by Bruce TierneyOctober, 2005
Trouble in Tinseltown
Author Jeff Abbott, known to mystery enthusiasts for his series featuring rookie judge Whit Mosley, is back with a gripping stand-alone thriller, Panic. Successful indie filmmaker Evan Casher has the world by the tail. His last movie has given him the industry clout to pick and choose his projects. His days of peanut butter and day-old bread are well behind him; he has a beautiful girlfriend, a film devotee who hangs on his every word; in short, a near perfect life. It is all about to come crashing down in ways unforeseen by either the unwitting protagonist or the canniest of readers. For Evan Casher's life is a lie: his parents are not who he thinks they are (that is to say, they are hired assassins), and his girlfriend is simply a paid informant for a secret quasi-governmental organization. Early one morning, Casher receives a strange phone call from his mother, with an urgent request that he come to her house immediately. When he arrives, he finds her dead on the kitchen floor, the victim of a brutal murderer. Had Casher been a maker of horror films, he would have known to get his bad self out of the kitchen in record time; unfortunately, he hasn't the presence of mind to do that, and he very nearly joins his mother for a long nap. Quickly Casher realizes he must hone his survival skills, or he will be the next in a long line of victims of an agency nobody will admit exists. Pure escapist fantasy, Panic is a tightly wound and lightning-paced tale that just begs for a sequel.