The Geneva Decision: Pia Sabel #1

The Geneva Decision: Pia Sabel #1

by Seeley James


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Forced into early retirement, driven young soccer star Pia Sabel has to turn around her sinking security firm after oil pirates assassinate her first customer.

Until a few weeks ago, Pia Sabel was an international soccer star. But now she's taken the helm of her billionaire father's private security company, and she's playing against a whole new set of opponents - the kind who shoot to kill.

On her first day on the job, Pia's client is assassinated in front of her. There's no time for training, so Pia must trust her instincts and athletic skills to unravel the complicated maze of money laundering and piracy that will take her from Swiss mansions to the jungles of Cameroon.

Her battle-hardened employees suspect she's just a spoiled rich girl with a mean corner kick. But Pia's got some unexpected moves of her own. Will they be enough to bring her team through its mission?

Interview with Seeley James from

DW: Do readers really compare Pia and Jacob to other literary heroes and heroines?

SJ: I've heard Pia Sabel compared to Jack Reacher many times because she's a straight-forward, no-nonsense heroine who beats the crap out of people. Recently, I've heard Jacob Stearne in the same breath as Stephanie Plum because of his whacky lifestyle and romantic problems. It's appropriate because he's our comic-relief character.

DW: What is your favorite book of all time? How has it influenced you and your writing?

I don't have just one. One Shot by Lee Child, because it has such an intricate set of clues, ranks right up there with First Drop by Zoe Sharp, because she nailed the teenagers with incredible insight and humor.

DW: Did you always want to be a writer or did you fall into the profession?

I was nineteen and single when I adopted a three-year-old girl and raised her (More about that on my site, ). Kids need a lot of money and attention, so I worked in the upwardly mobile tech industry. Later in life, my career afforded me the ability to take a huge risk.

DW: Which authors have had a profound impact on your writing?

SJ: Gillian Flynn because she thinks way outside the Agatha Christie formula. Janet Evanovich because her books are just plain fun. J. D. Robb (aka Nora Roberts) has some phenomenal writing techniques. Daniel Silva, Harlan Coben, Russell Blake, John Sandford, James Rollins, A. G. Riddle, Lance Charnes, the list just goes on and on...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780988699618
Publisher: Seeley James
Publication date: 02/21/2013
Pages: 282
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.64(d)

About the Author

Seeley James is the author of the Pia Sabel series of thriller short stories and novels. He was first published in The Battered Suitcase, was a Finalist for DeMarini Award in fiction, and was short listed for the Fish Publishing Award and the Debut Dagger Award.

He discovered his love of creativity at an early age, growing up at Frank Lloyd Wright's School of Architecture in Arizona and Wisconsin. He carried his imagination first into a successful career in advertising and marketing, and then to his real love: fiction.

He created Pia Sabel to be the kind of character that his friends and children would want to read. James has three children; he adopted his first, a precocious and beautiful three-year-old girl, when he was a single nineteen year old. Twenty years later he married, and he and his wife have two more children. They live in Scottsdale, Arizona, and enjoy youth soccer games and sunshine.

Contact Seeley James:

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The Geneva Decision: Pia Sabel #1 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
CompulsionReads More than 1 year ago
Against her wishes, Pia Sabel leaves behind a professional soccer career to assume the leadership of her adoptive father’s international security company. When a potential new client is assassinated in front of her eyes, Pia rushes headlong into a dangerous and tangled web of intrigue that involves pirates, mercenaries and the highest echelons of the Swiss banking sector. Pia and her team of highly-trained operatives travel throughout Cameroon and Geneva to discover answers and try to close the case. Pia will risk her life to discover the traitors in her midst, and when she finds them they are going down, because Pia Sabel only plays to win. The Geneva Decision starts out at breakneck speed and doesn’t slow down a bit from beginning to end. Many readers will admire the tenacity and courage of Pia Sabel, but others (ahem, me) may find her a few crayons short of a full box as she throws her team into gunfight after gunfight and insists on leading the charge despite her lack of experience. Courage and recklessness are two sides of the same coin when it comes to Pia Sabel, and much of her fervor for the case is linked to the mysterious assassination of her own parents long ago.  Speaking of gunfights, if you like ‘em, this book has got ‘em. Shootouts, chases and missions gone awry are served up in heaping quantities throughout the book as are tranq darts, close calls and betrayals. Personally, I appreciated the fact that Pia was a poor shot and missed her targets as much as she hit him. Sure, she is your consummate exquisite martial artist, but it was refreshing that she often couldn’t put a bullet or a sleeping dart through the broad side of a truck. Another refreshing occurrence – clips that actually run out during long gun fights.  If you want Go, Go, Go and don’t mind an occasionally confusing tangle of bad guys (some of whom go by three different names), then Pia Sabel is your gal and The Geneva Decision is your book. Don’t drink any caffeine before picking up The Geneva Decision, you won’t need it!  (This book was provided to Compulsion Reads for review by the author.)
Judy-Ree More than 1 year ago
This is the first book in the Pia Sabel Series by Seeley James.  I first came across this book via some book blogs and saw it again on Goodreads.  So when I ran across it on Netgallery, it was slightly familiar to me and I had read a review or two.  The cover had intrigued me.  I mean a chick with a gun and a title with Geneva in it.  My brain instantly lit up with action, adventure, whoo hoo!  And this book doesn't disappoint. The story opens in Geneva, Switzerland with Pia Sabel, ex Olympian soccer player and brand spanking new head of her adoptive father's security company Sable Securities, at an outdoor evening party.  Pia is there to meet a perspective client and do a little schmoozing.  Unfortunately, what she sees is an assassin moving through the crowd.  You may wonder how an ex Olympian soccer player would recognize an assassin?  Well, when she was five years old, her parents were assassinated basically right in front of her.  She was then almost immediately adopted and put under round the clock security by ex secret service agents for many, many years.  She has basically lived her entire life surrounded by the best security agents in the world and has been tought what to look for.  When the assassin's target turns out to be her prospective client, Pia wastes no time in using her soccer skills and training to take him down.  Unfortunately, he escapes while in police custody.  When the assassin takes out 4 more bankers and then targets Pia, that same night, she decides that she is taking this case, one way or another.  No matter how much her father wants her to come home and sit in a corner office. Pia is a contradiction in many ways.  She has all the basic knowledge of a specialized security guard, but with none of the in the field training.  She has been taught hand to hand combat and weapons, but never used them in a practical application.  She has good instincts, but without the understanding of how to apply them. Watching Pia learn the difference between knowledge and application was fun and often had some unexpected comedic moments.  But she is more than willing to admit she needs to learn more and put in the work needed to get better.  One thing you can say about Pia, she is no shrinking violet. I really enjoyed this book.  It wasn't non-stop action, but there was enough fight scenes and foot chases and shoot outs to make any reading adrenaline junkie happy. There are bits and pieces and hints dropped about Pia's background, that keep a nice mystery arc going and I really hope that we can learn more in the next book.  Just an over great book. I am going with 4 stars on Goodreads. It was nice seeing a female take the lead in this Suspenseful Thrilling Mystery.  
teeka1234 More than 1 year ago
The Geneva Decision is a fast-paced action thriller that will keep you rapt with attention from beginning to end.  Author Seeley James of Scottsdale, Arizona begins his tale in Geneva, Switzerland where his primary character, Pia Sabel surprises guests at a Banque Marot reception. After witnessing an assassin blow the head off banker Clément Marot, a gown-clad Pia burst into action in her high heels by single-handedly tackling the man. “The assassin crashed face first onto the concrete pathway. She jumped into the air above him, her gown billowing around her like an unfurling parachute and came down hard. Her knees drove into his back on either side of his spine, halfway between the ribs and the hipbone. The impact forced the air from his lungs and pounded his kidneys.” Pia took it upon herself to bring down this assassin, as she had just become head of her father’s firm, Sabel Security. However, the clever killer managed to escape police custody and immediately sought revenge. Pia became his primary target. Although her father wanted her to stick to a desk job, the spunky Pia, who had become a well-known and wealthy soccer star, could not contain herself when several other bankers met the same fate. She followed her instincts and the assassin from the Swiss Alps to the jungles of Cameroon in hopes of finishing him off once and for all. Despite beginning her new career green as the grass, Pia was determined to garner the admiration of the agents under her, who had years of experience behind them. Her initial goal was to track down the killer but in the process, discovered a massive web of treachery and deceit. If you love a good mystery with plenty of action, The Geneva Decision will not let you down. The author displays a unique talent for keeping the story moving at a lightning fast pace right to the final page. 
Lance_Charnes More than 1 year ago
The Geneva Decision does a lot of things that are different from the run-of-the-mill action thriller. For one thing, its protagonist and dominant personality is a woman; she’s not a guy with breasts, nor a cartoon ultravixen, nor does she wear Spandex unless she’s working out. The good guys don’t work for some ultra-secret government agency; they’re private security contractors, and although well-heeled, they don’t have all the resources of the Earth behind them. The bad guys aren’t some other ultra-secret global cabal with limitless reach and resources; they’re bad, yes, they get around, but they’re human. The fate of the world doesn’t even hang in the balance. So how does it all work? Very nicely, thank you. Let’s start with Pia Sabel, the aforementioned heroine. Not only is she not token eye-candy, she’s also not the standard Special Forces refugee. She’s an athlete – a former Olympic soccer player – dragooned by her fabulously wealthy adoptive father into running the family business. Except for whatever she’s picked up from being surrounded by bodyguards for most of her life, she’s a rookie at this game. She’s not even a very good shot. Being an athlete, though, she’s fit, can run like hell, can beat the crap out of lesser mortals, and has a very casual attitude toward her own mortality. Yes, she has the requisite Painful Past™, but it doesn’t involve alcoholism, gambling, a long-lost love, dead children or serial divorces. If you’re an action-thriller fan, you can already see how this kind of protagonist might change up the genre. Fittingly, Sabel Security isn't the standard everybody-united-against-the-dark-enemy place. The firm came undone upon Our Heroine’s ascension to the CEO’s chair, with mass resignations and much political backbiting. This, too, is a refreshing change; it sounds like reality. The story's twists and turns flow organically, and the series of action set-pieces are realistically messy and often inconclusive (again, just like in life). In fact, both good and bad guys miss their shots more often than hit, another touch of reality in a genre in which the heroes regularly pull off amazing feats of marksmanship against moving targets. The dialog is naturalistic and believable. Not only are the locations fresh, but the author makes good use of fairly esoteric parts of those locales, such as Geneva’s water system (!). The downsides? Pia is a dear, but she’s such a Girl Scout, and the third or fourth time this quality puts her people at deadly risk, I wanted to slap her. While the bad guys are described early and economically, Pia’s accomplices aren’t; for that matter, I still don’t know what Pia herself looks like. As befits a spoiled rich girl – something she gets called at least a hundred times during the story – Pia is stubborn, reckless, and doesn’t take coaching well, which made me wonder (a) how she managed to get on an Olympic team, and (b) how she expects to keep the rest of her employees from walking out. The Geneva Decision is a refreshing departure from the increasingly calcified norms of action-thriller fiction, a solid read with a unique protagonist, an array of engaging supporting characters, and a plot that keeps you hooked. If you’re on the prowl for a fresh take on the action-thriller genre, you’re suffering from testosterone overload from too much Reacher, or you just want to see girls kick butt, give The Geneva Decision a try. You won’t be sorry.
anniemichelle More than 1 year ago
This was a wild globe trotting ride that I very much enjoyed taking. Pia Sabel is an internationally known ex-footballer/soccer player turned head of her adopted father’s multimillion dollar private security company. The action starts right at the very beginning while Pia is on assignment, when right in front of her eyes the man she is supposed to be guarding is killed and as she goes after the killer she finds herself mixed up with some very dangerous people on an extremely deadly mission with those same people coming after her… With her tough as nails employees who are all a little pissed off that daddy’s little girl is at the helm with no real experience, they all go on an international hunt for the gang of money laundering murderous pirates that takes them all over the globe from the Cameroon jungles to Switzerland mansions. But have no fear as Pia has Wonder Woman like qualities from her athletic and almost Olympian football/soccer abilities which make her a worthy and extremely fast opponent. There is no time to take a breath with this story it moves very fast and quick which can be confusing at times so pay attention! There are a few slow parts and too many wild fight scenes as well but all in all it is a fun and fast read. I will be checking out more of Seely James wild adventures with Pia in the future…:)
RobynKFLNJ More than 1 year ago
The Geneva Decision was AWESOME! Seeley James is an incredible author! I was sitting at the edge of my seat reading this book and I couldn't put it down! I loved all the twists and turns. I hope there are more books about Pia Sabel. I would love to know what other events life has in store for her.