Review: Under Pressure (Lucas Page, #2) by Robert Pobi

“…social media was responsible in that it was continually etching lines of demarcation between every discernible demographic, cutting the social fabric into smaller and smaller swatches. And things were getting worse as people started seeing the world in terms of us versus them.”


Minotaur Books | 2020

Filed Under: That industrial system getting folks uppity again

The first book in the Lucas Page series by Robert Pobi, City of Windows, was one of my top reads of 2019. And, as you know, I’m fucking picky.

So, was it a fluke? Beginner’s luck? Fucking magic? And could Robert Pobi pull it off a second time with me? Well, I’m here to report that no, it wasn’t a fluke because this sequel novel is just as fucking good, if not better.

And Robert Pobi has me wrapped around his… finger. Finger! I was going to say finger! I never considered saying anything else.

What I’m trying to say is, I’m a fan and this is a bomb (pun intended) thriller/procedural.

I am begging you to give Pobi’s novels a chance. Put them on your TBR. Put them on your wish list. Put them on hold at your local library. Whatever you have to do, let’s get our shit together here. As thriller readers, we are sleeping on this author.

When a huge explosion takes out a significant crowd of NYC’s wealthy and elite at the Guggenheim Museum, the FBI once again comes calling on Dr. Lucas Page and his big brain and glass eye and prosthetic limbs to stop a possible terrorist with Unabomber vibes.

Get those bad witness sketches ready, people!

You get an astrophysicist, Beautiful Mind vibes, eidetic memory, explosions, confetti machines, big bombs, little bombs, body bombs, thermobaric bombs, serial bombers, bombing sprees, IEDs, C4, K9s, fakeouts, shockwaves, physics and chemistry, patterns and geometry, murder, more than 700 dead bodies, crushed lungs, shattered bones, cooked brains, super rich dudes, dudes that live over your garage, good dogs, adopted kids, beach homes, sad and worried wives, Evil Sting’s hair, trippy crime scene reconstruction, perfect comebacks, spicy retorts, charismatic repartee, bad villain names, manifestos, evil technology, evil machines, algorithms, pacemakers, environmental business, climate change, IPOs, international deals, billion-dollar contracts, Wall Street and bankers, helicopters, conspiracy theories, red-hate vibes, Qanon nuts and counterterrorism.

This time around with Lucas Page, it feels like the author has a better understanding of his personality so he comes to life on the page – he’s a misanthrope, honest to a fault, smarter than anyone else in the room and sassy without a hint of bullshit, and I love him dearly. I love it when he leaves all the jaws in the room on the floor when he spits facts.

The political themes here are less preachy and more natural than in the first novel, and that makes the dialogue so crisp with flow and lots of snarky humour, but also important social commentary. The writing is descriptive, immersive and emotionally tangible. The plot is complex and compelling and fresh and there is always a new twist to throw things off. The action and the investigative side of the mystery are given equal opportunity, with plenty of clues to follow and lots of explosions, and the ending will knock your bits off.

It is simply *chef’s kiss*

A true rollercoaster ride in novel form, this is a meticulous and sinister story with a truly unique and fascinating main character leading the way.

If you love thrillers and procedurals, then I highly recommend this novel, this series and this author.


A series of deadly explosions rock the city of New York and with too many victims and no known motive, the FBI turns once again to Dr. Lucas Page in Robert Pobi’s Under Pressure.

On a beautiful October evening, New York City’s iconic Guggenheim Museum is closed for a tech company’s private gala. Until an explosion rocks the night, instantly killing 702 people, including every single attendee—yet the damage to the building itself was minimal.

An explosion of that precision was no accident and, in response, the FBI mobilizes its entire team — but the sheer number of victims strains their resources. Were all 702 victims in the wrong place at the wrong time, or was there only one target and 701 unlucky bystanders? That many victim files is a staggering amount of data to sort through and Brett Kehoe, Special Agent in Charge of Manhattan, decides that he can’t do this without more computational power.

Dr. Lucas Page, astrophysicist, university professor, and former FBI agent, is uniquely gifted for the task at hand—he can visualize a crime scene as if he was a bystander and can break down any set of data at a glance. Even though Page wants nothing to do with the FBI, with his city under attack and his family at risk, he steps in to find a killer in a haystack before they strike again.

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