Culture Magazine

Book Review – Downfall by Jeff Abbott

By Manofyesterday


Sam Capra is a retired CIA agent who only wants to run bars and spend time with his son, Daniel. But one evening a young woman runs into his bar screaming for help, and Sam soon finds himself embroiled in a conspiracy with a dangerous man who hacks lives.

Downfall isn’t part of a series per se, but Sam Capra is a character that carries over from book to book. I haven’t read any other Sam Capra books so I was just taking this as a standalone novel, although the author did a good job of filling in the history of the character without giving big dumps of exposition.

The book is fairly easy to read and the plot is okay. I found it was getting better and better and then the ending petered out and it didn’t feel climactic at all, which isn’t what I want from a book that’s over 500 pages. There are a few characters, some of which work better than others, but some which I found more interesting than the main character. It’s billed as a Sam Capra thriller but honestly, the story could have worked without him.

The plot of the villain is an intriguing one, and there are minor spoilers here. Basically he set up a network where he did favors for certain people, and promised them a life of luxury, these people do other jobs for him, which benefit other people in the network, and none of them know each other. So they’re all tied to the central hub but he has so much information on them they can’t betray him. It was an interesting concept and one I enjoyed reading about.

The style of the author was…functional is probably the best way I can describe it. It felt quite standard and it was just barely enough to keep me going when the plot sagged. It’s a book that I read and I didn’t feel like giving up on it while reading, but now that I’ve finished it, I realize that it didn’t leave any lingering impression on me. I don’t feel much attachment to Sam Capra and this book doesn’t make me want to go out and read the other books starring him. So, overall, I’d suggest giving this one a miss.

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