Friday, October 17, 2014


The novel Fear by suspense, action-adventure author Jeff Abbott is
a pretty standard thriller as books in this genre go. Nothing special, nothing especially memorable, but good for company for a few nights of reading. The main character in the tale is Miles Kendrick, a private investigator who was part of a federal sting gone bad. In the aftermath Miles believed that he was responsible for killing his best friend Andy who had gotten involved with some sketchy mob types. Due to his value as a witness, Miles was placed into a government protection program for his own safety. He struggled so much with the traumatic, haunting memories of his friend's death that he was seeing a psychiatrist, Allison Vance. Miles came to trust and rely on her counsel and her therapy, but when she unexpectedly had another doctor join their session, Miles had a sense that something just wasn't right. Later that evening he found a desperate note from her asking for help in a vial of anti-depressants that she provided. When Miles went back to her office, he arrived just as an explosion rocked the building. Miles struggled with feelings of loss along with a debilitating sense that he had let his doctor down. He vowed to get to the bottom of her murder.

The story follows Miles as he buries himself deeper and deeper into entwinging intrigues of folks who all seemed involved with Dr. Vance. It seemed that she had knowledge of a new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder that was apparently effective, but was being tested illegally. However, as this new treatment appeared to be a lucrative gold mine, opportunists and ne-er-do-wells seemed to ooze out of the woodwork to lay claim to producing and marketing this multi-billion dollar cash cow. Nothing would stand in their way. The story doesn't reveal its secrets of who is league with who until the very end after twist upon twist, whereupon things are wrapped up with a neat bow.

Miles, for someone who has apparently suffered from a severe mental breakdown and is deeply afflicted by its ongoing effects, seems to be the sanest insane man ever. Able to swallow down his crazy whenever he needs to jump into action hero mode or do some clever thinkin'. I believe this novel could have been considerably strengthened if Abbott had developed this character a bit more and made his condition and its affects on his thoughts and actions a bit more realistic. Mental disorders are not something shrugged off with a simple pep talk. However, despite its flaws, I still enjoyed my time with this book, but it is definitely not one of Abbott's best.