Countdown (Cassidy & Spenser #5)
Countdown by Carey Baldwin is a story ripped from the headlines. Juggling two professions, psychologist and pediatrician, has helped her with formulating different storylines. This novel is a departure from her last one, and is much more of a fun read. The plot begins with what appears to be someone drowning on the beach of Tahiti. Forensic psychiatrist Caitlyn Cassidy and FBI Agent Atticus Spenser are enjoying some R and R while preparing for their upcoming wedding. Unfortunately their best-laid plans go awry when they attempt to rescue the couple. They then become embroiled in a case that involves a con, dirty secrets and murder. After agreeing to help local law enforcement that seems to be overwhelmed Cassidy and Spenser find that each clue of the investigation is nothing, as it seems. The story takes off with many twists and turns.
Elise Cooper: How did you get the idea for the story?
Carey Baldwin: I started out writing about something completely different, terrorists. Then I decided I did not want to write about it right now and chose to go in another direction. I came up with this near drowning and then worked backwards from the incident in the water. For the characters I wanted a family situation and centered them on twin sisters.
EC: Why the Tahiti setting?
CB: I have never been in Tahiti but would like to go there one day. I did a lot of research on the setting and luckily my editor has been there. She was able to provide me with some of the nuance and was my fact checker.
EC: You have this great quote, “It didn’t matter if she couldn’t match Tommy’s physical strength; she had a gun.” It reminds me of that Indiana Jones’ scene where the gun is the equalizer. Please explain.
CB: It reflected Rose’s feeling. She drew upon what she learned from her father, a con man. It doesn’t matter the who, or what is the situation, you can always outwit somebody. The way she compensated for her shortcomings was with a gun. It was her trying to figure out ‘how can I have an equalizer and come out on top.’
EC: Please describe Rose.
CB: She has a large sense of responsibility towards family with a highly developed sense of right and wrong. Her driving force is an overdeveloped conscience. Rose is willing to make sacrifices to do right by her family.
EC: The French police reminded me of the Keystone Cops?
CB: Deputy Sgt. Pierre Brousseau is a slightly comic figure. He is flawed, but not stupid. Being addicted to alcohol causes him to do some dumb mistakes. His brother, Inspector Jacques Brousseau is stubborn, determined, and humble. But he is also inexperienced, although not inept.
EC: What do you think is the theme?
CB: The importance of family. All the motivations for the supporting characters is protecting someone in their family, including the police brothers. The twins were searching for the ideal family when in reality they had a dysfunctional one. Caity and Spenser had their moms and each other to contend with.
EC: The con plays a huge role?
CB: The twins looked at the world from that lens. They were always looking for a trick, the potential for a trick, or a trick they could use to get the outcome they wanted. They saw everything in the form of a game because they had trust issues. The con skewed their whole world.
EC: What do you want readers to get out of the novel?
CB: An entertaining story that had a lighter touch. The story is fun and adventurous. It is not quite as dark as the previous novel, Stolen. I hope readers realize that at the end of the book Caity and Spenser are in a good place. Also, my next book will probably not be a Cassidy and Spenser story.
The next pulse-pounding Cassidy and Spenser thriller from USA Today bestselling author Carey Baldwin!
Don’t believe everything you see.
Special Agent Atticus Spenser and forensic psychiatrist Dr. Caitlin Cassidy are in Tahiti enjoying a much-needed break from the FBI when they spot newlyweds taking fun photos on the beach. But as the groom carries his bride deeper into the waves, Spense is positive he sees a flash of terror cross her face. All his instincts scream that this woman is in danger. Yet moments later, it’s the groom who has nearly drowned… and the bride has vanished, leaving a bloody wedding dress floating in her wake.
The authorities aren’t sure who to believe—the groom, who insists his wife tried to murder him… or her twin, who claims her sister must have acted in self-defense. Intrigued, Spense and Caity agree to help investigate. But when they discover that the missing bride is the daughter of a notorious confidence man, they begin to suspect that all is not what it seems. Now they’ll need to separate victim from villain, fact from fiction, truth from lie, to determine if there’s really a killer on the loose… or if it’s all one big con.
ABOUT CAREY BALDWIN
Carey Baldwin is a mild-mannered doctor by day and an award-winning author of edgy suspense by night. She holds two doctoral degrees, one in medicine and one in psychology. She loves reading and writing stories that keep you off balance and on the edge of your seat. Carey lives in the southwestern United States with her amazing family. In her spare time she enjoys hiking and chasing wildflowers.