Tuesday, June 3, 2014

The Last Minute

The second book in Jeff Abbott's "Sam Capra" series is entitled The Last Minute, and picks up just after the first book, Adrenaline, ends. There we met CIA operative Sam Capra, who was working in a covert counter-terrorism team in London. When the building where he worked was blown up, Sam was labeled a traitor because it seemed his pregnant wife had something to do with the operation. Eventually, Sam came to learn that his wife was not who he thought she was, but through this life altering betrayal, he made the decision to reclaim the child, his child, that his wife gave up. The story of The Last Minute is about this quest.

Sam's wife was part of a criminal organization called Novem Soles, comprised of some pretty nasty folks. Not only were they involved in some particularly dark activities, including human trafficking, selling babies, distributing drugs, and illicit arms deals, they were amazingly well connected and well funded. This group had their own plants deep in governments and big business around the world, including the CIA and U.S. law enforcement. It is against this tide that Sam was trying to navigate. He was given the impossible choice by the group that had his child, either he agrees to kill a computer hacker who has evidence that would severely hurt major portions of their organizational leadership, or they would kill his son. Even though Sam understands that he is being played and that the chances are that he will never see his son again, he agrees to cooperate. From the start of this plan, Sam has been given a partner of sorts, a lady named Leonine whose child is also apparently being held by the same group.

Working against Sam are factions within the CIA who want to bring in the hacker and his evidence. However, it becomes clear to Sam that their motives are not what they seem to be. Sam is supported by another undercover group, that uses their funding and connections to try to help put down Novem Soles and other criminal groups. The story is fast paced, engaging, and has enough character development to keep the protagonists and antagonists from simply becoming two-dimensional cartoon cut-outs. A very enjoyable thriller that will keep you turning the pages. The next story in the series is entitled, Downfall, and I will move to that next.