Book Review: Lone Star (In)Justice

Jeff Abbott balances espionage and bartending tips in this tightly controlled roller coaster of a thriller

Lone Star (In)Justice

Inside Man

by Jeff Abbott
Grand Central Publishing, 400 pp., $26

Jeff Abbott's new novel Inside Man is a thriller, of course. In case there might be any doubt among those looking for something to read at the beach or during their next flight to Dubai, the cover of the book trumpets it as exactly that. And that's exactly what it is, as defrocked CIA agent Sam Capra – protagonist of previous bestselling Abbott offerings – now goes deep-cover into the machinations of a wealthy Miami family who may be connected to the murder of Capra's longtime buddy Steve. Inspired, the author says, by Shakespeare's King Lear, this action-packed, bicontinental tale of revenge motors its way across Miami and an undisclosed portion of South America, through nightclubs and casinos and posh hotels and mysterious jungle strongholds, deep into a vast goods-transporting business that's corrupt to the point of global impact and run by a decrepit, demented paterfamilias intent on playing his three adult children against each other. (Bardic hat tip: The youngest daughter is named Cordelia.)

Inside Man is a tightly controlled roller coaster of a narrative, goosing the reader forward with almost every paragraph, engineered to the point of gamification, and including enough tantalizing hints about the secretive Round Table organization that funds Capra's supralegal espionage and bartending habits to keep you coming back for further developments in the series' next installment. I'd love to tell you more, y'know, about the sadistic character Nanny with her necklace of human finger bones and about Capra's jihadi-slain brother, but, ah, SPOILER ALERT.

Jeff Abbott will read from Inside Man and sign copies Tuesday, July 8, 7pm, at BookPeople, 603 N. Lamar.

More July Is Crime Month
Patricia Highsmith
Patricia Highsmith
The crime writer's dark world is stranger than (literary) fiction

Amy Gentry, July 25, 2014

The Other Side
The Other Side
Memoir by Houston writer Lacy Johnson recounts a personal trauma with honesty and haunting beauty

Jessi Cape, July 25, 2014

More Arts Reviews
Amanda Eyre Ward's Maternal Turn
Amanda Eyre Ward's Maternal Turn
In The Nearness of You, the Austin novelist writes about her most important topic yet: motherhood

Jessi Cape, Feb. 17, 2017

Stephen Harrigan's <i>A Friend of Mr. Lincoln</i>
Stephen Harrigan's A Friend of Mr. Lincoln
This historical novel gives us an ambitious, impetuous president-to-be we grow close to

Robert Faires, Dec. 30, 2016

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Austin's Weird Homes Tour Returns!
Austin's Weird Homes Tour Returns!
Some of your fellow citizens are really livin' that dream, boy howdy …

April 21, 2017

New Books Blooming Through the Blockchain
New Books Blooming Through the Blockchain
Google + Visual Editions = Books x Internet

April 20, 2017


July Is Crime Month, Inside Man, Jeff Abbott

AC Daily, Events and Promotions, Luvdoc Answers

Breaking news, recommended events, and more

Official Chronicle events, promotions, and giveaways

Updates for SXSW 2017

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)