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Panic Hardcover – Bargain Price, August 18, 2005

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Hardcover, Bargain Price, August 18, 2005
$17.00 $5.02

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--This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0525949046
  • ASIN: B000EXZ030
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 5.7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,328,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

An unassuming documentary filmmaker is plunged into the dark world of contract killing and espionage in this superior, fast-paced thriller, Abbott's eighth outing (after Do Unto Others). Evan Casher's safe, quiet life in Austin, Tex., begins to unravel when he discovers his mother murdered and barely escapes death himself, the first of dozens of close calls and harrowing twists as he finds himself the prey of a dangerous freelance spy ring known as the Deeps. This shadowy network is led by Jargo, a cunning, brutally efficient point man who believes that Casher has a computer file containing secret information about the organization's contacts. Casher is baffled until he learns the stunning truth: his mother, a travel photographer, and his father, a computer consultant, were actually secret agents, and large aspects of Casher's life were complete fabrications. (Turns out his girlfriend also works for the Deeps.) The action jumps from Texas to London to Florida as Casher tries to stay a step ahead of Jargo, find the computer file and rescue his father, who's being held by the Deeps. Abbott has fashioned another burst of white-knuckled suspense that's extremely hard to put down. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Those who disparage page-turners seldom appreciate what it takes to pull off a really good one, such as Abbott's engrossing hardcover debut, which follows a string of hardboiled paperback originals. There's nothing especially noteworthy about the story: no fancy props, global implications, history lessons, or distracting subplots. Just the familiar tale of a young man, a documentary filmmaker named Evan Casher, who awakes one morning to find his world turned upside down, his mother killed, himself pursued on all sides by enigmatic forces that range from menacing to sadistic, his loved ones in danger, everything he once believed in revealed to be a lie. Yet, with skilled handling of riveting action sequences, plot twists, and camera angles, all converging at breakneck speed, Abbott whips these simple ingredients into a near-perfect thriller that may indeed result in physical distress akin to panic for anyone trying to put the thing down before the last bullet flies. Fans of Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Joseph Finder, or John Grisham--anyone who enjoys a wild ride on a bumpy road--can cheer the arrival of our latest master of the fine art of the page-turner. Highly recommended. David Wright
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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

That is not necessarily a bad thing.
Kenneth Stenger
I suppose the die-hard black helicopter crowd would consider the plot gospel, but the storyline was stretched just a bit too far for my sensibilities.
Gary Griffiths
Sit on the edge of my seat the whole time reading this and all his books, Can't get enough of him.
Dee Chapman

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

47 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Gary Griffiths VINE VOICE on October 25, 2005
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought Jeff Abbott's "Panic" based on the unbroken string of 5-star reviews, as well as a strong endorsement from "Booklist". So while Abbott and "Panic" clearly have an enthusiastic following, I've got to take the contrarian view.

This tells the story of Evan Casher, a twenty-something documentary film maker who's life begins to spiral out of control when he finds his mother brutally murdered while narrowly escaping the same fate for himself. Poor Evan begins to realize that everything he's ever accepted as truth is up for grabs as he tries to unravel the mysteries of mom's slaughter, find dad, and keep his new girlfriend satisfied. OK so far. But from this promising start, Abbott meanders at a needlessly slow pace through place and time, infusing what could have been an interesting premise with an overdose of schmaltz and melodrama that I found more tedious than thrilling. I suppose the die-hard black helicopter crowd would consider the plot gospel, but the storyline was stretched just a bit too far for my sensibilities. Evan's transformation from nerdy film boy to super-spy left me out in the cold as he magically matches wits and heavy weapons with steely-eyed operatives who are more comfortable handling Berettas than movie cameras.

This was by no means a bad book, but no better than the average thriller, and definitely not up to the adrenaline-charged page-turners of Lee Child, to which "Panic" has been compared. For a more realistic average-guy-placed-in-extraordinary-circumstances story, try "Caught Stealing" by Charlie Huston. Or, if you prefer a more brutally likely finish for the kid trying to play out of his league with guys who practice violence for a living, try Cormac McCarthy's "No Country for Old Men." But if you insist on going with the majority, my advice: before dropping sixteen-and-change for the hardback, go to the library, look for a used copy, or wait for the paperback.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 6, 2005
Format: Audio CD
When an unsuspecting person leading an ordinary existence is suddenly trapped in a horrifying, life threatening situation it is even more spine tingling than when readers/listeners know there's probably a psycho on the loose or an extra-terrestrial hovering. This abrupt twist is only one of the plots at which Jeff Abbott excels.

In the case of "Panic" we meet young film maker Evan Casher. Life is good for Evan - his career is on the upswing and his girl, Carrie, seems to be the woman he'd hoped to meet. One phone call from his mother turns his world upside down.

He travels to Austin, Texas, only for a shocking surprise - his mother has been murdered and his father missing. Further, there's a swift attempt on Evan's life and he has no idea why.

Evan has never heard of the Deeps, never even dreamed of a spy ring made up of sadistic killers but they're the ones pursuing him. They believe he has access to a computer file holding information that would seriously compromise the Deeps. How did this come to be?

No spoilers here - suffice it to say that his mother, a travel photographer, and his dad, a computer whiz, were secret agents. What of Carrie who appeared to be the girl of his dreams?

Those who remember Abbott's "Cut and Run" and "Black Jack Point well know this author turns out heart-stopping thrillers. Right on with "Panic."

Voice performer L. J. Ganser (seen on TV's Guiding Light, As The World Turns, etc) turns in a pulse racing performance as Evan tries to stay alive, save his father, and discover the secrets of his past.

High level intrigue and suspense at the touch of a button. Don't miss this one!

- Gail Cooke
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Julia Flyte TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 20, 2008
Format: Hardcover
I read the negative reviews of this book, but the optimist in me thought the book can't be that bad. After all, the book was recommended by Harlan Coben and Lee Child, the author has had other books published and the plot sounded promising: Evan Casher receives an urgent phone call from his mother summoning him home. When he gets there, he finds her murdered and a hitman lying in wait for him. Then he realizes that his entire life has been a lie and that he is in terrible danger.

Sadly, the premise is about the only thing going for this book. It just goes to show that writing decent thrillers is harder than it looks. It requires more than simply keeping the action going. You need to have a plot that makes at least partial sense and which is credible enough to allow the reader to suspend disbelief. You need to have some sympathy for the lead character and give the other characters reasons to be there. You need to build up the tension so that the reader wants to keep reading. None of those elements are there in "Panic".

It felt like Jeff Abbott had dissected some Harlan Coben novels and thought: "Right, I need a hero who finds out that his life is based on a lie. I'll give him a girlfriend with a mysterious secret and throw in an uber bad guy who wants something from him. I'll make sure he doesn't know who he can trust. That'll work!" And maybe in a ten page synopsis to the publisher, it did. But what eventuates is a convoluted mess that feels extremely formulaic, where plot "twists" are so predictable that the only suspense is in guessing how many pages it will take until they are revealed. I don't recommend this book at all.
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