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Monday, 6 July 2015

‘The Inside Man’ by Jeff Abbott

Published by Sphere,
23 April 2015.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-4793-1

This is another of those high-octane thrillers the Americans are so good at, the fourth in the Sam Capra series.  Sam, a former CIA agent, has a debt to repay.   Years ago, in another country, Steve saved the lives of Sam and his parents, and Sam owes him big time.  But as the book opens, Steve is shot dead outside Stormy's, Sam's bar in Miami.

Sam Capra is determined to find the killer and get justice for his murdered friend. His only lead is a young woman Steve was talking to just before he was killed.   With not much to go on except the young woman, Cordelia by name, he finds himself assuming the name Sam Chevalier, and infiltrating the powerful, dysfunctional family of the Varelas in Puerto Rico, where Steve had been working as a security guard. 

The head of this family is Rey Varela, who is intent on dividing his business empire between his three heirs, (echoes of King Lear here) an empire in which more illegitimate cargo than legal is shipped. The Varelas are into everything, from arms to people.  As with so many thrillers, nobody is exactly what they seem and everyone is hiding dark, dirty and dangerous secrets.  Sam's uncovering of these secrets may cost him his life, because now he knows them, he cannot be allowed to get away with the information. 

There is an elaborate series of plot twists which sees Sam shipped in a coffin to a secret high-security prison in the jungle from which there is no escape, crossing a minefield, and finally managing to bring some of the long-term prisoners back to civilisation.  One of them turns out to be a long-lost scion of the family Varela.  

It's all an elaborate caper, and thoroughly enjoyable, if you like thrills, spills and vicarious danger. And who doesn't?
Reviewer: Susan Moody

Jeff Abbott graduated from Rice University with a degree in History and English. H is the New York Times bestselling, award-winning author of many mystery and suspense novels. He has been called “one of the best thriller writers in the business”
He lives in Austin with his wife and two sons.

Susan Moody was born and brought up in Oxford.  She has published over 30 crime and suspense novels, including the Penny Wanawake series and the Cassandra Swann bridge series.  She is a past Chairman of the British Crime Writers' Association, a member of the Detection Club, a past Writer-in-Residence at the University of Tasmania and a past President of the International Association of Crime Writers.  She divides her time between south-west France and south-east Kent.   Nominated for the CWA short story award.  Nominated for the RNA's award. 

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