Usually known for his stand-alone thrillers, Jeff Abbott (Collision, Panic, Fear) has created a strong fan base by simply writing really good books with ordinary people thrown into extraordinary situations. This time around, Abbott is creating a series character in Sam Capra, a twenty-six-year-old CIA agent with a wife who is seven months pregnant.
It is often said that stories start off with a bang. This one literally is explosive. Sam Capra narrowly escapes the bombing of his office by a man who’s also kidnapped his wife, Lucy. Like when a homicide detective shows up to a crime scene where a wife or husband is found dead, their obvious first suspect is the surviving spouse. The CIA immediately suspects Capra because is the lone survivor of the bombing, and we are plunged into the story. All Sam wants to do is find his wife and unborn child, and he uses every trick in his book to do so.
Adrenaline is four hundred pages long divided into 103 chapters. It moves at a really good pace. But when a novel is hyped as a fast-paced thriller, it can’t always be fast. There are natural ebbs and flows - otherwise it would be action on top of more action on top of even more action. There needs to be a chapter or two where things are seemingly quiet to take a break from non-stop gun fire or blood-shed. Abbott does a fine job in balancing action with character development. The characters are just about outstanding, especially like Mila.
Some scientific stuff strains credulity and made it hard to suspend my disbelief, but all books have their strong points and weak points. It wasn’t so bad as to make me want to chuck the book across the room. Also, there is a story arc that dangles in this book, a setup for the next book. That wasn’t necessary as Adrenaline is a solid thriller, strong enough on its own to get fans to pick up the next in the series. Though there is a digital revolution going on in publishing, reading this in hardcover is an enjoyable experience.