ALSO BY CATHERINE COULTER
THE FBI THRILLERS
Split Second (2011)
Twice Dead: Riptide and Hemlock Bay (2011)
Double Jeopardy: The Target and The Edge (2008)
Double Take (2007)
The Beginning: The Cove and The Maze (2005)
Point Blank (2005)
Eleventh Hour (2002)
Hemlock Bay (2001)
The Edge (1999)
The Target (1998)
The Maze (1997)
The Cove (1996)
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Copyright © Catherine Coulter 2013
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Published simultaneously in Canada
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
The Final Cut / Catherine Coulter ; and J. T. Ellison.
1. Great Britain. Metropolitan Police Office. Criminal Investigation Department—Fiction.
2. United States. Federal Bureau of Investigation—Fiction. 3. British—New York (State)—
New York—Fiction 4. Mystery fiction. I. Ellison, J. T. II. Title.
PS3553.O843F46 2013 2013024511
BOOK DESIGN BY NICOLE LAROCHE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the authors’ imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, businesses, companies, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
Also By Catherine Coulter
History of the Koh-I-Noor Diamond
To J. T. Ellison for accompanying me on this wonderful new journey. You’re one of the very best decisions I ever made. I’m sure Nicholas Drummond will take us on another super adventure.
To Karen Evans, my right hand and left hand and half my brain, whose oar is always rowing the boat smartly forward.
Thank you both for your great dedication to this special project and your enthusiasm and constant good humor.
To Angela Bell, FBI, thank you for your continued assistance. You’re such a treasure. Imagine, Nicholas Drummond is indeed the very first Brit in the FBI (verified by the FBI).
15 Place Vendôme
The Bar Vendôme
Two years ago
Saleem drummed his long fingers on the table, giving only a cursory glance out the window to the clear Parisian night, and wondered yet again—Where is he? Ten minutes late. No one kept him waiting, no one. The Fox had set this meeting at the Ritz. The least he could do was be on time.
He caught his reflection in the glass and was pleased with what he saw. His dinner jacket fit like a dream, and he looked important, a man to be respected and feared, the way his father had always taught him.
Yet the Fox, this common thief, was keeping him waiting.
He sensed heads turning, and looked up. An incredible woman was strolling across the bar in a skintight black dress and tall, sharp stilettos, her sleek black hair pulled back in a twist, showing the fine bones of her face. She was lithe and moved like a dancer. She looked expensive and mysterious, and maybe there was a hint of danger in that arrogant tilt of her head? Like every other breathing man in the bar, he felt a kick of lust. He enjoyed the show for a moment, then dismissed her. He had bigger fish to fry tonight.