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.

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More July Is Crime Month
Austin Author Chandler Baker Talks About Creating a Novel for the #MeToo Movement
Austin Author Chandler Baker Talks About Creating a Novel for the #MeToo Movement
Writer of Whisper Network offers a healthy dose of righteous indignation

M. Brianna Stallings, July 26, 2019

Road Tripping With a Serial Killer in <i>Paper Ghosts</i>
Road Tripping With a Serial Killer in Paper Ghosts
As well as being a riveting psychological thriller, this tale of a road trip across Texas with a serial killer shows the state in an intimate light

Elizabeth Cobbe, July 19, 2019

More Arts Reviews
<i>The Year That Broke Politics</i>
The Year That Broke Politics
How the 1968 election became a preview of our modern political mayhem

Jay Trachtenberg, Oct. 27, 2023

<i>The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid</i> by Lawrence Wright
The Plague Year: America in the Time of Covid
In his account of the ongoing coronavirus crisis, the New Yorker writer reports the killers are off the leash

Michael King, June 4, 2021

More by Wayne Alan Brenner
Visual Art Review: Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation’s “The Still Life”
Visual Art Review: Stuffed Animal Rescue Foundation’s “The Still Life”
This charming exhibit rehabilitates neglected stuffies, then puts them to work creating art

March 22, 2024

Spider Sculptures, Gore Feasts, and More Arts Events
Spider Sculptures, Gore Feasts, and More Arts Events
Feed your art habit with these recommended events for the week

March 22, 2024

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

July Is Crime Month, Inside Man, Jeff Abbott

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle