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by Jeff Abbott
Time Warner, June 2006
416 pages
ISBN: 0751538310

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Evan Casher is a young filmmaker. Everything in his life is going well and he is happy -- until he goes to visit his mother after an urgent phone call and finds her murdered. Evan barely escapes an attempt on his own life and he is soon thrown into a struggle against powerful forces. He realises that he is not who he thought he was, but will he able to discover the truth behind his past?

As the title of the novel would suggest, PANIC is a frantic, frenetic ride from start to finish. Abbott cranks up the pace from the start of the novel and it never slows down. With the requisite car chases, shootings, plane rides and much more, PANIC would make an excellent Hollywood thriller.

It is true that this sometimes means concentrating on action, rather than fleshing out characters and at times, it has to be said that the novel stretches the boundaries of credulity, but this is the same as any spy thriller does. PANIC

is in the same vein as thrillers such as The Bourne Identity, but the difference here is that Evan Casher is an ordinary person who has become embroiled in a fight against armed and trained killers.

As a general premise, there is nothing surprising about the novel and the secrets that it reveals about the killers, but Abbott does succeed in putting in some innovative ideas that even the most prolific of thriller readers will find intriguing.

The thriller genre is increasingly crowded and it is becoming harder and harder for authors to sell their books. PANIC, nevertheless, meets many of the criteria necessary for it to be a best-seller. It is true that the ending could have been somewhat sharper, but overall, the sheer pace and enjoyment factor will be enough for readers to ignore these minor quibbles.

Reviewed by Luke Croll, June 2006

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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