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ADRENALINE
by Jeff Abbott
Grand Central Publishing, July 2011
416 pages
$24.99
ISBN: 0446575178


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Bestselling author Jeff Abbott has created a new series around CIA operative Sam Capra. When readers meet Capra, his world is about to turn upside down. Late for a meeting with head honchos at his London office, he receives a phone call from his wife. Stepping outside his building, he sees his wife being kidnapped by a man with a scar just before his entire building blows up.

Who is behind the bombing? Who has taken his wife? Since Sam is the sole survivor of the blast, the Company believes that he is either the key figure behind the blast or protecting his wife who is the guilty culprit. Thrown into a Polish prison, Capra undergoes extreme torture before the CIA "clears" him and allows him to return to civilian life in New York. There he remains on a tight leash under constant Company surveillance.

The image of his wife (and thoughts of his unborn child) plague him, and Capra makes every attempt to outsmart the CIA operatives who are watching him. He knows he needs to return to Europe to solve the mystery of just who committed these acts and why. Nothing is more important than finding his wife and child, but none of it will be easy. He's battling both an unknown enemy and the CIA, who now think he is involved with the terrorists.

This fast-paced thriller really revs up as the action returns to Amsterdam and London. Secret organizations, shady characters, and plenty of surprises await both Sam Capra and the readers of ADRENALINE. Readers need to know that once they pick up the book, they need to have plenty of time to finish it. Each action is so compelling that it's hard to set the book aside once begun.

What author Jeff Abbott has done is to invent a compelling character, one who can fight with the best of them, but who is vulnerable and human as well. Through the relationship with his missing wife and soon-to-be-born child, readers begin to see a fully formed, interesting hero, one worth following from book to book.

Abbott is also good at showing just how tough the bad guys are, as well as the distasteful methods the CIA employs to counter them. No one wears a white hat in this story, but the Capra character comes closest. For those who enjoy plenty of action along with solid storytelling, ADRENALINE will not disappoint.

Christine Zibas is a freelance writer and former director of publications for a Chicago nonprofit.

Reviewed by Christine Zibas, August 2011

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