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Monday, July 16, 2012

The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott

Title:†The Last Minute
Author: Jeff Abbott
Series: Sam Carpa (#2)
Publisher:††Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date:††July 3, 2012

Summary: Sam Capra has one reason to live: to rescue his baby son from the people who abducted him. An ex-CIA agent, Sam now owns bars around the world as cover for his real mission-working undercover for a secret network as mysterious as it is powerful, while using his skills to find his child.
Now the kidnappers have offered a deadly deal: they'll surrender Sam's child...if Sam finds and murders the one man who can expose them. Teaming up with a desperate young mother whose daughter is also missing, Sam tracks his prey-and his son-across the country in a dangerous race against time, and must unravel a deadly conspiracy if he's to rescue the only person in the world that matters to him.
Review: To say that Sam Carpal is motivated would be an understatement. His ex-wife, who committed treason against the CIA and cost Sam his job with the "Special Projects", now lies in a permanent vegetative state. His former employers are actively pursuing him for his alleged crimes that occurred while trying to clean up the mess that his wife created. On top of that, a mysterious criminal group, the Nine Suns, has kidnapped his newborn son, Daniel. The only way Sam will ever see his son again is if he finds and murders the man who holds the evidence to expose the Nine Suns. If he fails to kill the man, his son will die. Like I said, motivation is an understatement.

To assist with this assignment, Sam is provided with a hacker, Leonie, whose young daughter, Taylor, has also been abducted. Together, they set out to hunt down the man who stands between them and their children. Emotionally conflicted, the pair struggles to come to terms with killing an innocent man, but they decide that they will do anything to bring their children to safety.†

Adding further conflict is Mila, Sam's boss with "The Round Table", a resistance group that he joined after his departure from the CIA. Mila wants to help Sam to find his son, but Sam has been given specific instructions that state only he and Leonie can pursue the evidence. When another force, which is searching for the mysterious Mila (she has a 1 million dollar price for her capture), begins to interfere with Sam's investigation, he is forced also try to protect her.†

Being Abbott's second novel to feature Sam Carpal, "The Last Minute" begins by picking up in the middle of action. While readers of the previous installment were probably ready for the action that begins in this one, I found it a bit slow to start. Without any character background at the onset, it was hard to really care about all of the opening action. Fortunately, the characters become more developed as the novel progresses, and I became thoroughly invested in their story. The character of Mila is particularly fascinating, and her background story of revenge left me craving more. Overall, Abbott doesn't stray too far from the typical thriller mold, but the novel is a very entertaining read.†

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