Downfall by Jeff Abbott

2 Mins read

Author of 14 previous novels, Jeff Abbott has been described as the thriller writers’ favourite. And some pretty big names – think Coben, Child and Connelly – heap praise on his work in the inside cover of this book. He also won the International Thriller Writers’ Award in 2012.

So it was with great excitement that I began my journey in the company of Sam Capra, a former CIA agent who now owns and runs bars around the globe. Sam is personable and handsome, and the proud father of an infant son called Daniel. Although this is Sam’s third appearance in print (he appeared in Adrenaline and The Last Minute), it is our first acquaintance, and I must say that I found him a likeable, if deadly, companion.

Sam is employed by a shadowy group called the Round Table, who go around righting miscarriages of justice. He’s had an action packed past, but now wants a quieter life, running his bars and getting to know his child. But when a young woman rushes into Sam’s San Francisco bar begging for his help, he has no option but to assist her. It’s a decision that proves fatal – and after the mystery woman manages to escape unscathed, Sam finds himself the focus of unwanted publicity and at the centre of a police investigation. To make things worse, the young woman is being sought by a deadly network run by some of the world’s most powerful and influential players.

A damsel in distress, no less, so what’s a guy to do? As the plot thickens, Sam is drawn into the heart of a far reaching conspiracy that could have earth-shattering consequences.

The word ‘thriller’ was coined for books such as this. The action is fast and furious and told from a variety of viewpoints, with switchbacks and twists that will fair take your breath away. From the cover notes, I discovered that two of Abbott’s books have been optioned for the big screen and I’m not surprised, because his thrill-a-minute style is pure Hollywood in its execution. The downside is that there are times when things move along so speedily that you find yourself having to take a step back, catch your breath and read a section again – otherwise you could well miss a tendril of plotline which may prove important later on.

The finale is slickly rendered, with enough loose ends to ensure that we’ll be meeting Sam again in the not too distant future – in fact, at the end of this book there’s a taster chapter for book four, The Inside Man, which will be out in the summer. That gives me plenty of time to catch up on the previous books in the Sam Capra saga before we meet again.


CFL Rating: 4 Stars

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