Thursday, October 23, 2008

PANIC -- reviewer Lee Pletzers

"PANIC is a sleek, smart thriller
that combines a family tragedy, international intrigue, and the
redemptive power of love into one of this year's best books. There is
no question: Jeff Abbott is the new name in suspense."

Panic is a thriller penned by Jeff Abbott. A writer I have never experienced before. Three weeks ago I was in a bookstore waiting for the line at the Lotto counter to shorten so I could get a 'winning' lottery ticket. There was quite a line and, as the next millionaire' I was not prepared to stand in line staring blankly into space, so I wandered over to the fiction setting and this one book caught my attention. The cover was so basic in design that it grabbed my interest straight away. Most book covers these days seem to be heavy in graphics and illusion, whereas this one cover had only the title: PANIC in red.

I pulled it off the shelf and read the first line: The phone awoke Evan Cashmore, and he knew something was wrong. And I bought the book before reading the back cover. (I've done things like that before a few times)

What an amazing novel Jeff Abbott pumped out. It is non-stop action and mystery all rolled into one.

The book is about Evan Cashmore, a junior film maker with one documentary hit (winner) under his belt. His life is going in the direction he's planned and he is in love with Carrie.

His mother phones him in the early hours of the morning demanding he return home this instant. It is a two hour drive. Unable to contact his girlfriend, he hops into his car and heads home. Once there he discovers his mother dead on the kitchen floor, then he is attacked and hung and then saved by a man hired by his mother.

Evan learns his life is not what he thought it was and Carrie is not who she claimed to be. His parents were part of the CIA, a hidden part of the CIA called The Deeps, who did 'jobs' on US soil unknown to everyone.

Earlier that day, his mother sent him an email with a few music files which he downloads onto his music player to listen to in the car. What he doesn't know is that his mother sent him (encrypted) a list of all of the The Deeps and all their contacts and offshore bank accounts. Even has with him all the
information needed to bring down an entire organization.

The Deeps are controlled by one man known as Jargo and his violence loving son, Dezz. They are a group of agents (some ion powerful) positions that do work necessary for power, position and mostly -- money. And it turns out that Evan's father is one of the top hit men in the organization.

Have I told too much? Fuck no. This is only the tip of the iceberg. And to
uncover the truth, Evan has to take control of the situation and dig deep into his family's past. And what he finds is a plan set in motion since the Cold War.

This book is a fun read and I do think everyone who picks it up will have a good time in the world Jeff has created. The truth behind the characters is leaked bit by bit and seeped into the main plot so smoothly you'll barely see it coming.

It is a good thriller but not the best that I have read, there were a few parts that confused me, and although the book moves at a fast pace it was easy to put down and go to bed at a decent hour.

I think the UK cover has more grabbing power than the US one. It is a simpler design. Still it is the words inside the book that matter the most, and they are the same (apart from the spelling and some basic formatting).

Grab yourself a copy of this book. It is worth a position on your bookshelf.


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