Title: Falling (2021) Author: T.J. Newman Publisher: Simon & Schuster Book jacket: Thirty minutes ago, a pilot’s family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on his plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane. Enjoy the flight. Joe Says: Falling is an easy, enjoyable read with a frenzied plot that borders on cartoon-land crazy.
Ready for takeoff? Then secure your baggage in the overheads and order a vodka gimlet because once Falling gets going there is no stopping.
Former flight attendant TJ Newman crafts a ridiculously-fun premise with a unique spin on airline hijacking. Get this one. The terrorist kidnaps the pilot’s family. And his message is a simple one: crash the plane or your family dies.
Ah, decisions, decisions.
The pilot in question is Bill Hoffman, a veteran pilot who is comfortable with the pressure of his profession. But when there is a bullet with your name on it and a loved family in peril, then the grip on that yoke gets all the more tighter. Luckily, Jo, the head of the crew, is also cool under fire. They devise a plan that is as footloose as Kevin Bacon – albeit one convenient as a Jerry Bruckheimer movie – that might actually save them.
Newman keeps the action, and dialogue, flying. She paces her scenes between the action in the cockpit, the plight of the crew, the dismay of the captured family, and a showcase of heroism surrounding a certain spoiler-free destination. Perhaps the only stall is the terrorists’ final execution as an otherwise meticulous plan all-too-easily borders on cartoon-land crazy. The quick action and page-turning frenzy becomes adequate reconciliation.
Falling is an easy, enjoyable read. Be sure to pick up a copy at a Hudson News. This will make a great companion for that non-stop LAX – JFK getaway.
Thanks to NetGalley and Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster for the great trip. And a nod and wink to the great Don Winslow for the recommendation.