Jeff Abbott – Adrenaline (Sam Capra 1)

Early this year I stumbled upon Jeff Abbott and his Sam Capra series. So I got hold of book 1 and recently it reached the top of my (endless?) stack of books to read. So it’s all about Adrenaline and what started the book adventures of former CIA-Agent Sam Capra. Actually, it starts at the point in his story, where he stopped being a CIA-Agent.

Sam just escapes a bomb attack on a CIA meeting, by being urged by his pregnant wife to leave the building. Consequently, he is first treated as suspect by the CIA in cooperation with his wife. He denies and also does not believe in his wife being a terrorist. And naturally he starts hunting the man he thinks responsible for the bombing and the abduction of his wife and unborn child. On his way, he joins some operatives having a similar goal.

Adrenaline is an action packed, high-paced thriller. And while the hero is kind of a fighting machine, he never appears to be a super human but a highly skilled anyone. The story evolves to a rollercoaster for Sam, where loosing and winning are held in balance. Of course, he solves the background to the bombing and about the attackers, not without some nice twists towards the end of the story.

I loved how Abbott describes the scenes and settings for Capra’s actions. The language is partially harder but not rough or overly brutal, even with quite a bunch of people dying on the way. There will surely be more of Sam Capra on my reader in the future.

Adam Rifkin – Look

Just a few weeks ago I held Director’s Cut in my hands, a movie by Penn Jilette, directed by Adam Rifkin, co-funded by me (well, it’s a crowdfunded movie and I supported it with a dime or two). In their talk about the movie, Penn mentioned Look, a movie done by Adam that caused Penn to contact him for Adam becoming his director for Director’s Cut. Anyways, about 10 days ago I found that the big online store in the US does have a copy of the movie and ships to Germany. Well, yesterday the DVD arrived at my home.

So into my player and on goes a ride of admiration. The movie tells several intertwined stories showing the intrigues and fates and plots of “everyday” people, among them sex addicts, cheaters, murderers, bullies, and kidnappers. Ok, does not really read like “everyday” poeple. So we get rated and violent scenes, but also sad and funny pictures. In parts, maybe a dream come true for voyeurs. All the footage allegedly taken by surveillance cameras (it’s not, but definitely looks like it). Besides this interesting point of view, the singles stories and how they connect with each other is kind of brilliant. And seeing the deleted scenes, the film is definitely cut to the point. (Pity though, Adam cut himself out acting as drive-in worker.)

It was also funny to see Hayes MacArthur again (whom I’ve seen in Director’s Cut) and Jamie McShane (who had a major role in Bosch last season, previously on Grimm, Breaking Bad, Thor). But that’s just me. One might know better of Chris Williams (Californication) or Rhys Coiro (The Walking Dead, Hostages, 24). So quite some names on this movie, too.

To close this up, I love what Adam Rifkin did here. And surely, after watching, one might get more cautious on one’s actions, as every step might be caught right on camera. Oh, look! And then there is a series as well…

Have a break, have a KitCoke

(based on an Idea by Judith Noack)

Alex Thomas – Das Labyrinth des Blutes

Ist es der Fluch des zweiten Teils einer Serie (wie Indiana Jones und Star Wars V) oder bin ich bei diesem Roman einfach zu überkritisch? Eine Frage, die ich auch nach einigen Tagen nicht wirklich beantworten kann. Das Labyrinth des Blutes ist so ein zweiter Teil und setzt die Story um Agentin Paula Tennant fort.

Es geht wieder um einen Serienmörder. Nun, eigentlich um 15  Serienmörder (wenn ich mich nicht verzählt habe). Wobei derjenige, den Paula jagt, eben Serienmörder umbringt. Und zwar so geschickt, dass keiner den Killer fassen kann. Natürlich kommt die Agentin dem Antagonisten gefährlich nah und lässt sich auf ein tödliches Spiel ein. Im Zuge der Ermittlungen werden noch andere Dinge aufgedeckt, ein Kniff, der solche Thriller erst recht interessant macht.

Warum nenne ich mich selbst nun also überkritisch? Im Ersten Roman habe ich mit Paula Tennant eine agile, emotionale und schlaue Protagonistin kennengelernt. Im Nachfolger hat sie ein wenig Anlauf gebraucht, bis ihr Charakter wieder präsent war. Das passt wohl auch zuden Erlebnissen aus Die Tränen der Kinder. Im Gegensatz zur ersten Story hatte Paula im zweiten Buch jedoch keine Chance, die Verbrechen aufzuklären. Nur mit Hilfe des Täters selbst gelang schlussendlich der Erfolg. Eine weitere Stelle, die mich störte, war der dritte Mord, der ohne weitere Aufklärung nicht in die Serie des Täters passte.

Der Roman an sich liest sich duchweg spannend und auch die Charaktere sind wieder wunderbar gestaltet. Eine Ausnahme ist eine sich abzeichnende Romanze, die mich von Situation und den Charakteren her zu stark an die Catherine Bell Reihe erinnert. Man spürt dem Roman auch an, dass er eine Brücke zum nächsten Teil darstellt. Und so verbleiben einige Fäden am Ende lose.

Raiders of the Lost Coke

(Original poster copyright Paramout Pictures, trademark copyright Lucasfilm Ltd.)

Martha Wells – All Systems Red

Recently, I had the chance to grab All Systems Red from a virtual bargain bin. It’s a novella of size and for a change its a science fiction book. Actually it’s the first of The Murderbot Diaries series about a Droid that works for some exploration company as security robot.

This is actually one of the fascinating aspects of this story: the protagonist being a robot acting as first-person narrator. It gives you some awkward views upon the humans, this bot is working for. This becomes even more interesting as the bot hacked its supervising module, which gives it (or rather him) all the freedom he wants. And, of course, as this is not legal, he lives in constant fear of being detected.

It being shorter than a regular novel makes this story a quite fast but nevertheless enjoyable read. I loved sharing the fears with this droid and “seeing” him in action. In the end, this is a good paced fiction with an interesting and unusal character, and I’ll definitely follow up on his life.

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