Adrenaline (Sam Capra Series #1)by Jeff Abbott
"If you knew this was our final day together, what would you say to me?"
"Anything but good-bye. I can't ever say good-bye to you."
Sam Capra is living the life of his dreams.
He's a brilliant young CIA agent, stationed in London. His wife Lucy is seven months pregnant with their first child. They have/strong>/i>/i>… See more details below
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"If you knew this was our final day together, what would you say to me?"
"Anything but good-bye. I can't ever say good-bye to you."
Sam Capra is living the life of his dreams.
He's a brilliant young CIA agent, stationed in London. His wife Lucy is seven months pregnant with their first child. They have a wonderful home, and are deeply in love.
They have everything they could hope for...until they lose it all in one horrifying moment.
On a bright, sunny day, Sam receives a call from Lucy while he's at work. She tells him to leave the building immediately. He does...just before it explodes, killing everyone inside. Lucy vanishes, and Sam wakes up in a prison cell. As the lone survivor of the attack, he is branded by the CIA as a murderer and a traitor.
Escaping from the agency, Sam launches into a desperate hunt to save his kidnapped wife and child, and to reveal the unknown enemy who has set him up and stolen his family. But the destruction of Sam's life was only step on in an extraordinary plot-and now Sam must become a new kind of hero.
Adrenaline has everything-relentless action, mind-bending intrigue, and twists and turns you won't see coming. It's exhilarating, and confirms Jeff Abbott as one of the best thriller writers of our time."Harlan Coben"
Adrenaline lives up to its name. Pure thriller in pace, but Abbott manages to keep the book's heart in the right place. The characters aren't cardboard action figures, but people under incredible stresses and strains. I read it in a big gulp."Charlaine Harris"
Engaging from the first paragraph, terrifying from the second page, ADRENALINE accomplishes what most modern thrillers can't. It makes us care about its characters even while we're speeding headlong down the ingenious Rabbit Hole of its plot. Well done!"Eric Van Lustbader"
I am, and always have been, a devoted Jeff Abbott fan. Adrenaline takes him to a whole new level. Sam Capra is the perfect hero-tough, smart, pure of heart, and hard to kill. And Adrenaline is the perfect thriller. Taut and edgy, with breakneck pacing and perfect plotting, it's a breathless race from the shocking, heart-wrenching opening sequence to the stunning conclusion. Jeff Abbott is a master, and Adrenaline is his best book yet."Lisa Unger, NYT bestselling author of Fragile
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By Abbott, Jeff
Grand Central PublishingCopyright © 2011 Abbott, Jeff
All right reserved.
NOVEMBER 14–APRIL 10
“In the flux that defines the world of the illegal, beginnings are often endings and vice versa… Trillions of dollars move around the world outside of legal channels… They ruin the lives of some and create vast empires of profit for others.”
—Carolyn Nordstrom, Global Outlaws
ONCE MY WIFE ASKED ME: if you knew this was our final day together, what would you say to me?
We’d been married for all of a year. We were lying in bed, watching the sun begin to shine through the heavy curtains, and I answered her with the truth: anything but good-bye. I can’t ever say good-bye to you.
Two years later, that final day started as most of my days did. Up at five, I drove and parked near the tube station at Vauxhall. I like to use the public housing a few blocks away for my little adventures.
I started the run with a long warm-up in the open, exposed concrete courtyard of the old public building, slow-running in place, gathering pace, elevating my body temperature by a few critical degrees, then took off. You want your muscles and ligaments hot. A brick wall lay directly ahead of me, three feet taller than me. I hit it with a step that launched me upward, my fingers closing on the edge of its top. I pulled myself up with one fluid movement I’d practiced a thousand times before. No hard breathing, no creaking of joints. I tried to move in silence. Silence shows that you’re in control. Over the edge of the wall, running across the ground, and then a vault over a much shorter wall, one-handed, my legs clearing the bricks.
Into the main building. A stairwell, smelling of piss and decorated with a finger of black-and-white graffiti, lay ahead of me. I hit the painted wall with my left foot in a careful jump, using the energy to launch me rightward to the railing at the turn of the stair. A hard move where I’d fallen before, but today, sweet, I landed with care onto the railing, holding my balance, heart pounding, mind calm. Adrenaline thump. I jumped from the railing to an extended steel bar that stretched into the construction site, used the momentum to swing myself over to a gutted floor. The building was being torn apart and redone. I would damage nothing, leave no sign of passage. I might be a trespasser, but I’m not a jerk. I ran to the opposite side of the floor, launched into the air, caught another bar of steel, swung, let go, and hit the ground in a careful roll. The energy from the fall spread across my back and butt rather than jamming in my knees, and I was up and running again, back into the building, looking for a new, more efficient way to enter its spaces. Parkour, the art of moving, gets my adrenaline going while, at the same time, a slow calm creeps over me. Make a misstep and I fall down the brick walls. It is exhilarating and settling all at once.
I made another three passes through the building’s interesting web of space—broken floors, gaping stairwells, equipment—using a mix of runs, vaults, jumps, and drops to find the line—the simplest and most straightforward path through the half-ruined walls, the low brick rises, the empty staircases. Energy burned my muscles, my heart pounded, but the whole time I tried to maintain a distinct and separate calm. Find the line, always the line. Around me, in the distance, I could hear traffic beginning to build, the sky lightening for the new day.
People think that what the British call council housing is an eyesore. It’s all in how you look at it. To a parkour runner the old square buildings are beautiful. Full of planes and walls to run up and bounce off, railings and ledges to walk and jump from, neighbors who don’t call the police at the merest noise.
The last route, I dropped from the second story to the first, grabbing a bar, swinging, letting go in a controlled fall.
“Hey!” a voice yelled at me as I slammed through the air. I hit, rolled, let the energy of impact bleed nicely through my shoulders and bottom. I ended up on my feet and took three steps and stopped.
Not a guard, a teenager, watching me. A morning cigarette perched on his lip. “How do you do that, man?”
“Practice,” I said. “Long, boring hours of practice.”
“Like a spider,” he said, smiling. “My mum and I been watching. She wanted to call the Old Bill. I said no.”
“Thank you.” I really didn’t need the police in my life. Time to find a new place to practice. I waved at my benefactor and decided to cool down with a long, straightforward run. Twenty minutes in a long, looping circle, a normal jogger out for his paces, and I jumped back into my car to drive home. Most Americans living in London don’t have cars. You don’t need them.
I have one for security.
I headed up to our apartment off Charlotte Street, not far from the British Museum. I slipped inside, trying to be quiet, hoping that Lucy was still asleep.
She was up, drinking juice at the small kitchen table, frowning at an open laptop. She glanced at me.
“Good morning, monkey,” she said, putting her gaze back to the laptop. “Out making mischief?”
I’d forgotten to take off the hand coverings I wore to protect my palms on the parkour runs. I could hear the disappointment in her voice.
“You didn’t fall off a building,” she said.
“No, Lucy.” I poured a glass of juice.
“What a relief. When you miss grabbing the edge of a wall and plummet to an untimely end, I can tell the baby you died getting your morning fix of crazy.”
“The walls aren’t high. I don’t take stupid chances.” Defensive.
“When I’m expecting, Sam, any chance is a stupid one.”
“Sorry. Mostly it was a normal jog.” I took off the palm protectors, stuffed them in my pocket. I went to the fridge and found a cold bottle of water. I took refuge in it, drinking slowly and steadily. Shower, coffee, then a long day at the office. The adrenaline rush was gone for the day.
“I love you. I want you to know that.”
“I know that. I love you, too.” I turned from the refrigerator, looked at her. She was still studying her laptop, her hand perched on the soft fullness of her belly. The baby was seven months along, and I suppose, with the imminence of parenthood, Lucy and I were both more serious these days. Well, she was. I hadn’t yet been able to give up parkour runs, interspersed with my regular miles.
“I wonder if you might find a less dangerous hobby.”
“My job is more dangerous than my hobby.”
“Don’t joke,” she said. Now she looked at me. In her morning rumple, she was beautiful to me, brown hair with auburn highlights, serious brown eyes, a heart-shaped face with a full, red mouth. I loved her eyes the most. “I know you can do your job better than anyone. I’m scared you’ll take a stupid fall doing these runs. I don’t need you with a broken neck with a baby about to be born.”
“Okay. I’ll learn golf.”
She made a face that told me she didn’t take my promise seriously. But she said, “Thank you. Remember, tonight we have dinner with the Carstairs and the Johnsons.”
I smiled. They were her friends, not mine, but they were all nice people, and I knew our regular dinners out in London would become much rarer once the baby arrived. And maybe they knew a golf instructor. “Okay, I’ll be home by five, then.”
“We’re meeting them at six at the tapas bar in Shoreditch. Do you have a big morning?”
“A PowerPoint-heavy one,” I said. “Briefings all day with Brandon and the suits from back home.” I looked at her as she stood to stretch, her hands on the swell of her belly. “But I could cancel. Go to the doctor’s with you.”
“Save me from the PowerPoint. Let me go with you and The Bundle.” We kept skirting the discussion of names, so I’d given our imminent child a pseudonym.
“The Bundle.” She patted the top of her swell.
“Actually, I may have to meet you at the restaurant. I might have to go drink a quick pint with the suits after the meetings.”
She laughed and smiled and said, “Oh, such a tough job you have.”
I thought, thank God I don’t have my parents’ marriage. Lucy and I didn’t fight, didn’t glare, didn’t inflict long, painful silences.
“Go and bar-hop without your pregnant wife.” She smiled and closed her laptop. “But not quite yet.”
She came to me and slid her hands up my back. Pregnant women are full of surprises; it’s like living with a breeze that can’t settle on its direction. I loved it. She kissed me with a surprising hunger, almost a ferocity, her belly big between us.
“I’m hot and sweaty and gross,” I said. “I’m a yucky husband.”
“Yes,” she said. “Yes, you are, monkey. And I’m enormous.”
“Yes,” I said. “Yes, you are.” And I kissed her.
When we were done, the sweetest start to that final day, I made us a breakfast of toast, coffee, and juice, then showered, dressed, and went to our office. Before I walked out, I looked back at her, at the breakfast table, and I said, “I love you,” and she said, “I love you.”
Famous last words.
Excerpted from Adrenaline by Abbott, Jeff Copyright © 2011 by Abbott, Jeff. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Meet the Author
Jeff Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of fourteen novels. He is the winner of an International Thriller Writers Award (for the Sam Capra thriller The Last Minute) and is a three-time nominee for the Edgar award. He lives in Austin with his family. You can visit his website at www.JeffAbbott.com.
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Within the first five pages I could tell this was going to be a great story. I've read Mr. Abbott's books in the past and liked them. This one I loved. Sam Capra is living a normal life, at least as normal as someone working for the CIA can have. Living in London with his wife, Lucy, waiting for the birth of their child. Going to the office, searching for the bad guys, coming home at night, meeting their friends. Pretty routine. Then - BAM! It all changes in 30 seconds. I can't wait for the next in the series.
This was an action packed fast easy read. The characters and the story line gripped me from beginning to the end. I can't wait to read the next book to follow Sam on his next mission. I liked that the author did not bog you down with boring details of landscapes and such..just got right to the point and gave you all the visual info you needed to know.
This book really grabbed my interest early on, in chapter one. At around the half-way point is where it gets really exciting, though! By the time I got there, I was so anxious to find out what would happen next that I found myself awake until 5:00 AM still reading! Great start on a fresh new series and I can't wait for the next installment!
Harriet Klauser, stop ruining the books for everyone!!!
Read this if you want a book that you simply can't put down.
Adrenaline by Jeff Abbott certainly has a fitting title. The book is packed with action and characters in extreme situations making insane choices to keep themselves and others alive. While part of the title comes from the main character’s hobby of parkour, which I think is ridiculous, it fits well. Sam Capra is an innocent CIA Agent framed for a heinous crime. Readers are struggling with Sam as he comes to grip with his life’s massive changes. When he starts to right the wrongs he was saddled with it’s a non-stop thrill ride. While the science involved in the “evil” weapon is a little hokey and the last twist was obvious its still a very good book and leads into many more options. Overall, a fun, fast paced action novel!
Rread this book in2days the ending left me wanting more sam capra
Couldnt put it down...an easy, fast paced read
Outsranding book, hard to put down! Long too, you get your value both in quantity and quality, highly recommended. Bob Nagy
Very good reading and fast paced. Reminded me of the earlier "Harry Bosch" series by Michael Connelly books. Looking forward to the next book as well as a continuing series on "Sam Capra".
Overall the book was very interesting and hard to set down. There is alot of viloence and many people die. Sam capra is a cool character which has many ideas on how to escape and being friends with all sorts of people. The main question in book 1 that i always wanted to find was: did his wife betray him, and the company? Great book 400+ page book with action on every page. Enjoy a great book and relax.
Grabs you on the first page! At the end you want more!
I have not read this book as of yet so the low rating I am tired of those reviewers who need to go into detail about the book . I am put off from buying a book because the story is ruined. I would like to find out for myself it spoils the book, why can't they just say something like the story keeps you guessing or the characters are believable. I do not want a book report!!!!
Good characters. Fast paced. Could be based on actual things going on in the world. Violence. I recommend it.
The world must know about a great book !!!!
I love this series. It is a bit un realistic, as some have pointed out. But it is FICTION. Most movies are hard to believe too. Hope to read a long line of Sam Capra novels. Keep them coming Jeff Abbott.
Exciting, fast paced. Super characters.
Bit far out at times, but enjoyable
I was excited to find a new author that I hadn't tried before. Kept my attention until the very end!
Move over Jason Bourne! I loved this book. I have read other Jeff Abbot books, but this was his best so far.
Great plot and lots of twists and turns. Great reda!
I don't know how important reviews are for others, but for the author and for avid readers, reviews often dictate our purchasing choices for writers with whom we are unfamiliar. Why would any person choose to paraphrase the whole book and spoil the suspense for others? These books are called "thrillers, mysteries" for a reason. Don't you remember what book reports were graded on in school? B&N should do a better job of monitoring reviews, pay attention when reviews are flagged (which I do when the medium is misused), and make certain the e-book is readable. Can't you afford to pay someone to monitor reviews for content or to actually read the e-book for quality? Amazon, for example, does not publish reviews instantly and policies are maintained. We certainly pay enough for digital copies of books! If you can't do a better job with this area, then maybe it is time to move to a Kindle! And, PEOPLE, please don't read this genre if you don't expect violence and profanity! Grow up, for God's sake!
This book had me on the edge of my seat. I was so into it that I felt as if I WAS the characters themselves, who were so greatly developed. The thrill and action was so extreme and entertaining, I stayed up until 5 AM reading this book until I finished. I recommend this book for everyone. It will not disappoint.
Way too sadistic for me, I love good suspense and love stories but this book has too many twist, too much horrible things in it. Not a single crime is left out of this book, plus these people walk around in hours after being beaten, shot and tasered like it never happened to them. Unrealistic and I know its fiction. I skipped some of the 416 pages but did finish it just wanted to make sure I had the correct bad guy and l did. GJRA
This was my first Jeff Abbott book. I now will read them all. Great reading, hard to put down!! No slow spots. Will recomend to friends and do recomend to any one its a great read. I also like that there is no explicet sex sceanes and bad language every other word! Proof a book is good without trash.