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The title of Jeff Abbott's latest novel is well chosen. The
psychological impairment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
is the thread that runs through FEAR; it is the possibility of a
cure --- and the profit that might be made from it --- that brings
three individuals reluctantly together not only to conquer the
condition that is controlling their lives but also to save
themselves from shadowy pursuers who seem to be bent upon their

Miles Kendrick is a former investigator for an organized crime
family. Now in witness protection in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Kendrick
is being treated for PTSD resulting from the death of his best
friend Andy, who literally haunts Kendrick's every waking hour.
When Dr. Allison Vance, Kendrick's psychiatrist, offers a new
treatment regimen, he's reluctant. However, when Vance's office is
destroyed in an explosion just as he was scheduled to meet with
her, Kendrick embarks on a wild journey with two unlikely
companions who were also being treated by Vance.

Celeste Brant had fifteen minutes of fame as the winner of a
reality television show before her husband was subsequently
murdered, sending her into a traumatic, self-imposed isolation.
Nathan Ruiz, meanwhile, has been traumatized by a wartime
experience and is receiving in-patient treatment to help him
recover from his recurring nightmares. Both Brant and Ruiz are
showing signs of progress with an experimental drug called Frost,
which is being used on them without proper experimental

Millions of dollars could be made from the drug on the open market,
but it's Dennis Groote, an ex-FBI agent employed by a
pharmaceutical company, who has more than money on his mind as he
pursues the Frost formula. Groote's young daughter is a victim of
PTSD, and he will do anything to get his hands on it. Convinced
that Kendrick engineered the explosion of Vance's office, Groote
pursues Kendrick, as well as Brant and Ruiz, in an effort to obtain
the formula for his employer and for his daughter. The three
patients soon realize that they can trust no one --- and possibly
not even each other --- as they are pursued back and forth across
the American West by killers who believe, wrongfully, that they
have the Frost formula --- which they themselves need in order to
conquer the demons that have taken over their lives.

The overriding theme of FEAR is just that, and Abbott ratchets up
the excitement (and fear) from practically the first page to the
last. While the book is more plot-driven than character-driven, his
villains, particularly Groote, are the baddest of the bad. You'll
be looking over your shoulder after reading FEAR.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 21, 2011

by Jeff Abbott

  • Publication Date: August 7, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Onyx
  • ISBN-10: 0451412427
  • ISBN-13: 9780451412423