Downfall – Jeff Abott

This is a follow on to The Last Minute (reviewed here) and again features the adventures of Sam Capra and the Round Table organization that he owes fealty to.

Essentially, this book (and series) may best appeal to those who believe in conspiracy theories. Not only do we have the good conspirators (Round Table) and their foes (the Nine Suns) but this book introduces another, smaller, set of conspirators scheming away for their own good and the downfall of all who stand in their way.

The spark is a woman who comes in to one of Sam’s bars, asking for help. Sam spots her pursuers and intervenes, thus crossing the path of these new conspirators, and setting off a chain of violent events in a race to the prize. The prize? A video made by one of the new baddies that will bring them all down.

The plot goes round and round and made me dizzy. It’s well done, but beyond belief – unless you are a conspiracy nut. The pacing is excellent, but the characters are nothing to shout home about. And Sam Capra, the hero, is too much of a superhero to be credible.

I suspect the author has a greater talent than is on show here.

Fair. To put it another way: superior airport entertainment.


The Last Minute – Jeff Abbott

Sam Capra, ex CIA, was betrayed by his wife to a sinister criminal organization. She is in a coma, and the baddies have his baby son. Sam would do anything to get his son back. The baddies know this, and blackmail Sam into helping them achieve their nefarious goals, or else…

On the plus side, there is plenty of action, there are several twists in the plot, and the author does a very good job of delivering constant tension and a sense of danger. In short, it’s a good page-turner.

On the less than positive side, some of the suspension of disbelief required is too much. Put aside the inevitable superhero characteristics of Sam Capra, and you still wonder how some of the other players – like Mila the female killing machine, and Leonie the computer genius – could possibly do what they are supposed to have done. And while the criminal organization has some degree of robustness as an idea, the opposing Round Table (bunch of goodies) comes across as a piece of Holywood hokum. It’s not credible and it doesn’t work.

In summary, if you put your reasoning powers on hold, you will be entertained. But I wish the author would ditch this lot and do something different that stacked up as being more credible. In other words, he needs to change the formula to get the best out of his writing skill.

Score: 6/10