Under Pressure is the new thriller from Robert Pobi. Set in the city of New York, the story starts off with a deadly explosion at the Guggenheim Museum. We soon meet Dr Lucas Page, an astrophysicist with an uncanny ability to analyze data and a remarkable talent to visualise a crime scene. This university professor and former FBI agent is reluctant to become involved, but feels responsible to use his unique set of skills to help bring the attacker to justice.
Page has extensive physical injuries, he has a prosthetic leg, a prosthetic hand and he also only has one eye. We’re only given a glimpse into the kind of physical and emotional trauma he has suffered from the tragic event that led to these disabilities, but we soon learn that he’s not one to let them hold him back in any way. I found this description of Dr Page to be quite apt: “Welcome to the new and improved Dr. Lucas Page, lucky to still be alive and held together by the finest technology that money could buy – and powered by a stubbornness that money couldn’t.”
He teams up with Special Agent Whitaker, and it’s here that the book truly shines. The banter between these two characters is well crafted, and even though their friendship is an unlikely one you can still see the respect through the sarcastic witty conversations. The same cannot be said for others, because given his intelligence Page is not one to suffer fools and for this reason his dislike for certain characters is never hidden. I enjoyed seeing him work out possible scenarios before the tech experts, it was always satisfying seeing how he solved the crimes without anything except his exceptional aptitude.
As the deadly explosions continue Page must work around the clock to find similarities between the crimes where others can’t and help the team to unravel the mystery behind the bomber. As bombs are detonated around the city people begin to fear where one may go off next, what makes this all the more real is that we are introduced to the victims and we get to know some of them a little before each attack.
Under Pressure is a great read, I enjoyed meeting Dr Page and I can’t wait to read the first Lucas Page novel, City of Windows, now to find out more about the first time he was drawn in to help the FBI by Special Agent in Charge Brett Kehoe. Page is after all “like some deranged OCD mathematical bloodhound – all you had to do was unclip his collar and watch the fun.”
Under Pressure is available from bookstores and online retailers for a recommended retail price of R355. You can read an excerpt from chapter one of the book here.
Thanks to Jonathan Ball Publishers for sharing this book with me.