cover image Impulse


Catherine Coulter. Dutton Books, $18.95 (40pp) ISBN 978-0-453-00726-9

A weak, tangled plot dims the shine of two fairly enjoyable sparring partners in this contrived novel of romantic suspense set in the high-stakes arena of black-market arms and art. Rafaella Holland, wealthy, shapely, Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter with a powerful karate kick, goes undercover at a Caribbean resort owned by the gangster who seduced and discarded her besotted mother many years before. Rafaella is his daughter. When her mother is hit by a car owned by the gangster's estranged wife, Rafaella decides to expose him for the snake he is. Charming her way into the resort, she runs up against the manager Marcus Devlin (actually a good guy working for U.S. Customs), whom she instantly distrusts and immediately beds. The pair dodge bullets, bicker and try to unmask each other while a mysterious third party makes repeated attempts on her father's life. Coulter wrote False Pretenses . (May)