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The Lost Key
A Brit in the FBI Series #2
Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison

9/30/2014 / ISBN 9780399164767

Reviewed by Elise Cooper


The Lost Key, the second installment in “A Brit In The FBI Series”, written by Catherine Coulter with J. T. Ellison, is a page-turner. This novel features former Scotland Yard detective, Nicholas (Nick) Drummond, now a rookie at the FBI, and his partner Michaela (Mike) Caine. The plot is extremely insightful in that it keeps the reader thinking about future dangers.

Nick is introduced in the first book of the series, The Final Cut. He is able to join the FBI because his mom is an American although he was raised in England. Having been in the Foreign Service and a Scotland Yard Chief Detective Inspector, he uses his previous skills of being tough, smart, and a computer genius. He can be thought of as a modern day James Bond. To view his picture go to this link: (

Coulter commented, “At the beginning, we didn't see the characters the same way, understandable. I happened to see a photo of a male model in a store window and said, "Hello, Nicholas!" This solved the problem.” While Ellison noted, “Nicholas is all Catherine while Mike is one of the characters we worked on together. In fact, I found the picture of Mike. Since every author has different views of the world we were going back and forth about these two characters. Once she sent me the picture of Nick and I sent her the picture of Mike, from that moment, everything came together.”

Nick’s partner, Mike Caine is a strong, intuitive, and take no prisoners’ female heroine who is becoming an important part of the team. This becomes obvious when comparing the quotes from the first book to this one. In The Final Cut, Mike was asked about her partnership with Nick, “You take orders rather well, don’t you, Mike?” While in The Lost Key, Mike’s attitude is “I guess it’s up to me to keep you (Nick) safe, and yes, then the world.”

The authors stated, “Mike is unmarried, completely independent. She's a cowboy, free and roaming the range. Mike is becoming Nick’s equal even though Nick is more of a smart aleck. She is smart, sassy, a hard worker, and currently her job is her life. She is a study of contrasts. She looks like a librarian with her glasses, yet wears biker boots. I based her on the Federal Marshall character in BACKFIRE, Eve Barbieri. So, who's the peach? Who's the pineapple? You decide.”

The plot takes place within a two-day time frame where Mike and Nick must find who is behind the fatal stabbing on Wall Street. Through the investigation it becomes clear that the person who killed, Jonathan Pearce, was more than just an antiquities book dealer. After the disappearance of his children the case takes a turn into the dangerous world of terrorism. The villain, Manfred Havelock, is pure evil who enjoys torture. But that should come as no surprise since he is German and appears to fit in perfectly with any Nazi. The plot has Mike and Nick traveling throughout Europe attempting to find and prevent Havelock from achieving his goal, placing implants in humans that would detonate a mini-nuclear bomb that takes suicide bombers to a new level.

Intertwined within the story is the history surrounding World War I. From the discovery of polonium by Marie Curie to the sunken German U-boat filled with gold and her scientific notes, the readers are once again taken back to an era sometimes forgotten. Incorporating Curie into the plot makes for a very interesting read, reminding people of her brilliance, especially since she is the only woman awarded the Nobel Prize twice.

The Lost Key is an action packed story with an exciting climax. The interesting and riveting characters, both fictional and non-fictional, enhance the plot. Readers will be terrified and on the edge of their seats throughout the book.

As a side note Catherine Coulter and J. T. Ellison will be supporting veterans by signing books at the military book fair on November 8th in San Diego aboard the USS Midway.



Reviewed 2014