I wasn't sure if Jeff Abbott would be able to follow up the adrenaline and excitement of his last book, appropriately titled Adrenaline, but with The Last Minute he has pulled it off.
The Last Minute is Abbott's second book in his series about Sam Capra, a betrayed CIA agent and parkour enthusiast. I was moved to read Adrenaline and interview Abbott after hearing him speak at a booksigning at BookPeople in Austin in June 2011, when that book was published.
The fellow Austin author agreed to let me interview him again for his new book, which comes out this week. He is speaking and signing books at BookPeople again on Monday July 8 and the employee, Scott Montgomery, who helped arrange that first interview just published his own positive review of The Last Minute a few minutes ago. Scott's review is spot-on but does contain spoilers.
Both books about Sam Capra move fast and easily fit the definition of a thriller. You, the reader, can't help but get caught up in the excitement and adventure as Sam deals with criminals and CIA agents, and at times it's hard to tell which ones are worse.
Adrenaline starts off with a great plot device: Sam's seven-months pregnant wife calls him at work and tells him to get out of the office--he does so and almost immediately the building explodes, killing everyone inside. Meanwhile, his wife is gone--he saw her being taken when he ran out of the building. While she saved his life it looks suspiciously like he had inside information, as did she. Without giving away too many spoilers let's just say he learns things in his life, especially with his wife, were not what they seemed. He is chased and tortured by the CIA and others as he tries to prove his innocence while also trying to sort out what exactly is going on.
The Last Minute continues the action as Sam works to get his baby back from a shadowy international criminal organization called The Nine Suns, which has members working for the CIA and other government agencies.
The good news is The Nine Suns offers to give him back his baby--the bad news is what they are insisting he do in exchange: He has to hunt down and kill someone and even if he does so he can't be sure he will even get his son back. Meanwhile, the CIA wants Sam to turn over Milla, a partner who has been helping him. This, of course, leads to lots of good action scenes taking place all around the world.