Sam Capra, the ex-CIA agent of Jeff Abbott's new series (check out the first Capra title - Adrenaline and here's a bonus Capra story for your NOOK Sam Capra's Last Chance) is back in a new pulse-pounder The Last Minute. Capra's a man of the world (and of the underworld), but happiest in the company of his family (what's left of it). When his infant son is abducted, he's given an impossible mission - an assassination - the completion of which will return the boy to him.
Jeff kindly agreed to subject himself to a quick Q&A - thanks, Jeff.
What's the appeal of crime/mystery/thriller fiction to you as a writer?
With crime and thriller fiction, you can really write about ANYTHING: family, money, power, greed, love. Crime gives you such a huge canvas while letting you go deep into exploring characters and their motivations. I like books where characters reveal who they are through action, and are facing the most dire circumstances of their lives. I love the drama of it all.
Who are your biggest influences?
I get compared a certain amount to Robert Ludlum, just because my books tend to have a lot of action. Among the "crime classics" I really enjoy reading Patricia Highsmith, John D McDonald, Ruth Rendell, and Eric Ambler and I think Alfred Hitchcock's films influenced me. Also I love the books of Kate Atkinson, Harlan Coben, Laura Lippman, Lisa Unger, Michael Connelly, just to name a few. They are influences in that their books always raise the bar — they inspire me to be a better writer.
Are any of your stories inspired by true events?
One aspect of the Sam Capra series is Sam fighting these new kinds of international crime rings—ones that are highly specialized and fluid, and very difficult to bring to justice. Those reflect a lot of the real changes going on in criminal organizations. They are becoming increasingly powerful and influential, and in other parts of the world they are reaching deep into legitimate business and governments.
What was the last book you read that you wish you'd written?
I am fascinated by power and I have a history degree that I would love to put to use in a book someday, so I love Hilary Mantel's novels about Thomas Cromwell, advisor to the mercurial Henry VIII. Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies are simply fantastic reads. If you think you know the Tudors, read these.
What's next from you?
I'm just about done with the third Sam Capra novel — where Sam ends up in a secret war with the man who controls some of the most powerful people in the world.
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