Abbott's 'Adrenaline' a five-star thriller

Adrenaline, by Jeff Abbott; 978-0-466-57517-1; 416 pages; $24.99; Publication Date: July 1, 2011; Hardcover; Thriller-Novel; Grand Central Publishing.

Jeff Abbott's credentials are as impressive as his stylistic writing. He has written 12 mystery and suspense novels which have been published in over 20 languages. Abbott is a three-time nominee for the Edgar Award and a two-time nominee for the Anthony Award. His novel "Panic" was a Thriller Award nominee for Best Novel and is also a past winner of both the Agatha Award and the Macavity Award for Best First Novel. He graduated from Rice University and lives in Texas.

"Adrenaline" is a thriller which flows rapidly from page to page, starting with a CIA agent, Sam Capra, who is wrongfully accused of being a traitor. Sam is a respected and faithful CIA operative known for his intelligence, intellect and as a husband of three years who is married to a fellow operative. They are expecting their first child.

Suddenly, all is swept away from him! His pregnant wife is kidnapped, his office is bombed, his fellow agents are killed and he is left to take the blame for all the misdeeds. Gathered up by the hierarchy of the CIA, he is tortured, interrogated, and put on leave from the agency. Under surveillance, he heals and gains back his strength which had been taken from him by the interrogators in their quest to obtain admissions from him about his wrongdoing. Finally, he is allowed a modicum of freedom, but always under the watchful eye of his superior and his operatives.

He gets a job as a bartender in New York City which not only provides him with some extra income beyond his agency salary, but also gives him the opportunity to put into motion his plan to solve his disrupted life.

Sam Capra gets out from under the thumb of his boss, Howell, and returns to Europe where all of his recent troubles began as he tries to find his wife, their new-born child, and to clear his reputation. His quest is stymied by many different underworld characters who block his path; he dispatches them by using his superior skills in hand-to-hand combat as well as using the old fashioned gun.

This thriller is definitely a page-turner as the reader is clued into the many different faces that make up this engrossing tale.

This is an adult book because of the number of deaths and some language, but this is overshadowed by Abbott's wonderful descriptive writing as he spins this yarn of mayhem. Your senses are often captivated by the smells, sights, and sounds which are described in excellent detail. "Adrenaline" is the first book in what shall become the series about Sam Capra as he battles evil doers throughout the world. Abbott's demonstrated ability creates a highly recommended 5-star book.

Publishers Weekly

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Clark Isaacs is an accomplished book critic who is published in local newspapers and national book review lists. He is a member of the faculty of Mohave Community College in Kingman. Visit Clark Isaacs at http://clarkisaacs.ning.com.