The Last Minute

The Last MinuteI’ve read most of Jeff Abbott’s previous novels, all thrillers that have satisfied without being outstanding, but his latest offering, The Last Minute, is definitely a step above.

It is as fast and furious as a Bourne film and indeed many of the action sequences are almost cinemagraphic in their pace and detail that you can almost taste the adrenalin.

All the characters are from and of the murky world of espionage, fighting their battles in the secret underbelly of the world while the rest of us go about our mundane business blissfully unaware. This is no “innocent abroad dragged into a conspiracy over which they finally triumph.”

The central character is former CIA agent, Sam Capra, whose life turned sour when an operation in Amsterdam went badly wrong and the son he has never seen was abducted by the mandatory sinister organisation.

He is given an opportunity to reclaim his son — all he has to do is murder one man. At his side is a young mother whose daughter has been kidnapped and the two must use their skills if they are to see their children again.

The missing children perfectly explains their reluctant involvement in a plot where not everyone is who they seem and there are many twists and turns along the way, but the biggest took me by surprise in the last few pages.

Abbott writes well, getting the balance right between all-action hero and one who is also fallible at times. And he bruises and bones are broken too.

The dialogue is good and Abbott is aware of social observation beyond the shores of the US, such as when Mila, Moldovan heroine assassin settles in for an evening in London to watch Emerdale on tv.

Pure escapism, perfect for Father’s Day and well worth my five star recommendation.

2 comments… Add yours
  • Yorkshire Pudding 20th June 2011

    It sounds like a “bloke’s book” to me. As Yorkshire is such a free-thinking and liberated county, I am proud to say that I prefer more sensitive, multi-layered stories of real life. I hate detectives or secret agents in film or on TV and I also hate them in fiction so put that in yer five star pipe and smoke it ye Mancunian loon!

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  • Mr Parrot 22nd June 2011

    Well of course it’s a bloke’s book — the author’s name gives the game away. But just to prove that I too am a sensitive, reconstructed “new man”, the book I’m reading at the moment was written by a bird.

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