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Sunday 11 December 2016

‘The First Order’ by Jeff Abbott

Published by Sphere,
27 October 2016.
ISBN: 978-0-7515-5735-0 (PB)     

I do love a good thriller, and The First Order by Jeff Abbott is a good thriller. More than that, it's a great thriller with tension and a twisty plot featuring ex-CIA agents, KGB agents, terrorists, anti-terrorists, Americans, Russians and a few Europeans. The action takes place mainly in Russia, Miami and London, with a bit of Afghanistan thrown in.

It was the darkest day of Sam Capra's life when he watched his brother Danny executed by extremists in a video posted online. But now, years later, evidence has emerged that shows Danny could still be alive. And that he has been leading a dangerous and double life. What's more, Sam discovers that Danny may be plotting a murder that could change history – assassinating the Russian president.

Determined to stop his brother from committing a murder that could start a war, Sam launches a one-man mission to save the world – and his brother.  But how far will he have to go?

This is the fifth in Abbott's Sam Capra series, and as I am an Abbott fan, I have read the other four. But I do feel you don't need to have read the others before this one, as enough of the backstory is explained (and explained well) and you quickly get to know the main character and the relationship he had as a child with his brother.

As a reader, you are quickly drawn into the exhilarating story that has enough twists and turns to make your head spin and keep you engaged. And the main question running through the narrative for Sam is: who can he trust?  Well, no-one really.

I thoroughly enjoyed the settings and the high-octane story. The character of Sam Capra is well-drawn and his relationship with the mysterious and talented Mila is nicely developed. And the great thing is, that although the story is resolved in the end, Abbott does leave room for us to ask, what will Sam's future hold?

Looking forward to finding that out.
Reviewer: Mary-Jane Riley

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.

Mary-Jane Riley wrote her first story on her newly acquired blue Petite typewriter. She was eight. It was about a gang of children who had adventures on mysterious islands, but she soon realised Enid Blyton had cornered that particular market. So she wrote about the Wild West instead. When she grew up she had to earn a living, and became a BBC radio talk show presenter and journalist. She has covered many life-affirming stories, but also some of the darkest events of the past two decades. Then, in true journalistic style, she decided not to let the facts get in the way of a good story and got creative. She wrote for women's magazines and small presses. She formed WriteOutLoud with two writer friends to help charities get their message across using their life stories. Now she is writing psychological suspense, drawing on her experiences in journalism.
The Bad Things by Mary-Jane Riley was published by Harper Collins/Killer Reads. Her second book, After She Fell, also published by Killer Reads, is out on April 28th.
In her spare time Mary-Jane likes to walk the dog and eat a lot. Good job she likes walking.

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