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3.9 out of 5 stars25
3.9 out of 5 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon 27 December 2013
I've read and enjoyed Panic by Jeff Abbott but hadn't yet read any of the Sam Capra series. This book is number 3 and whilst it would be an advantage to have read the previous two, I felt there was sufficient backstory for this to easily be read as a standalone.

Sam Capra is an ex-CIA agent, who owns a string of bars across the globe whilst working undercover for a powerful and mysterious secret network called The Round Table. They are seemingly the "good guys". He has no desire to go looking for trouble and just wants a quiet life with his young son, but when he gets caught up with murderous Russian mobsters and a sinister network of people who will stop at nothing to achieve power and success; he ends up fighting for his life.

I really liked the character of Sam. He is tough - he knows how to look after himself and can kill when he has to but he is not a villain. He is loyal to his friends and if you were in a corner, you would want Sam on your side.

Jeff Abbott has created a ruthless cast of characters. Even the good guys like Sam and his female boss Mila, have nerves of steel. There is a lot of violence however it is neither gratuitous nor graphic. The story centres around one man, John Belias and his hunt for a young woman named Diana Keene, the daughter of one of his operatives. Diana Keene has information that could destroy Belias' network. A man so powerful, he can invoke feelings of terror in those he instructs to carry out his murderous deeds if they don't succeed. It seems that nothing can stand in his way, he is able to control the authorities to ensure there is no hiding place for those he has his sights on - and he now has his eye on Sam Capra.

This was certainly an action packed thriller from start to finish. Some elements of the story may seem a little far fetched and at times complicated but who cares. I don't want to give away any spoilers as it is a story best discovered by reading it but this is a pacy read, full of twists and turns and double crossings which will keep you turning the pages. I'm sure this would appeal to fans of Greg Hurwitz and Simon Kernick. I for one will certainly be catching up with Sam Capra's history and look forward to reading future books.

My thanks to The Crime Vault for the paperback copy to review.
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From the time we were small children and read fairy tales we have been exposed to the idea of individuals making a deal with the devil in order to achieve something in their lives, be it fame, fortune, beauty or power. Sometimes the devil's name was Rumpelstiltskin, in Little Shop of Horrors it was Audrey II, and in the movie DEVIL"S ADVOCATE John Milton delivered dreams on demand. Now, with DOWNFALL, author Jeff Abbott gives us a new deal making/ wish fulfilling, master manipulator of a devil. His name is Belias and he can fulfill your every wish IF you're willing to pay the price by doing his bidding.

Abbott's protagonist is Sam Capra is an ex-CIA agent, husband, and father. He is in his mid-twenties is the quasi-owner of an international network of bars that are in reality owned by a secret group known as The Round Table. How and why Sam came to "own" the bars and how Belias gained his power are part and parcel of this story.

Much like Lee Child's Jack Reacher character, Sam has a talent for inadvertently becoming involved in other people's problems while just minding his own business and trying to lead a "normal" life. While checking in at one of his bars, The Select in San Francisco, he is drawn into a convoluted game of murder and mayhem when two killers enter his bar in pursuit of a young woman named Diane Keene who begs Sam for help. Ever the chivalrous, macho male, Sam rushes to her aid and when the smoke clears one of the attackers is dead and the other seriously wounded.

From that point forward the reader, along with Sam, is drawn into a fast moving, multi-faceted; Gordian knot of a tale where no one and nothing is what it seems and it is difficult to separate the good guys from the bad. The denouement, takes place over several chapters as Sam deftly unties the knots leading him to the infamous Belias.

While reading the two previous Sam Capra books would have provided more back story about Sam, I do not feel that beginning with DOWNFALL in any way lessened my enjoyment of this novel.

DOWNFALL is recommended for fans of Vince Flynn, Robert Crais, Allan Folsom, Robert Ludlum and of course, Lee Child.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2014
Having read the previous Sam Capra novels, I had been eagerly awaiting this one. I can't begin to explain what a let down it was. The writing style seems laboured, storyline so boring that I didn't even finish it, mainly because I was past caring whether characters lived or died, nor did I care why people had done what they did. i'm just glad I didn't pay full price for it. I've struggled through it for weeks, I feel nothing but relief that it's over and I can move onto something more captivating, Such a disppointing read
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Third adventure with Sam Capra, young, ex CIA and trained to Jason Bourne super spy level. But now he runs bars as a front for an organisation that acts as a force for good.
In Downfall he steps in to help a girl being attacked in one of his bars and ends up swept into something that uses the manipulation of data with a very dark agenda.
For some reason I found it hard to get into this one, it was far too complex for a start with about four secret organisations and some characters it was hard to like.
This was more of a chore than it should have been, I think Jeff Abbott tried to be too clever with the plot and the twists and took his eye of the ball of delivering a compelling and exciting story.
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on 5 August 2014
I really enjoyed this book after reading the other Sam Capra novels. The only problem i have is trying to remember what happened in the previous novels as there's a gap between them all. Jeff does do a very good job of reminding you though so you don't get too confused if you forget something.
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on 24 February 2014
I have read all of the Sam Capra books and this is another enjoyable instalment. Keeps you interested throughout and I would recommend this to anyone who liked the previous two books and those who simply enjoy a good thriller.
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on 11 June 2014
Jeff Abbott offer superb characters, gripping plots and doesn't add too much fluffy background info, both the Sam Capra and Jordan Poteet series are excellent reads and can we have more please Jeff
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on 1 November 2013
I love these Sam Capra books, it gives a good tangible plot and story to follows. I would easily recommend it to others but start from the beginning otherwise it won't make sense!
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on 15 August 2013
i found the book interesting with a good plot. i think the writing could be improved a little school boyish in places . i would recommend to crime readers who wanted an easy read
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on 20 February 2014
Started well, full of promise. Then it became extremely complicated, especially if you've not read any other Sam Capra. It also became slightly unbelievable.
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