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Downfall (Sam Capra) Mass Market Paperback – January 28, 2014

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Product Details

  • Series: Sam Capra (Book 3)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 594 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing (January 28, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1455528420
  • ISBN-13: 978-1455528424
  • Product Dimensions: 1.5 x 4.1 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (71 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #47,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews Review

Harlan Coben Interviews Jeff Abbott

Harlan Coben Jeff Abbott

Harlan Coben was the first ever author to win all three major crime awards in the US. He is now a global bestseller with his mix of powerful stand-alone thrillers and Myron Bolitar crime novels. He has appeared in the bestseller lists of The Times, The New York Times, Le Monde, The Wall Street Journal and The Los Angeles Times.

Jeff Abbott is the internationally bestselling author of eleven novels, including the thrillers Panic, Fear, and Run and the Sam Capra novels. He is a three-time nominee for the Edgar Award and in 2012 won the International Thriller Writers Award for his novel The Last Minute.

Harlan Coben: If you could go for drinks (possibly to one of Sam's bars) with only one of the characters from Downfall, who would it be? And it's not allowed to be Sam.

Jeff Abbott: Oh, then Mila. She's one of those characters that I had no idea how people would respond to her--and they love her. I've had people ask if I'd ever do a book with her in the lead, rather than Sam. And I feel we still have so much to learn about her--I remember a reviewer commenting about finding out about her past in The Last Minute, saying, well, she wasn't a mystery any more. I've only begun to tell readers about Mila. Lots of secrets still there. So maybe she'd tell me more of them as we sipped her favourite Glenfiddich.

Harlan: Sam is a very likeable lead character. Is he based on anyone you know?

Jeff: There is obviously a certain amount of me in Sam; but there's a certain amount of me in the villains, as well. No, I haven't really based him on anyone I know.

Harlan: You're obviously a fan of thriller writing, but how about thriller movies? Do you have a favourite three?

Jeff: I love North by Northwest--such a wonderful blend of character-driven story, humour, and intrigue. The Seven Samurai is not only a brilliant action film, but it's also a beautiful movie. And does The Godfather count as a thriller? I'm on the edge of my seat when I watch it, and I've seen it many times. It's a great example of suspense deriving from the promise of violence.

Harlan: Without giving anything away, there is an element of the Faustian 'deal with the devil' in the plot of Downfall. What is it that particularly interests you about this idea?

Jeff: Often we feel we're always bargaining with fate--that's what life is. But the story of Faust has stayed relevant for centuries because it's a hugely dramatic situation--what would you give up to have everything that you wanted? What price for your own personal paradise? It's always an inevitable tragedy--it's the best representation, in story, of living with the consequences of your bad choices. And that's what I wanted to show in Downfall--the consequences of making this 'deal with the devil.' Because it doesn't just affect the person who makes the deal, it affects everyone in his life, his family, and many innocent people.

Harlan: Downfall is obviously an action-packed thriller, but at its heart there are strong themes around how far one would go to protect or help their family. Was there something in particular that triggered this idea in your mind?

Jeff: You and I have both dealt with this in our books before--but I think this time it was more a question asked by the bad guys than Sam. And it's an interesting reversal. I always want the antagonists in my stories to think they're the heroes of the story--that they are in the right, they are doing what's necessary for their own interests, that Sam is the bad guy. And here, the question is what will a bad guy do to secure his family's future? Here the bad guys will destroy anyone, even a stranger, who gets in their way; while Sam is the person who will risk it all to help a stranger in need. They're total opposites. And I love that balance, when the hero and villain are really the opposite sides of the same coin.

Harlan: What are you working on next?

Jeff: I've just finished Sam Capra #4, which will be out in the summer of 2014 in both the UK and the US.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

A middle-aged woman, the CEO of a global PR firm who has just been diagnosed with an aggressive cancer, moonlights as a hit woman for a shadowy cabal. Why? Readers won’t find out immediately, but the world Abbott creates is filled with cabals: wealthy, influential people ceaselessly trying to tilt every playing field, whether financial or political, to their advantage. Former CIA agent Sam Capra (The Last Minute, 2012) is now employed by the Round Table, an equally shadowy group of the wealthy and powerful people who have banded together to thwart such evildoers. Sam becomes the tip of the Round Table’s spear, but even he doesn’t understand the big picture, even as he dashes from one dangerous clash to the next. Eventually, Abbott fills everyone in on the Faustian machinations of a world-class bad guy named Belias. Downfall features many engaging, conflicted characters; plenty of betrayal; and enough unrelenting action, unfurled at a breakneck pace, to fill another Jason Bourne trilogy. Thriller fans will love it. --Thomas Gaughan --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Jeff Abbott is the international-bestselling, award-winning author of ten mystery and suspense novels. Jeff is a native Texan and graduated from Rice University with a degree in History and English, and worked as a creative director at an advertising agency before writing full-time. He lives in Austin with his wife and two sons. You can visit his website at and follow him on Twitter @JeffAbbott.

Customer Reviews

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Popular Discussion Topics

beta: what do you think?
  • "Writing" 18
  • "Action" 16
  • "Characters" 10
  • "Suspense" 4
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By N. Gargano VINE VOICE on July 17, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been reading Jeff Abbott since his Jordan Poteet books and have have been a fan for a long time. He moved to stand alone thrillers, and I enjoyed them as well. Then along came Sam Capra. These books are so much fun, and this latest is no exception. Good story, really interesting bad guys, and the last part of the book was can't put down exciting.
For those that have not started this series, I think Downfall would be enjoyable anyway, but I love the Sam Capra character so much, I suggest you read the others as well. It would make the book that much more exciting.
I read about two to three books a week, sometimes four, and I don't review every book I read. I like to review new authors but I also like to review authors that aren't getting hundreds of reviews as soon as they come out. Also I only review authors or series that to me are five star, maybe four. ( Had an uncomfortable experience with a bad review, not interested in going there again). I am saying this because I have all these five and four star reviews on my review page, these are not all the books I read or take time to review. If I review it, it is because I really want other people to be enjoying the books as much as I do.
So, again, if you like thrillers, get Mr. Abbott's books, and settle in for a ride. They are worth the time.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By TChris TOP 100 REVIEWER on July 22, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
As the result of events in the first two Sam Capra novels, former CIA agent and current bar owner Capra is running errands of a questionable nature for a woman named Mila on behalf of the Round Table. His new assignment is to identify the person who poisoned Round Table member Dalton Monroe. Before he can make any progress, he's fighting for his life against a Russian who chased a woman into his San Francisco bar.

Capra's larger problem is a bad guy named John Belias. When Belias isn't training soccer moms to be assassins, he's busy "hacking people" as if they were computers, plugging them into a network of powerful people that he's assembled. As is typical of modern thrillers, the network extends into the highest levels of business and government. Conspiracy theorists should love the Capra novels.

One of the soccer mom assassins is Janice Keene. Diana, Janice's daughter, initially knows nothing about her mother's double life. She learns the truth from a hidden video that brings both Diane and Belias into Capra's world. Belias wants the video. He also wants Capra -- but, it seems, so do some other mysterious, unidentified conspirators. The plot jumps off from that starting block.

Downfall's strengths are the pace, the action, and the clever (albeit farfetched) plot. If the story borders on the preposterous, it at least has the merit of being less preposterous than the first two novels in the series. Apart from a couple of small plot holes (or at least small points that didn't make sense to me), the story is one I could swallow, and it culminates in a reveal that, if not entirely surprising, is satisfying. Downfall's downside is that too many chases and fight scenes are indistinguishable from those found in other thrillers.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Temteacher on September 27, 2013
Format: Hardcover
It spoils a book for me when characters act in illogical ways. Overall, I enjoyed DOWNFALL, but the small things are important. Several examples: 1. Sam and Mila track down Diana who is hiding in an out-of-the- country friend's condo. These two highly trained agents fail to lock the front door when they enter so the bad guys are able to waltz right in behind them. 3. Sam has important information which he stole from Janice's safe. He makes no copies and the papers are destroyed. Again, from watching TV spy shows we know to always take photos of important "stuff" for backup. 3. Sam and Mila take the car, park it, and head off in two separate directions on highly dangerous errands. When Sam runs into trouble, he's unable to escape in the car because Mila has the keys. Neither of them thought to either hid a key on the car itself or for each of them to have their own key in case of trouble?
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By I Feel the Need, the Need to Read on August 6, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I have never had the pleasure of reading Jeff Abbott before, but I will tell you this, he now has another die hard fan! I will definitely be reading the rest of his Sam Capra series as well as any other books he puts out! This book was non-stop, in-your-face, brutal, die hard action! There is so much story and so much happening that you are completely engrossed in the book. I could easily see this becoming a movie with say, Jensen Ackles playing Sam Capra and Tim Roth as the antagonist, John Belias. This is one of those books that you can't guess what's going to happen because the characters are ruthless and conniving. I was shocked almost every thing that happened in the story. I was taken aback at how mean some of these characters could be. I mean, I could understand why they would be that way, but some of the extremes that these people go to - it's amazing. I can't really go into any detail in what I mean because it will spoil the book. Let's just say that this book will keep you guessing and if you think you know what it going to happen, you are wrong.
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