Paperback: 499 pages
Publication Date: 24/06/2010
If a book is called Adrenaline then it had better be one thing – fast-paced. Jeff Abbott’s latest thriller certainly doesn’t disappoint on this count. The tempo ratchets up as the book progresses and, in a similar manner to the paperback of Martina Cole’s Hard Girls, this is achieved through the use of very short chapters. In a book of almost 500 pages there are over a hundred chapters, which makes for a turbo-charged read.
At its heart is Sam Capra, a young Parkour-loving CIA operative, stationed in London with his heavily pregnant wife, Lucy. But as is the way with all thrillers, this perfect life is brought crashing down when Lucy phones him one day, warning him to leave his office moments before an explosion rips through it. She subsequently disappears, leaving Sam to be accused of treachery by his CIA employees. Is his wife a traitor? And where has she gone with their child? Living on his wits and training, Sam escapes from the US back to Europe where he finds assistance in his search for the kidnappers from Mila, a sexy, leather-clad, Glenfiddich drinking femme fatale [Europeans, what are they like!].
Filled with shady Middle Eastern businessmen and bad guys whose depravity knows no bounds [rape, paedophilia, human trafficking etc.], Adrenaline undoubtedly has its fair share of thriller stereotypes. However, it’s also brash, exciting and humorous – Sam’s briefcase contains a gun, secret documents [you know he isn’t a British spy as he doesn’t forget them on the tube] and a ham and cheese sandwich!
And whilst there are a couple of moments that seem a bit unbelievable, I’ve no experience of being an international spy, gun-runner, smuggler or evil mastermind, so who am I to comment on whether the occurrences are true to life or not? Ultimately though, Adrenaline does exactly what the genre requires of it – it thrills from start to finish. So, despite a couple of holes in the plot [minor ones, I’m probably just being pedantic], this is a unputdownable read, ferociously paced and with plenty of brutal action.
Note: Parkour is an urban movement that originated from France, and is for those who don’t find jogging enough of … well, an adrenaline rush! Look on YouTube to see what I mean.