triggered electromagnetic pulse.

When the satellite is in position, Galactus’s second-in-command, Dr. Nevaeh Patel, will have the power to lay waste to the world with an EMP. A former astronaut, Patel believes she is following the directions of the Numen, aliens who saved her life when she space-walked outside the International Space Station. She is convinced that with the Holy Grail, just discovered by the owner of Galactus—eccentric treasure hunter Jean-Pierre Broussard—she can be reunited with the Numen, change the world’s destiny, and become immortal with them.

The countdown has begun when Special Agents Nicholas Drummond and Michaela Caine are thrown into the pending disaster. They must stop the EMP that would wreak havoc on communication and electronic systems on Earth, resulting in chaos and anarchy.

With their signature “nonstop action with enough realism to keep you thinking and scare the daylights out of you at the same time” (Suspense Magazine), Coulter and Ellison have created a thriller to take you on a breakneck and breathtaking journey.


It has been nearly a year since I read The Sixth Day by these very talented authors and I really wondered if, like just about every novel I have read from either of them, whether or not it would be worth the wait. Well, it was! Not only that, I read this book in just two sittings. The story is utterly captivating and not the fare I expected when about to read the next in The Brit in the FBI series.

Dr. Nevaeh Patel has been pulled from space. After a space-walk outside of the International Space Station, Nevaeh is now touting her first-hand experience with the Numen, who she believes are aliens who are communicating with he. Furthermore, she is convinced that with the aid of the Holy Grail, something long sought after and recently discovered by treasure hunter Jean-Pierre Broussard, she can change the destiny of the entire world.

To achieve her purpose, Nevaeh takes extreme measures. As the story is told, readers see that her belief in the Numen is 100% real. She really wants back in space. So, she has a dual purpose. What Nevaeh does in order to achieve both of these goals is nothing short of extreme madness. Yes, mad beyond belief. Her nefarious activities prove that she is certainly not afraid of consequences.

The Last Second is a thriller beyond compare. Michaela "Mike" Cain and Nicholas Drummond are the FBI agents handling the case. While healing from a badly damaged ankle, Mike and Nicholas are visiting Grant and Kitsune Thornton (familiar characters from previous tales), and they become involved in what happens to Broussard when cooky ex-astronaut Neyaeh tries and grabs to newly found Holy Grail.

Whether on land, air or water, action is never ceasing in The Last Second. All the while, readers are sucked into the very sick mind of Neyaeh. No one is safe from danger, even those perpetrating it. I loved all the techno talk in this book - whether from the former astronaut (who is the epitome of an unreliable character), or from Broussard while on his ship, the Galactic. Then the heroic actions of the FBI team is nothing short of spectacular.

Obviously, I could go on and on and on. But, no matter what I write here, I am desperately striving to avoid spoilers. I definitely think that fans following this series will be as drawn into this story as I was. As a matter of fact, this book certainly is already one of my Top Picks for this year! I look forward to the next book in this series.

The previous five books in the series are The Final Cut, The Lost Key, The End Game, The Devil's Triangle and The Sixth Day.

Many thanks to Gallery Books and to NetGalley for this ARC to review in exchange for my honest opinion.


Catherine Coulter is the author of over 83 novels, including 78 New York Times bestsellers, occasionally, after exhaustive prayers, hitting #1. She earned her reputation writing historical romances to pass the time while aboard the ark. She added suspense thrillers to her repertoire - with great success. The Cove, the first book in her bestselling "FBI Suspense Thriller Series" spent nine weeks on the New York Times list and has to date sold well over 3 million copies. Since then she's written 22 more bestselling thrillers in the series, including The Maze, The Target, The Edge, Riptide, Hemlock Bay, Eleventh Hour, Blindside, Blowout, Point Blank, Double Take, Tailspin, Knockout, Whiplash, Split Second, Backfire, Bombshell, Power Play, Nemesis, Insidious, Enigma. Her 22nd FBI thriller PARADOX is available now in all formats now. Coulter is also writing a new suspense thriller series - A Brit in the FBI - co-writing with bestselling author JT Ellison. The 6th book in this action-packed series, The Last Second, will be out in March 2019.

For Coulter's first novel, The Autumn Countess, she chose a Regency setting for her debut because, says Coulter, "as any published author will tell you, it's best to limit the unknowns in a first book, and not only had I grown up reading Georgette Heyer, whom I worship, but I earned my M.A. degree in early 19th century European History and could fight in Napoleon's army, or join the Allies and beat his butt with Wellington."

Following The Autumn Countess, Coulter wrote six more Regency romances. She then turned to long historicals and eventually interspersed them with contemporary suspense novels, beginning with False Pretenses in 1988, her very first hardcover.

Coulter grew up on a horse ranch in Texas, and graduated from the University of Texas, receiving her graduate degree from Boston College. She became a speechwriter on Wall Street, then, to her joy, she was able to quit her day job and become a full-time writer.

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J.T. Ellison is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of twenty critically acclaimed novels, including LIE TO ME, NO ONE KNOWS, WHAT LIES BEHIND, and ALL THE PRETTY GIRLS, and is the coauthor of the "A Brit in the FBI" series with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter. J.T. also cohosts the EMMY® Award-winning television series A Word on Words.

With millions of books in print, Ellison’s work has been published in twenty-six countries and fourteen languages. Her novel THE COLD ROOM won the ITW Thriller Award for Best Paperback Original. Her novels FIELD OF GRAVES and WHERE ALL THE DEAD LIE were each a RITA® nominee for Best Romantic Suspense. She is also the author of multiple short stories.

Ellison grew up in Colorado and Virginia. After graduating from Randolph-Macon Woman's College and receiving her master's degree from George Washington University, she was a presidential appointee and worked in The White House and the Department of Commerce before moving into the private sector to work as a financial analyst and marketing director for several defense and aerospace contractors.

After moving to Nashville, Ellison began to research her hidden passions, forensics and crime, and was compelled to begin writing down her stories. To research her books, she has worked with the Metro Nashville Police Department and the FBI, as well as performing autopsies and studying survivalists.

In 2012, Ellison teamed up with #1 New York Times bestselling author Catherine Coulter to co-write a new FBI series. The first book, THE FINAL CUT, released in September of 2013 and hit every major bestseller list. The series continues with THE LOST KEY, THE END GAME, THE DEVIL'S TRIANGLE, and THE SIXTH DAY. The next installment will be published in Spring 2019.

Ellison published her first standalone novel, NO ONE KNOWS, a Nashville-based domestic thriller, in 2016 with Gallery Books, followed by the critically acclaimed LIE TO ME, published in 2017 with MIRA Books. Her newest standalone, TEAR ME APART, will be published on September 18, 2018.

She also has co-written with Erica Spindler and Alex Kava on two anthology collaborations: SLICES OF NIGHT and STORM SEASON.

J.T.'s interests go beyond writing books—she publishes them, too. In 2015, Ellison founded her own independent publishing house, Two Tales Press, which features spine-chilling short stories and novellas, including THE FIRST DECADE and DEAD ENDS. An avid oenophile, Ellison teamed up with her right-hand, Amy Kerr, to launch The Wine Vixen, a wine review website focusing on all varietals and price ranges.

In 2015, Ellison was named a cohost of the Nashville literary television series A Word on Words. The series was hosted by respected journalist John Seigenthaler for more than 40 years and remains a favorite among viewers. The rebooted show builds on Mr. Seigenthaler’s distinguished legacy with an exciting new version of the literary series. The show won its first Emmy for Best Interstitial in 2017. Follow #keepreading for more updates on the show guests and lively literary discussions.

She also has an active following on Twitter @thrillerchick and Instagram @thrillerchick, and has a robust Facebook community.

She lives with her husband and twin kittens in Nashville, where she enjoys fine wine and good notebooks.

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  1. This one sounds intense - well done, Robin

  2. Great review, sounds like my kind of read. I've actually never heard of the series before.

  3. This sounds like one that I would enjoy. Great review.

  4. "A thriller beyond compare" oooh, well now you've got me hook line and sinker!