Step over the edge . . . A psychic link to his sister Jilly at the moment of her near-drowning draws FBI Agent Ford MacDougal cross-country from his own recovery in a Washington, D.C. hospital to the sleepy oceanside town of Edgerton, Oregon.

The simmering troubles of Catherine Coulter's new thriller, The Edge (Putnam, $21.95, 399145060; Bookcassette Sales, abridged, $73.25, 156740653X) will keep you guessing right along with Mac as he tracks down the mystery woman, Laura, who drove Jilly over the sea cliff.

Posing as a reference librarian, Laura is an undercover DEA agent who has been investigating the source of a powerful new sex-stimulant drug with dangerous side effects. Mac brings Laura to Jilly's bedside, triggering Jilly from her coma into a disappearance that baffles Mac. His investigation into her disappearance rests on learning more about the secret project Jilly and her scientist husband have been developing. Mix designer drugs with ruthless criminals and the stirring of passion and distrust between Mac and Laura, and this is one heady, potent brew.

Kidnapped along with FBI colleagues, Mac and Laura struggle to escape drug-running thugs in Costa Rica, where more than the rain forest steams. They return to the Oregon coast, where Mac and Laura discover teaming up means more than crime solving. You'll want to be with them every step of the way.

Sandy Huseby writes from North Dakota and Minnesota.

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