Dutton, 2006 (2006)
Reviewed by Tim Davis
veryone fears something. But almost everyone finds ways of either confronting or mitigating those fears. For some people, though, fear can completely destroy them.
ith that being said, meet Miles Kendrick, Celeste Brent, and Nathan Ruiz. These are three people in Jeff Abbott's exciting new thriller who are dramatically overwhelmed by fear, but - because of the dangers that confront them and threaten to spiral out of control - they must each find the courage to survive.
iles, a former private investigator from Miami is now starting a new life as Michael Raymond in the federal witness protection program by living and working under that assumed name in Santa Fe, New Mexico, but he is frightened by the past - especially the murderous incident in which he was involved; Celeste, a financially secure reality TV celebrity is now reduced to living an agoraphobic and marginal existence in her Santa Fe home, and she cannot get beyond her fearful recollections of her husband's death; Nathan, a brittle and haunted veteran of the war in Iraq, is currently an isolated patient in a private psychiatric care facility that specializes in innovative treatments, and he is entrapped within his fearsome recollections of his participation in the barbaric realities of warfare. Each, according to the medical authorities, suffers from post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Each also has a connection with Dr. Allison Vance, a Santa Fe psychiatrist.
owever, when Dr. Vance is apparently murdered in an explosion at her office, the three PTSD patients suddenly find themselves unwittingly implicated in an extremely volatile situation. The mysterious explosion seems to be linked to the fact that someone at the nearby psychiatric care facility had been secretly testing a new drug called Frost, a pharmaceutical breakthrough for PTSD patients. With the potential for billions of dollars in profit linked to Frost, other people with mysterious and surprising backgrounds begin showing a ruthless interest in obtaining control of the miracle cure.
n a wickedly fast-paced tale that throws Miles, Celeste, and Nathan together, the psychologically impaired yet surprisingly resilient and resourceful trio in Jeff Abbott's
must elude, confront, and survive several murderous villains who each seem intent upon seizing control of the secret of Frost - and the apparently bad-to-the-bone heavies believe Dr. Vance had left the key to the secret with either Miles, Celeste, or Nathan. The author, Abbott, takes the three good guys and more than a few apparent bad guys out of New Mexico on a harrowing cross-country adventure - with stops in Yosemite, Santa Monica, and Austin - and the roller-coaster action with all of its pursuit, menace, surprises, and violence never stops until the very last page.
owever, be forewarned reader: In many cases, the straight-forward appearances of reality in Abbott's novel are in many cases, after all, merely appearances; in fact, so many red herrings have been dragged along the trails of the plot in Abbott's thriller that you may find yourself jumping to erroneous conclusions more than a couple of times.
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