Abbott, Jeff. Inside Man. Grand Central. Jul. 2014. 400p. ISBN 978-1-4555-2845-5. $26. F
The fourth thriller in Abbott’s Sam Capra series (Adrenaline; The Last Minute; Downfall) starts with the murder of Sam's friend, Steve, a security agent employed by Cordelia Varela to trace $10 million in cash that her father, sole owner of a global transportation company, has offered to her charity. As in Shakespeare’s King Lear, the crusty old man, Rey (King) Varela (note the jumbled acronym in the last four letters) is fading fast. Aided by his blind assistant, Kent, he intends to divide his Miami-based empire between Cordelia, Galo (her older half brother), and their stepsister Zhanna. Another son, Edwin, kidnapped several years earlier, is presumed dead. Sam, an ex-CIA special projects man himself, makes his way into this maze seeking both to help Cordelia and avenge Steve’s death. VERDICT Series fans will overlook the occasional awkward prose, the world-weariness of the 26-year-old protagonist, the mistaken allusions tied to the overriding theme of a labyrinth (where twice Perseus, rather than Theseus, is said to have killed the Minotaur), and the sketchy descriptions (favorite adjectives include [big, large, massive, small, little,] "nice," [lovely,] "stunning," and "striking"),* but others may find it a slow go until Abbott hits his stride a third of the way in. Then the pace picks up, intriguing complications ensue, and the action leads to a terrific conclusion.
* adjectives enclosed within brackets were deleted from this review by the editor
Library Journal, 139, no. 9 (May 15, 2014), p. 64.