Panic by Jeff Abbott
|Panic by Jeff Abbott|
|Reviewer: Kerry King|
|Summary: What would you do if everything in your life was a lie? Evan Casher has to solve this problem to save his own life. Apart from a weak mid section the book's a real page-turner and is recommended by Bookbag.|
|Buy? No||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 416||Date: June 2006|
I've often asked myself "what if?" What if I had stuck to that diet and lost a stone? What if I had bought a pair of those gorgeous kitten heeled shoes I have been coveting in both available colours? The tag- line for this novel is one that really makes you stop and think.
"What if everything in your life was a lie?"
Suffice to say a question like that added to the allure of a book brave enough to go with a single-worded title, was enough to spirit this book from the shelf and into my hands. In fact, I didn't really put it down over the two days it took to read. The blurb said it was a page-turner and whilst I usually ignore critiques from the likes of Romance Readers Connection dot com (seriously!) I would have to agree with them. To put its page-turnability into perspective, I must tell you that I read it whilst on holiday, largely with nothing better to do and to avoid yet another game of Top Trumps - Supercars with my 41 year-old husband, and although it didn't set my world aflame in the way that similar "killerthriller" books have done, it was certainly riveting stuff.
Jeff Abbott it seems has a rare gift: the ability to get under your skin with a concept. You might think that there is little more story this novel can tell once you have read the jacket - that in fact the plot is all set out and given away, but that's where you would be wrong.
Evan Casher, 24 year old documentary film-maker is cresting a wave of professional and emotional success. He has already been nominated for an Oscar and has fallen hard in total and utter, schoolboy love, hearts, flowers, bluebirds etc. with the beautiful Carrie. Evan would be right in thinking that life does not get any better than this.
Except this is not actually his life.
Following an unnerving and frankly worrying conversation with his mother and at her behest, Evan unwillingly undertakes a two hour drive across Texas. He is mildly alarmed that she will not explain why she wants him to come home so urgently and more so when he arrives at his parents' home to find his mother's brutally murdered body sprawled over the kitchen floor.
Narrowly escaping the same fate, he is rescued by an inscrutable gun-for-hire who forces Evan into co-operating with him, telling him it's what he has to do if he wants to save his own skin.
Evan is suddenly plunged into a nightmare world that he does not recognise. His father, in Australia on business, is mysteriously unreachable, Carrie has disappeared, his mother is dead and the same people that murdered her are now trying to kill him. Evan has nowhere to turn and no one that he can trust.
And all this in the first chapter!
Firstly, I liked how Jeff Abbott made me ask myself what I would do if my life turned out to be "not as we know it". Where would I go? What would I do? Who, if all the people I had ever trusted, could no longer be relied upon to tell the truth, would I turn to? I don't mean to say I sat and pondered this and the Existence of God for three days, but it certainly popped in and out of my head whilst reading.
Evan soon understands that if he is to survive, he must uncover the truth. And so the story unfolds, never in a straight line and with many blind alleys and convolutions along the way.
I have to confess that around mid-story, I had a very good idea of who was wearing what hat and why. However, what I did not see coming was the veering of the plot towards the end.
I am giving Panic four Bookbag stars and not five because the mid-section of the story was a tiny bit transparent, but I was once again in opaque territory, plot-wise, once I progressed toward the ending.
You can read more book reviews or buy Panic by Jeff Abbott at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Panic by Jeff Abbott at Amazon.com.
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