Falling by T.J.Newman
I am in a definite full-blown summer reads moods over here which has been helped by the heatwave we are currently having in the UK. This week, I found myself craving something light, fun and foreign, whilst digging into a Solero and did a few quick book purchases, namely the new Jo Thomas and Lauren Weisberger novels.
But today, I want to talk to you about a cracking thriller, a real page-turner that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout. It's perfect for the beach because when it comes to flying home, well you just won't want to! You'll be forced to spend a life sipping Pina Colada's and topping up your tan. You can thank me later.
You just boarded a flight to New York
There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers on board.
What you don't know is that 30 minutes before the flight, your pilot's family was kidnapped. For his family to live everyone on your plane must die.
The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes his plane.
The reviews on the cover of this book read like a who's who of top crime authors; James Patterson, Ian Rankin, Lee Child, Gillian Flynn and Steve Cavanagh have all praised this novel highly and it certainly delivers.
Right from the opening chapter, a jaw-dropping terror of a plane ride, we are in the thick of the action. By Chapter 3, we know that something is very, very wrong. And the action does not let up until the closing chapter. At the end I felt exhausted from the rollercoaster of emotions, up and down and the fast pace of this novel.
The power behind the novel is its authenticity. T.J.Newman served as a flight attendant and the knowledge of the role is packed into the novel. We learn that a flight attendant spends 90% of their training learning about safety and what to do in case of a whole multitude of emergencies and 10% learning how to serve drinks. What is actually means when flight attendants stand in front of the pilot's door, and what would happen if you tried to bust through the door. (Spoiler alert, you can't!)
The novel splices the action in the air, with that on the ground and the pace never lets up. Even when our heroes are sifting through memories of their family and lives at home, provide us with little relief as it is usually accompanied by a backdrop of abject terror. We can actually feel the sweat forming on the shirt backs of our pilots, passengers and attendants.
Throughout, we are left with the unsettling idea that this could actually happen. But there is comfort in that the pilots and attendants work their very hardest to get us all home safely. The novel is a fantastic summer thriller to read, but maybe not for those of us about to board a plane!