Panic

PANIC (Dutton), Austinite JEFF ABBOTT’s first stand-alone thriller after seven serial detective offerings, is chock-full of the bold twists that make for a tell-your-friends page-turner. The plot is not groundbreaking: Young Houston documentarian Evan Casher finds his mother murdered in her Austin home; he learns that both his parents were operatives for the Deep, a big-time freelance espionage outfit; and he and his girlfriend, Carrie (oops, seems she’s a spy too), get caught between Deep honcho Steven Jargo and the CIA, who both want top-secret documents that Casher’s mother stole. But Panic’s relentless action and to-the-point prose might just win Abbott the blockbuster status that has always seemed to be waiting for him just around the bend.

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