Abbott’s (Downfall, 2013, etc.) hip young ex-CIA spy Sam Capra tangles with international smugglers in this fast-moving but ultimately far-fetched thriller.
Sam’s quiet life running a Miami Beach bar is interrupted when his close friend and co-worker Steve Robles is murdered, just after a meeting with a mysterious woman. After chasing down the killers, Sam identifies the woman as Cordelia, the charity-minded heiress of the mega-wealthy Varela family. Cordelia’s name is one of a few intentional parallels to Shakespeare’s King Lear. Patriarch Rey Varela is losing his faculties, and a mortal family battle is under way over the future of his shipping business. Looking to avenge his friend, Sam poses as Cordelia’s boyfriend and slips inside the family circle, meeting insecure and ambitious son Galo and beautiful, ruthless stepdaughter Zhanna. He soon discovers the dark side of the family business. It’s hard to overlook the implausibility of many plot turns, especially during the book’s climax, when two characters thought dead are resurrected. Using only a book and a pencil, Sam overpowers his captors at a maximum security prison after they inexplicably allow him a one-on-one meeting without tying him down. And he somehow gets himself and other escapees rescued with a single phone call from the deep jungles of Brazil, when none of them have any idea of their location.
Add in the multiple brushes with gunfire he survives while unarmed and the run he makes without harm through a minefield, and Capra may be the one of the luckiest sleuths in literature.