Onyx, Sept 2002, 6.99, 400 pp.
Crooks don't make good partners because they almost always try to cheat each other. Jimmy Bird and Alex are digging for treasure on Patch Gilbert's land in Black Jack Point, Texas. Patch and his significant other return early surprising the thieves. When Patch's niece Lucy reports him missing, the police drive over to his home and unearth their remains.
Also dug out of the grave is older bones and parts of a treasure chest. Lucy's boyfriend Judge Whit Mosley tries to console his lover especially when the police zero in on her as a suspect since she is the sole beneficiary to Patch's estate. While Whit deals with one aspect of the crime, his friend police detective Claudia Salozar and her boyfriend are hijacked and held for ransom. The thugs want Ben's brother Alex to turn over the treasure, especially the famous emerald once belonging to Jean Lafitte, otherwise the hostages are going to be killed.
BLACK JACK POINT is an exciting crime thriller that is an exciting read because one really doesn't know who are the good guys or the villains. Their actions are designed to confuse the evidence and enables Jeff Abbot to show he is an expert at his craft. This fast paced story line has a shocking climax that the readers will never figure out until it's over. The crime thriller genre has a winner with this strong novel from Mr. Abbott, a rising star.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner