The Color of Death
The name Elizabeth Lowell has become synonymous with electrifying fiction that seamlessly combines suspense, intrigue, and passion. And now the phenomenal New York Times bestselling author brilliantly displays her incomparable talents in a story of treachery, greed, conspiracy, and murder that will hold the reader spellbound until the final word.
It is the opportunity of a lifetime for Kate Chandler, the chance to cut seven rare, priceless sapphires and solidify her reputation as a world-class jewel cutter. But something goes horribly, tragically wrong during what should have been a simple transfer of goods. The sapphires vanish without a trace. Missing also is the man Kate trusted to transport the gems: her half brother, Lee, who now, quite possibly, is dead. And suddenly she is on the run, pursued by federal agents who suspect her of being the criminal mastermind of a cunning bait-and-switch scheme.
Special agent Sam Groves is one of the best of the best, an essential member of the FBI's elite crime strike force and the perfect man to lead the hunt, since he could never be scammed by a beautiful confidence woman. But something is troubling about this assignment, because someone else is chasing Kate Chandler as well.
Only Kate suspects the awful truth: She's unwittingly stumbled into a conspiracy of deceit, betrayal, and cold-blooded murder that goes far beyond a simple jewel heist. And a chilling, threatening voice on the telephone only confirms her worst suspicions. Getting Sam Groves, the FBI agent who's her constant shadow, to believe her is a step in the right direction -- but it may be one that's too little too late in a bloody game where terror dictates her every move and the rules are constantly changing. Because the order has already been passed down to a ruthlessly efficient assassin: Kate Chandler must not be allowed to live ...
The theft of seven extraordinary sapphires sparks a rash of murders in this fast-moving romantic thriller by Lowell (Die in Plain Sight; Running Scared). Kate Chandler, 33, is the cutter who shapes the stones for a wealthy Florida collector; her half-brother, Lee, is the courier she chooses to deliver them. Lee is more than careful, but an hour from his destination, the gems are stolen, and he disappears. Five months later, alleging that Lee stole the gems and decamped with a blonde to a Caribbean hideaway, the FBI closes the case. Kate and Lee's lover, Norm, know better, and Kate determines to discover the truth on her own. At a gem show in Scottsdale, she sees one of the precious sapphires at a shady dealer's booth and settles "into the odious business of flirting with a man she'd rather have scraped off her shoes," which leads to a confrontation with maverick FBI agent Sam Groves. In due course, they become allies and consequently, Groves, already unpopular with Bureau brass, finds his job at stake. The reader acquires a lot of esoteric information about gems, the principals share a sense of humor and eventually a bed; when the shady dealer and his wife are mercilessly murdered, Kate receives a death threat and the circle of suspects connected to her brother's disappearance widens. This is a diverting read for thriller fans.