cover image Downfall


Jeff Abbott. Grand Central, $27 (464p) ISBN 978-1-4555-2843-1

Bestseller Abbott packs a lifetime of thrills and suspense into a mere five days in his convoluted third novel featuring former CIA agent Sam Capra (after 2011’s The Last Minute). Soon after terrified Diana Keene hurries into Sam’s San Francisco bar pleading for help, two sinister-looking men enter the place looking for her. One of them pulls a knife and attacks Sam, but in the ensuing fight the thug suffers a fatal stab wound. Sam learns Diana is being sought by agents of John Belias, who controls a widespread network of powerful and deadly agents, including Diana’s mother, Janice Keene. Abbott excels at spinning complex webs of intrigue combining psychological twists and abundant action, though the sheer number of players and their ultimate loyalties can be difficult to track. Sam is both pawn and knight in an exciting chess game that moves from San Francisco to Portland, Ore.; Denver; Las Vegas; and Chicago. Agent: Peter Ginsberg, Curtis Brown. (July)