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Falling

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You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don’t know is that thirty 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 the plane. Enjoy the flight.


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You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don’t know is that thirty 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 the plane. Enjoy the flight.

30 review for Falling

  1. 4 out of 5

    Yun

    Wow, I'm kind of speechless at how utterly dull this story was. Given the premise, it's really quite unbelievable. Bill Hoffman is the pilot of Flight 416, en route to JFK with 149 souls on board. What he doesn't know is that his wife and children have been kidnapped and are being held hostage. When his plane is midair, he is confronted with a choice: crash the plane or his family will die. That sounds interesting enough, and the first few chapters were. But the more I read, the worse it got. The Wow, I'm kind of speechless at how utterly dull this story was. Given the premise, it's really quite unbelievable. Bill Hoffman is the pilot of Flight 416, en route to JFK with 149 souls on board. What he doesn't know is that his wife and children have been kidnapped and are being held hostage. When his plane is midair, he is confronted with a choice: crash the plane or his family will die. That sounds interesting enough, and the first few chapters were. But the more I read, the worse it got. The crux of the problem is that there's nothing compelling or new or even entertaining in here. If a book could be made up of clichés, one after another, this is it. Of course the passengers are upset, the flight attendants heroic, the bad people Middle-Eastern, and the authorities good meaning but bumbling. Every dialogue is so cringey in how predictable and trite it was. Every scene felt like a repeat of ones I'd seen before from bad action movies. It's hard to keep my focus when I already know how it will all play out. I caught myself skimming multiple times because my brain just filled in all the blanks without having read any of it. I never made any emotional connections with the characters. They are just stereotypes, and can be replaced by any other character of the same type. There's a simplicity and predictability to everything in here that wore me out and completely bored me to tears. Honestly, there's no need to read this book. Just close your eyes and imagine some scenes from an airplane hijacking. Whatever you just imagined is more exciting than what you would find in this book, and you just saved yourself many hours. You're welcome.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Regina

    And the 2021 winner for Worst Book to Read on an Airplane goes to… Falling by T.J. Newman! Applause, applause. The concept itself definitely deserves it, since it’s one of the best “would you rather” quandaries I’ve ever heard: If you were a pilot, would you rather crash the commercial plane you’re flying or have your kidnapped family be murdered? I consider myself pretty savage at WYR, but even I wouldn’t want to answer that question. In fact, it’s such a good one that it’s already netted debut a And the 2021 winner for Worst Book to Read on an Airplane goes to… Falling by T.J. Newman! Applause, applause. The concept itself definitely deserves it, since it’s one of the best “would you rather” quandaries I’ve ever heard: If you were a pilot, would you rather crash the commercial plane you’re flying or have your kidnapped family be murdered? I consider myself pretty savage at WYR, but even I wouldn’t want to answer that question. In fact, it’s such a good one that it’s already netted debut author (and former flight attendant) T.J. Newman a $1.5 million movie deal with Universal Pictures. Get that popcorn popping! As for the novel itself, I found Falling to be a somewhat problematic page turner. The cold open thrusts readers into an extremely over-the-top and graphic scene that doesn’t jibe with the rest of the book. I fear it will turn some people off, but those who stick with it will see a quick downshift from rated-R to PG-13 territory. More significantly though, I also fear the “bad guys” (as they’re oft called) and their motivations are going to disappoint a lot of readers. They certainly did this one. The flip side of that coin is that the “good guys” consist of some refreshingly memorable characters that make flying through these pages a heck of a lot of fun. This was a buddy read with Michael David, and he was a bit more enthusiastic about the book than I was. Be sure to check out his review as well. :) My thanks go to T.J. Newman and Avid Reader Press for my gifted advance readers copy to review. 3.5 stars Blog: https://www.confettibookshelf.com/

  3. 4 out of 5

    Bibi

    41 literary agents rejected this book and now I know why. Newman writes with a particular parochial gaze that confines the characters and plot into a one-dimensional space where everything is predictable. Final verdict: mediocre and the author needs writing lessons.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Jayme

    Heart Thumping -Non-Stop Action-from START to FINISH!! ❤️ You CAN read this ADRENALINE thriller in the course of the five hours or so that it might take you to fly from LAX (Los Angeles) to NY’s JFK airport....but I suggest you read it when your feet are planted firmly on the ground!! Captain Bill Hoffman’s family has been kidnapped thirty minutes before his flight but he doesn’t know this yet. His wife Carrie, and his two children are being held hostage, strapped to explosives 🧨 And, when he fin Heart Thumping -Non-Stop Action-from START to FINISH!! ❤️ You CAN read this ADRENALINE thriller in the course of the five hours or so that it might take you to fly from LAX (Los Angeles) to NY’s JFK airport....but I suggest you read it when your feet are planted firmly on the ground!! Captain Bill Hoffman’s family has been kidnapped thirty minutes before his flight but he doesn’t know this yet. His wife Carrie, and his two children are being held hostage, strapped to explosives 🧨 And, when he finds out, he is told that he can’t share this information with his first officer, Ben or his cabin crew. Once airborne, he is given the “choice” of crashing the plane to save his family OR saving the 149 souls onboard, instead. The pace is FAST as the action alternates between the choices being made in the cockpit, what our fearless flight attendants are doing in the cabin, and the support being given by the FBI and ATC (Air Traffic Control) on the ground. As a 25+ year flight attendant, myself, I loved reading a book without the stereotypical pilots and flight attendants you usually find in these books! The story was peppered with actual “lingo”and authenticity only a crew member could write, because our author was also a flight attendant, for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines, for 10 years, before selling this novel! Although I fly for a different carrier, we too have “legendary employees” like Michael “Big Daddy”, who have “three digit” employee numbers. And, many of us “slam click” on our overnights, as lead flight attendant “Jo” talked about! (Hotel doors SLAM shut, you hear the CLICK of the lock and the crew members aren’t seen again till the next morning). Kellie-the “reserve” flight attendant who got the assignment “last minute” when someone else called in sick.....Yes-that is how it works! It was her lucky day! I had SO MUCH FUN reading this, as I immediately donned my thinking cap, wondering how I would have handled the situation … And, YES, I laughed, I cried, and I cheered them on!!! You cannot ask for more than that in a thriller!! This will make a great 🍿 movie! Congratulations to Torri Newman for her perseverance in not letting the 41 rejections stop her from submitting this to #42! Being a flight attendant will give you a thick skin-and it paid off here! I too, live in Phoenix and have referenced The Changing Hands bookstore, where she once sold books in a past review! (Our Souls at Night-Kent Haruf) I hope she will have a book signing at her old store, sometime? 🤞🏻 NOW AVAILABLE from Avid Reader Press/Simon & Schuster! Thank you for my gifted copy provided through NetGalley in exchange for a candid review!

  5. 4 out of 5

    Roxane

    Let me preface my comments by saying I love this writer's backstory. I love the origin story of this book. I love that it is in the world because there's room for all kinds of storytelling and I welcome the rainbow, enthusiastically. I can't wait for the movie, either. So. The story here is great, total thriller, action-packed, sometimes ludicrous, but always engaging. I read this book in a few hours. An airline captain, Bill (tall handsome), has been given an impossible choice--crash the plane he Let me preface my comments by saying I love this writer's backstory. I love the origin story of this book. I love that it is in the world because there's room for all kinds of storytelling and I welcome the rainbow, enthusiastically. I can't wait for the movie, either. So. The story here is great, total thriller, action-packed, sometimes ludicrous, but always engaging. I read this book in a few hours. An airline captain, Bill (tall handsome), has been given an impossible choice--crash the plane he is flying from LAX to JFK or his family (hot, perfect wife, brave son, cute baby daughter) will be murdered. He also has to gas the cabin with poison and there is someone, he doesn't know who, on the plane to ensure that he complies with his tormentor, Sam's, instructions. He's not supposed to tell anyone; he's supposed to kill his co-pilot Ben, and he only has like 5 hours to save the world. Why is Sam doing this? Well, he's from Kurdistan, and he has legitimate beef with the United States (as do most countries in the world), and he's going to get his pound of flesh one way or another. The sort of inside trade secrets of flight attendants and pilots were super interesting to me as a frequent flier. The action was great. The biggest issues here are that the characters are thinly drawn, rife with cliches, and the writing is often not good. Certainly, on a sentence level, the writing is fine, and the pacing is great. But the structure is kind of off in that a lot of the character development that there is, happens through weird flash backs that conveniently give the reader the information they will need to contextualize what's about to happen. I understand why it is being done this way but it is too convenient. The writer's work is too obvious and in plain sight. Then there are the tics. For example, whenever a character is surprised, their jaw drops. There were so many dropping jaws throughout the novel. A pandemic of dropped jaws. Bill's jaw dropped at least four times. There were also gasps and wide eyes and so on. You know how airplane internet never works and when it does you can barely download an email? Bill is on a flight with amazing internet. He spends the entire flight FaceTiming with his wife and the kidnapper, without any connection issues. It's simply ludicrous. You can barely log on to that crap internet. Every cliche you can imagine about masculinity and Americana are here. SPOILER ALERT! The penultimate scene happens as the plane flies over Dodger Stadium during Game 7 of the World Series where the players decide to keep playing the game even though they know there is a threat hurtling toward them. Just... incredible. The secondary characters include Jo, the tiny feisty black flight attendant and her FBI agent nephew Theo who resists authority, an airline attendant who is also diminutive but is called Big Daddy and let me tell you, every time his colleagues call him Big Daddy or Daddy, I just giggled with delight because it was just so strange. And then there is Kellie, I think, the third flight attendant who is brand new but rises to the occasion. As an aside, in WHAT WORLD, would there only be three flight attendants on a transcontinental flight? I happen to take this particular flight REGULARLY and there are usually like five or six flight attendants, even on single-aisle planes! Anyway, it's fine. This is a fun thriller. I just notice these kinds of things.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Dorie - Cats&Books :)

    ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** Remember the name of this author, T. J. Newman, because I assure you, you will be awaiting her next book. A former waitress and flight attendant, this is quite a debut!! This novel will take you away from wherever you are and take you into the air and the TERRIFYING PLIGHT OF THE PILOT, PASSENGERS AND CREW aboard flight 416!! Coastal Airways Captain Bill Hoffman wasn’t supposed to be flying that day. In fact he had a disagreement with his wife before he left, this was ***HAPPY PUBLICATION DAY*** Remember the name of this author, T. J. Newman, because I assure you, you will be awaiting her next book. A former waitress and flight attendant, this is quite a debut!! This novel will take you away from wherever you are and take you into the air and the TERRIFYING PLIGHT OF THE PILOT, PASSENGERS AND CREW aboard flight 416!! Coastal Airways Captain Bill Hoffman wasn’t supposed to be flying that day. In fact he had a disagreement with his wife before he left, this was supposed to be a family night. But when his superior officer asked him to fly, he felt he had no choice. There are 143 souls on board, an incredible responsibility. Bill’s mind is on home as he does his pre-flight checks, but all seems right with the plane and they are ready for take off, a six hour flight from LA to New York. Not long into the flight he receives a message from his wife’s number for a FaceTime call. What he sees is not what he expects. His family has been taken hostage, tied up and are strapped with explosives and terrified. Sam, the man calling the shots on the ground, tells Bill that he HAS TO MAKE A CHOICE!!!! To save his family he is told he must crash the plane, if he doesn’t his family will die!! Bill’s immediate response is “YOU WILL NOT KILL MY FAMILY AND I WILL NOT CRASH THIS PLANE”. Kellie is a new flight attendant while Jo and Big Daddy are the seasoned professionals “They’d both been in aviation their entire adult lives and they both knew the only thing you could always count on was that your crew had your back. Crew was family” Jo has a nephew, Theo, in the FBI and manages to get a message to him. Eventually the FBI, Homeland Security, Air Traffic Control and even the president will have a decision to make about this flight!!! What that is I will leave you to discover. You will not be bored as you race through this book, following the crew as they come up with a plan to keep the passengers safe. When one plan falls short, they come up with another. Even for Kellie, their training kicks in and helps them make decisions. Both scenarios are equally as exciting; what is happening in the air and what is transpiring on the ground as Theo and all of the other pros race against the clock to try to save Bill’s family. I couldn’t stop reading this until the ending, which was outstanding!! I received an ARC of this novel from the publisher through NetGalley.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Nilufer Ozmekik

    OMG! Since 24’s season 5 21st episode I haven’t gotten so tense! I am so close to explode! My heart is pounding so fast! I can crush because of extra adrenalin rush as the blood keeps pumping into my veins! What a freaking eyes popping head spinning gut wrenching ride I jumped on! This book is sticky! It glues to your hands, taking control of your mind, forcing you cut your connection with the real world and for cues you to enjoy the action packed, fist pumping, jaw clenching, heart throbbing pac OMG! Since 24’s season 5 21st episode I haven’t gotten so tense! I am so close to explode! My heart is pounding so fast! I can crush because of extra adrenalin rush as the blood keeps pumping into my veins! What a freaking eyes popping head spinning gut wrenching ride I jumped on! This book is sticky! It glues to your hands, taking control of your mind, forcing you cut your connection with the real world and for cues you to enjoy the action packed, fist pumping, jaw clenching, heart throbbing pacing! Don’t you ever dare to put it down! If you do that, you’ll regret it because when you turn back your normal life, intense feeling of claustrophobic cabin fever will follow you in everywhere! Let’s take a closer look to the plot line: Captain Bill Hoffman feels sorry how he left things with his wife at home. She didn’t answer his calls which is strange because whenever they have argument, she never chooses silent treatment. Something is off. He couldn’t be so right because as he sits on his seat at the cockpit, checking last things before his flight from LAX to NYC’s JFK airport, he gets an email from his wife without subject attached with a photo shows his family are hostages of a very dangerous man. As he clicks the man’s FaceTime call, he sees his wife strapped with explosives (just like Bodyguard’s final freaking episode) The man call himself Sam tells him he has two choices he’s going to crash the plane if he doesn’t he will kill his family. Plain and simple. Bill cannot tell it anybody if he does that his family dies. If he rejects the plan again his family dies. So he has to obey the rules. He has to change the rotate to Washington D. C., killing his copilot by mixing white powder with his coffee inserted his bag and throw a gas can at the cabin before crashing the plane! He carries 144 souls onboard whose lives at stake. Will he crash the plane to save his family? At the cabin, there are brave flight attendants do their best to keep the passengers alive as Bill literally deals with fight or flight situation. Jo, experienced flight attendant, is close friend of Bill learns the threat at the first hand and thankfully her nephew Theo is FBI agent but even their resources and ATC’s support can not be enough to fight against the big threat. What’s going to happen? Could loved be saved and could the imminent political threat and national crisis be stopped before things are getting escalated? There are so many movies take place in the plane like Passenger 57, Red Eye, Nonstop, United 93, and lately Joseph Gordon Levitt’s 7500. This book’s storyline is quit best example of action packed- adrenaline rush- cabin fever movies and with fast pacing, mind whirling, high tension storyline helps you consume it as like you’re devouring your favorite action movie! ( its storyline is so much better than the some of the movies I listed before so this has great potential for an adaptation!) If you enjoy unputdownable, addictive, one sit readings which can get you out of your mind, this book is best fit for your needs. Pick up your popcorn and wine ( or any other combination like pretzels, biscotti and can coke just like airline complimentary menus) and sit tight at your seat, fasten your seatbelt and enjoy your crazy flight! Special thanks to NetGalley and Avid Reader Press/ Simon& Schuster for sharing this digital reviewer copy with me in exchange my honest opinions.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Michael David

    “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Bette Davis said that famously misquoted line in All About Eve, and it applies here as well. Flight 416 is on its way to New York when Captain Bill Hoffman finds out his wife and two children are being held hostage by a man that has strapped them into explosive vests. The man contacts Bill in-flight and tells him that if he doesn’t crash the plane, killing all “souls” aboard, then his family will be killed. After the initial shock wears off, “Fasten your seatbelts. It’s going to be a bumpy night.” Bette Davis said that famously misquoted line in All About Eve, and it applies here as well. Flight 416 is on its way to New York when Captain Bill Hoffman finds out his wife and two children are being held hostage by a man that has strapped them into explosive vests. The man contacts Bill in-flight and tells him that if he doesn’t crash the plane, killing all “souls” aboard, then his family will be killed. After the initial shock wears off, Bill assures the man that his family will not be killed, and he will NOT crash the plane. This sets in motion a non-stop, fast paced action-thriller that never lets up. It’s a fun and suspenseful popcorn read, but with a surprising layer of depth that is shown through the fascinating characters and some of the plot reveals. I even choked up towards the end, and I was not expecting that to happen during the reading of this book. Speaking of the characters, the flight attendants, among others on the flight and on the ground, were amazing and multi-dimensional...not at all surprising given debut author T.J. Newman is a former flight attendant (and bookseller) herself. Special shoutout to FA Jo Watkins, badass extraordinaire! One thing I didn’t like was some of the stereotypes used. You’ll know what I mean when you read it. Other than that, this is a crackling and highly enjoyable race-against-the-clock thriller full of entertainment. This was a buddy read with Regina. While I enjoyed it more than she did, it was nice to discuss our perspectives. Sincere thank you to Avid Reader Press for sending me a physical ARC in exchange for an honest review. Preparing for takeoff on: 7/6/21. Review also posted at: https://bonkersforthebooks.wordpress.com

  9. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    This is a fast-pace Suspense Mystery/Thriller. This book takes you on a wild ride of action, twist and suspense. Basically without giving anything away this book is only about a pilot being made to choose to save his family or to save everyone on the plane he is flying. This book pull me in so fast, and I did not want to put it down at all. I spend most of today reading this reading. All the characters in this book are really developed, and they really came to life for me while I read this book. This is a fast-pace Suspense Mystery/Thriller. This book takes you on a wild ride of action, twist and suspense. Basically without giving anything away this book is only about a pilot being made to choose to save his family or to save everyone on the plane he is flying. This book pull me in so fast, and I did not want to put it down at all. I spend most of today reading this reading. All the characters in this book are really developed, and they really came to life for me while I read this book. My favorite character was Jo who was a flight attendant. I loved her character so much because she was a strong well woman that was the rock for everyone. This book is told to us by a couple different character, and Jo is one of them. I love the parts that came from Jo's point of view. I cannot believe this is T.J. Newman's first book...WOW... What a great job. This book is so well written. This is a must read thriller, but you should not read this book if you are going to fly anytime soon. I was kindly provided an e-copy of this book by the publisher (Avid Reader Press) or author (T.J. Newman) via NetGalley, so I can give honest review about how I feel about this book. I want to send a big Thank you to them for that. Note: I also won a goodreads giveaway for an ARC of this book right before getting approve for the Netgalley copy.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Tina

    Oh gosh was this one ever a THRILLING EDGE-OF-YOUR SEAT kind of book! WOW, cannot believe this was a debut novel. Kudos to T.J. Newman, an ex-flight attendant for writing such an engrossing tale! Coastal Airways Flight 416 is on-route from Los Angeles to New York City when the pilot Captain Bill Hoffman receives a terrifying FaceTime call from his wife Carrie only it's not her calling. A man named, Sam has kidnapped Hoffman's family and tied them up with explosives. He demands that Hoffman must c Oh gosh was this one ever a THRILLING EDGE-OF-YOUR SEAT kind of book! WOW, cannot believe this was a debut novel. Kudos to T.J. Newman, an ex-flight attendant for writing such an engrossing tale! Coastal Airways Flight 416 is on-route from Los Angeles to New York City when the pilot Captain Bill Hoffman receives a terrifying FaceTime call from his wife Carrie only it's not her calling. A man named, Sam has kidnapped Hoffman's family and tied them up with explosives. He demands that Hoffman must crash the plane killing everyone on board if he wants his family to live. If he does not do this he will kill his family. Wow, what a terrifying scenario!!! The story alternates between the goings on in the cockpit, the flight crew and passengers outside in the cabin, and the kidnapped Hoffman family. Many people come into play to help as the time is ticking. I listened to this audio and I must say I felt many different emotions. At one point I did get a little teary eyed as I found myself holding my breath. Please tell me someone is making this into a movie! It has all the right elements for one and I'd definitely watch it! This is what I'd call an all-out entertaining book! ✈️ 😬 🧨

  11. 4 out of 5

    Gabby

    This book has one of the coolest premises I’ve ever heard, but unfortunately it just didn’t really live up to its cool premise for me, and I found parts of this book to be kind of problematic 😬 it just didn’t sit right with me. But this story is nonstop action which was fun, I think it would make for a really great movie. Reading vlog where I talk about it more: https://youtu.be/8s5cz0XmpY0 This book has one of the coolest premises I’ve ever heard, but unfortunately it just didn’t really live up to its cool premise for me, and I found parts of this book to be kind of problematic 😬 it just didn’t sit right with me. But this story is nonstop action which was fun, I think it would make for a really great movie. Reading vlog where I talk about it more: https://youtu.be/8s5cz0XmpY0

  12. 4 out of 5

    JanB

    Does every book live up to the hype? No. And this is one of them. There’s probably a reason it was rejected forty-one times by publishing agents. The Dilemma: save your family or save all the passengers on a plane? This isn’t a new premise this summer, but it’s the last of the three I read, and perhaps the weakest. On the negative side, this is one of the worst examples of stereotypical villains I’ve read in quite a while. The characters, along with the plot developments, all require of high leve Does every book live up to the hype? No. And this is one of them. There’s probably a reason it was rejected forty-one times by publishing agents. The Dilemma: save your family or save all the passengers on a plane? This isn’t a new premise this summer, but it’s the last of the three I read, and perhaps the weakest. On the negative side, this is one of the worst examples of stereotypical villains I’ve read in quite a while. The characters, along with the plot developments, all require of high level of suspension of disbelief. Also, I was lured in by dramatic jaw-dropping opening scenes that (view spoiler)[ has shades of Dallas: never mind, it was all a dream. (hide spoiler)] The characters were stereotypical, and the events that unfold were unrealistic, inducing much eye-rolling. Get ready to pile on the guilt for living in a first-world country. On the positive side, the premise is great, even if overdone this year. The inside info into the flight attendants and the lingo used is spot on according to those in the know. Kudos to the men and women who are flight attendants - thank you for your professionalism and your expertise! Another positive is this will be a terrific movie. But, as a book this is an airport novel…oops…maybe I should say a beach read. In any case, for a propulsive book where you are able to suspend disbelief and keep flipping the pages, this one works if you don't want to think too hard.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    Wow! What an incredible debut novel. Fasten your seatbelts and pull your seat back straight because this is going to be one helluva ride! When Coastal Airways Captain Bill Hoffman is called in on his day off to pilot flight 416 from LA to New York, he little imagines it will be any more than a routine flight. With clear weather, he’s not expecting any problems flying the Airbus A320 carrying 144 passengers, his experienced co-pilot Ben, two senior flight attendants, Jo and Michael and young proba Wow! What an incredible debut novel. Fasten your seatbelts and pull your seat back straight because this is going to be one helluva ride! When Coastal Airways Captain Bill Hoffman is called in on his day off to pilot flight 416 from LA to New York, he little imagines it will be any more than a routine flight. With clear weather, he’s not expecting any problems flying the Airbus A320 carrying 144 passengers, his experienced co-pilot Ben, two senior flight attendants, Jo and Michael and young probationary attendant, Kellie. Even though Bill should be enjoying family time with his wife Carrie and kids, they’re used to managing without him and he plans to make it up to them later. However, with the flight underway and the plane set to cruise, Bill is sent a shocking photo of Carrie and the kids being held hostage in their home, with a suicide bomber’s vest strapped to Carrie’s chest, and told he must make the impossible choice to either save his family or crash the plane. Even though he has just found himself thrust into every pilot’s worst nightmare, Bill is determined that neither of those options will happen on his watch. With Bill doing all he can in the cockpit to keep the flight safe and his flight attendants preparing the passengers they make a formidable team. The action and the tension as the remaining five hours of the flight count down are relentless as events unfold rapidly in the air and on the ground. What I really enjoyed about this book, was seeing the flight crew’s training kicking in as they planned and managed the situation. This should have been no surprise since the author was a flight attendant for 10 years, writing much of her book while flying red-eyes. However, the professionalism which Jo, Michael and Kellie showed really added an authenticity to the action. I was however, a little disappointed in the stereotyping of the terrorists and their motives, but this was the only aspect of the novel that I felt could have been more imaginative and did not detract from the very suspenseful plot or the rapidity with which I turned the pages. This book should come with a warning that under no circumstances should you be tempted to buy it in the airport bookshop to read during your flight. Much better to read it with your two feet firmly on the ground. With thanks to Simon & Schuster and Netgalley for a copy to read. Published early June in UK and Australia and 6th July in USA. Original review first published in Mystery & Suspense magazine.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    4.5 stars, rounded up This book starts with one of the scariest scenes I’ve ever read. I had no clue where the book would go from there. But it does… Captain Bill Hoffman is the pilot on an LA to NYC flight when he gets an email from his wife. A picture of her and their son, bags over their heads and explosives around her waist. His choice - crash the plane he’s flying or have his family killed. It’s a wild ride to see how he plans to get out of this situation. There’s never a lull in the suspense 4.5 stars, rounded up This book starts with one of the scariest scenes I’ve ever read. I had no clue where the book would go from there. But it does… Captain Bill Hoffman is the pilot on an LA to NYC flight when he gets an email from his wife. A picture of her and their son, bags over their heads and explosives around her waist. His choice - crash the plane he’s flying or have his family killed. It’s a wild ride to see how he plans to get out of this situation. There’s never a lull in the suspense. It’s got a flat out mile a minute pace with no pauses. This is one story that might make you afraid to fly. But it might also make you appreciate the pilots and flight attendants a lot more. I loved that most of the characters are just regular folks dealing with a crisis. Yes, maybe trained for it, but never expecting it to land in their laps. And kudos to Newman for giving the terrorists some good talking points. Americans do have the privilege of not caring about what’s happening elsewhere in the world, about having the luxury to look away. This would make a fabulous movie. But I hope if it is made, they don’t lose the nuances of the characters involved. Because this is more than just an action story. I tore through this one in just slightly over a day. It shocked me that it took 41 rejections before this book found a home, because I was really impressed by this debut effort. My thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for an advance copy of this book.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    My second airplane disaster novel this summer but for me, this one was a disappointment. I know so many friends read this book and loved it and I wish I did too. This is a quick read. I could've finished listening in a day, but after halfway I realize I didn't care for the characters. Although, Big Daddy does perk my interest when he's there. A break from the book could help make it more interesting the following day. Which it did. I don't know what to say about the motivation for the hijacking. T My second airplane disaster novel this summer but for me, this one was a disappointment. I know so many friends read this book and loved it and I wish I did too. This is a quick read. I could've finished listening in a day, but after halfway I realize I didn't care for the characters. Although, Big Daddy does perk my interest when he's there. A break from the book could help make it more interesting the following day. Which it did. I don't know what to say about the motivation for the hijacking. The author made good guys (in my view) into a stereotypical terrorists. That's too bad and it didn't make sense. But you need a cause so I'll accept. I think the suspense at the beginning made the book more enjoyable than the second half, but there are more actions towards the end that keep me engaged. I had my suspicions for some characters, and they proved to be correct. Some scenes made me roll my eyes with corny dialogue (the pilot) and another towards the ending. Falling is a good debut for the author and I mostly enjoy the story. I think I was expecting to be blown away...

  16. 5 out of 5

    Ceecee

    4.5 This is one that’s best to go in blind, without too much information which would spoil the enjoyment. Suffice it to say, Captain Bill Hoffman works for Coastal Airways, there are 144 passengers on Flight 416 from LAX to JFK. Meanwhile on the ground his wife Carrie, son Scott and baby Elise are held at gunpoint by Sam .... The story alternates between the cockpit and cabin and events on the ground. ‘Come fly with me, come fly, let’s fly away’ ... but maybe not this flight as it’s your worst n 4.5 This is one that’s best to go in blind, without too much information which would spoil the enjoyment. Suffice it to say, Captain Bill Hoffman works for Coastal Airways, there are 144 passengers on Flight 416 from LAX to JFK. Meanwhile on the ground his wife Carrie, son Scott and baby Elise are held at gunpoint by Sam .... The story alternates between the cockpit and cabin and events on the ground. ‘Come fly with me, come fly, let’s fly away’ ... but maybe not this flight as it’s your worst nightmare. This is as taut as piano wife, as tense as a Hitchcock movie, it could potentially shred your nerves and reduce your fingernails to stumps. Both Catch-22 dilemmas are extremely well done as the plot develops explosively with several jaw dropping and exciting scenes of excellent thriller movie potential. Without being too cliché I visualise Tom Hanks as Bill (too Sully?!!) and Tom Cruise (too Ethan Hunt?) on the ground as FBI agent Theo Baldwin. There’s bravery in abundance with several characters demonstrating a gird your loins, warrior spirit as they think fast on their feet. There’s guilt and betrayal too but some of that has political reasons at its core which does give you something to reflect on. The plot is clever, the pace is fast when it needs to be and thankfully you do get occasional breathers with some little moments of ‘peace’ which serves effectively serves to highlight the trauma and the drama. There are at least a couple of occasions when your heart breaks in two with the voluntary sacrifice offered. There is one moment of reckless stupidity which makes you wonder why some people think they can be Rambo???? Overall, this is an exciting well written thriller that will have you perched on the edge of your seat. A major plus is the authors flight attendant experience which gives a feeling of authenticity to the storyline. With thanks to NetGalley and especially to Simon and Schuster for being kind enough to grant my wish for the arc in return for an honest review.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Sheyla ✎

    What would you choose, your family or the lives of over one hundred under your care? This is the dilemma Captain Bill Hoffman of flight 416 is confronted with. His wife and his two kids have been taken hostages by a terrorist and unless he crashes the plane when he is told, they won't survive the day. Bill is told he can't contact anyone, he can't say anything to Ben, his copilot. He can't share his news with the Crew either or his family is gone. What to do? Falling has an excellent premise to trap What would you choose, your family or the lives of over one hundred under your care? This is the dilemma Captain Bill Hoffman of flight 416 is confronted with. His wife and his two kids have been taken hostages by a terrorist and unless he crashes the plane when he is told, they won't survive the day. Bill is told he can't contact anyone, he can't say anything to Ben, his copilot. He can't share his news with the Crew either or his family is gone. What to do? Falling has an excellent premise to trap you and ensnare you all the way through. I could feel the tension in the cabin. The desperation and fear of the passengers and the determination of the Crew which by the way had a fantastic characterization. Bid Daddy, Jo and Kellie are the crew you want to have in a situation like this other than Bill or Sully Sullenberger for that matter. Cliffhanger: No 4/5 Fangs A complimentary copy was provided by Avid Reader Press / Simon Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. MrsLeif's Two Fangs About It | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

  18. 4 out of 5

    Zoeytron

    Loved the premise of this, an impossible choice that must be made with limited time to decide.  The thrill factor was right up there at the top of the tree for me.  I agree with other reviewers who have mentioned the opening chapter perhaps not being the best decision.  It may very well put off more readers than it would attract, and little would be lost if it had not been included.  I daresay you can skip it entirely, go on with the show, and be riveted to your seat.    (view spoiler)[I admit to Loved the premise of this, an impossible choice that must be made with limited time to decide.  The thrill factor was right up there at the top of the tree for me.  I agree with other reviewers who have mentioned the opening chapter perhaps not being the best decision.  It may very well put off more readers than it would attract, and little would be lost if it had not been included.  I daresay you can skip it entirely, go on with the show, and be riveted to your seat.    (view spoiler)[I admit to snorting about how Game 7 of the World Series played out.  Fiction is fiction, but this scenario took a headlong dive off a gargantuan cliff for me. (hide spoiler)]         I appreciated the savvy brought to the table by the fact that the author worked for years as a flight attendant.  It lent an air of authenticity to the in-flight doings.  Kudos to the author for persevering in her quest to publish.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    Super exciting and difficult to put down! Once I started this book I found myself thinking about it when I had to go and do other things, longing to get back to find out what would happen next. This is a fantastic debut thriller, with just the right amount of action, tempered with some humor and some clever twists. There's definitely a bit of anxiety as I was hoping everyone I cared about would survive the ordeal, but it is the good kind of anxiety that kept me turning pages. The premise is--Pilo Super exciting and difficult to put down! Once I started this book I found myself thinking about it when I had to go and do other things, longing to get back to find out what would happen next. This is a fantastic debut thriller, with just the right amount of action, tempered with some humor and some clever twists. There's definitely a bit of anxiety as I was hoping everyone I cared about would survive the ordeal, but it is the good kind of anxiety that kept me turning pages. The premise is--Pilot takes off with a plane full of people flying from LA to New York. When he reaches cruising altitude, he gets a video call from home, and it turns out that his entire family has been kidnapped. He is told that he has to choose--crash the plane or his family dies. Tell anyone, and they all die. What happens next is a wild ride! While I probably wouldn't choose to read this one on a plane trip, I highly recommend this gripping tale that will make your heart beat faster and your breathing become more rapid as you frantically turn the pages to discover the fate of the family and the passengers on the plane. The only shortcoming I found was that I didn't have much buy-in for the motivation of the people behind the events that occur. I did really like the characters involved, especially the flight attendants. Because the author is herself a flight attendant, the details are authentic and believable, which made me enjoy the story all the more. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn Walsh

    Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this gripping, thrilling book in return for an honest review. The threats and actions were relentless, with suspense and tension throughout. This was an extraordinary debut thriller that kept me riveted to the seat while dreading its outcome. All aboard the plane for an almost 6-hour flight from LA to NYC. There are 149 passengers and crew aboard who are not expecting the terror that will face them. The pilot, Bill, is faced with a dilemm Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for this gripping, thrilling book in return for an honest review. The threats and actions were relentless, with suspense and tension throughout. This was an extraordinary debut thriller that kept me riveted to the seat while dreading its outcome. All aboard the plane for an almost 6-hour flight from LA to NYC. There are 149 passengers and crew aboard who are not expecting the terror that will face them. The pilot, Bill, is faced with a dilemma that seems insurmountable. He must choose between crashing the plane with everyone onboard into an unknown target or the death of his wife and children. They are being held captive by a terrorist. This man is wearing an explosive suicide vest, and Bill's wife has been forced to wear one also. The situation on board the plane is grim. There is an unknown partner of the terrorist on the plane with a gun, and canisters of deadly poison gas are to be used to incapacitate the passengers and crew. How will Bill decide? Will he choose his family or the plane? He must use all his skills and training to do the impossible. He is determined to save his family without crashing the plane. On the ground is an FBI agent, Theo, who is barely holding on to his position. He has a history of acting impulsively. He has a lot on his mind. His aunt is a senior flight attendant on the plane. How far will he go to disobey orders to locate Bill's family and save them from the terrorist? Readers will remember this exciting debut thriller when regular air travel becomes possible again but also recall the brave and resourceful pilot and his flight crew. We learn the terrorists' motives and almost sympathize with them as individuals despite their evil plans. They feel the history of their horrible plight was ignored by the West, the government, its people, and the press. I would have liked to have read what was going through some of the passengers' minds, but this might have detracted from the main players in this compelling read. Recommended as an exciting summer thriller. I hope the author has more stories in mind for future suspense novels.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mandy White (mandylovestoread)

    My goodness, what a book! You might actually forget to breathe whilst reading this one. It is an intense page turner that you will struggle to put down. I made the mistake of starting Falling late one night and wished that I could have read it in one sitting. It would make a fantastic movie 🎥 An impossible choice.... what would you do? Commercial airline pilot Bill picks up an extra flight at the last minute and will soon wish that he had said no. Early into the flight to New York he is given an My goodness, what a book! You might actually forget to breathe whilst reading this one. It is an intense page turner that you will struggle to put down. I made the mistake of starting Falling late one night and wished that I could have read it in one sitting. It would make a fantastic movie 🎥 An impossible choice.... what would you do? Commercial airline pilot Bill picks up an extra flight at the last minute and will soon wish that he had said no. Early into the flight to New York he is given an ultimatum... crash the plane and the 140 souls on board will die, or his family will die. With his stellar crew behind him, they must try to survive this flight and keep his family safe. There are some graphic scenes in this one, but all in the context of the story. You will feel the tension, you will feel the characters pain and fear. The tension is real and you feel as if you are in board with the passengers. A super fast paced read that I couldn’t stop reading. Thanks to Simon and Schuster Australia and NetGalley for my advanced copy of this book to read. .

  22. 5 out of 5

    Jen

    Full review (maybe) to come. Highly unfortunate timing for this to become available off my library holds based on current world events. Quick and dirty: 2.5 stars. Fast paced and very readable (though full of eyeroll-inducing improbability), had some great characters, and will probably make a better movie than it did a book. Though absolutely it should have a motive/"bad guy" tweak. I am not on board with it as written, at all. (Intentional terrible pun) Full review (maybe) to come. Highly unfortunate timing for this to become available off my library holds based on current world events. Quick and dirty: 2.5 stars. Fast paced and very readable (though full of eyeroll-inducing improbability), had some great characters, and will probably make a better movie than it did a book. Though absolutely it should have a motive/"bad guy" tweak. I am not on board with it as written, at all. (Intentional terrible pun)

  23. 5 out of 5

    Larry H

    If you’re looking for a thriller that reads like a movie, here’s one for you: T.J. Newman's upcoming debut thriller, Falling ! Are you a good flyer or a nervous flyer? If you are a white-knuckle flyer you’ll probably want to skip this one so it doesn’t give you something else to worry about when you get on a plane! Captain Bill Hoffman is ready to fly 143 people from Los Angeles to NYC for Coastal Airways. He’s done his preflight checks and his favorite flight attendant, Jo, is in charge of the If you’re looking for a thriller that reads like a movie, here’s one for you: T.J. Newman's upcoming debut thriller, Falling ! Are you a good flyer or a nervous flyer? If you are a white-knuckle flyer you’ll probably want to skip this one so it doesn’t give you something else to worry about when you get on a plane! Captain Bill Hoffman is ready to fly 143 people from Los Angeles to NYC for Coastal Airways. He’s done his preflight checks and his favorite flight attendant, Jo, is in charge of the cabin. Bill and his first officer are ready to go, and they expect a smooth flight across the country. Then he receives an email message: his wife and two young children have been kidnapped and have bombs attached to them. If Bill doesn’t crash the plane, the kidnapper will kill his family. His choices: kill everyone on board (including himself) or let his family die. And he can't involve the authorities, because his family will suffer the consequences. Falling was written by a former flight attendant who wrote most of this during cross-country flights when her passengers were asleep. It definitely reads like a book written by someone who knows her s—t!! (Plus, I've heard from two friends who are flight attendants that it's pretty authentic.) This was one of those books that you frantically turn the pages of, as you can’t wait to see what unfolds. It’s a tremendously entertaining thriller, fast-paced in many ways, with a diverse and enjoyable supporting cast. As I was reading it, I was totally casting the movie in my head! If I had any criticism, I felt the kidnapper was a little too stereotypical, but as my friend Phil and I discussed in our impromptu buddy read, it could’ve been problematic any way Newman went. But the book had more emotional depth than I expected, which was great. I devoured this in one sitting. NetGalley, Avid Reader Press, and Simon & Schuster provided me a complimentary advance copy of the book in exchange for an unbiased review. Thanks for making it available!! Falling publishes 7/6. Check out my list of the best books I read in 2020 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2021/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2020.html. See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com. Follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Pat

    That was more like it - a book I could really get my teeth into. And what a dilemma it was! Bill Hoffman, a pilot with Coastal Airways is to captain a flight on his supposed day off as the rostered pilot is suddenly unavailable. The decision is not popular with his family but he goes to do his job. Then the nightmare begins. He learns his family is being held hostage - his wife, Carrie strapped into a suicide bomber vest trying to comfort his son Scott, 10 and juggle 10 month baby Elise with bou That was more like it - a book I could really get my teeth into. And what a dilemma it was! Bill Hoffman, a pilot with Coastal Airways is to captain a flight on his supposed day off as the rostered pilot is suddenly unavailable. The decision is not popular with his family but he goes to do his job. Then the nightmare begins. He learns his family is being held hostage - his wife, Carrie strapped into a suicide bomber vest trying to comfort his son Scott, 10 and juggle 10 month baby Elise with bound hands. There is a man with them also strapped into a bomb laden vest with his thumb on the detonator. His demands are simple - crash the plane carrying 140 odd ‘souls’ or his family will be blown to smithereens! There is a bit more to it than that but that is the crux of the story. Hoffman tells the kidnapper, he will not crash the plane and his family will not be killed. He has about 5 hours to work out how to do this. There is an accomplice on board but we don’t know who that is for a long time. Luckily, two of the flight attendants are very experienced. Hoffman is not supposed to tell them anything but he’s also very experienced. And sneaky. They come up with a cunning plan. Of course as with many plans, things don’t go according to the plan but never underestimate people who are fighting for their lives. At the other end, Carrie proves to be feisty and clever as well. She doesn’t give anything away and bides her time. But will all this be enough? This is certainly one of those ‘edge of your seat’ thrillers. I couldn’t see how it would play out or even if it would. The prologue certainly didn’t inspire confidence for the outcome. It really went down to the wire and I just couldn’t put the book down. I had to know how it ended. Kudos to the author who worked as a flight attendant for some years, so everything was pretty realistically described. I can recommend this book to any thriller lover or adrenaline junkie. It was really well done. I received an advance review copy from Netgalley for free and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

  25. 5 out of 5

    PattyMacDotComma

    3.5 “The moment he had seen the picture, he knew his cockpit had been breached. He knew on some level that the plane itself was in jeopardy. Bill couldn’t feel his hands as they moved over the keyboard. I’m not going to crash this plane and you’re not going to kill my family. ‘Wrong,’ the man said after reading Bill’s email. ‘One of those things will happen. You choose which.’ ‘Let me repeat myself, son. I’m not going to crash this plane and you’re not going to kill my family. Period.’” Bill Hoffman 3.5 “The moment he had seen the picture, he knew his cockpit had been breached. He knew on some level that the plane itself was in jeopardy. Bill couldn’t feel his hands as they moved over the keyboard. I’m not going to crash this plane and you’re not going to kill my family. ‘Wrong,’ the man said after reading Bill’s email. ‘One of those things will happen. You choose which.’ ‘Let me repeat myself, son. I’m not going to crash this plane and you’re not going to kill my family. Period.’” Bill Hoffman already wakes up regularly from a nightmare about a plane crash where the side of the plane rips open and people are sucked out. Not good for a pilot. This isn’t exactly what he’s dreamed – it’s worse. Bill is flying LA to NY, when he is confronted mid-air with an email demanding he crash the plane. Attached is a photograph of his kidnapped family. He can’t tell anyone or signal anyone. He lets his co-pilot think he’s just answering emails or Facetiming his wife. It would be a dilemma for anyone, but even more so for Bill. He takes his pre-flight inspection more seriously than some, who consider it a necessary nuisance. “To most pilots, it was just another FAA regulation. To Bill, it was church.“ He also took this particular lesson to heart when he began flying. “‘Now, when we log a flight plan, do you know why we write ‘souls on board’ instead of ‘people on board’?’ his instructor had asked. Bill shook his head. ‘We say it that way so that if we crash,’ he explained, ‘they know exactly how many bodies they’re looking for. Avoids the confusion of different titles like passengers, crew, infants. Just how many bodies, son. That’s all they need to know. Oh!’ He snapped his fingers. ‘And sometimes we carry dead bodies in the cargo hold so they need to know not to count them.’” There are no dead bodies on this flight – yet. But there are some interesting characters, and when the terrorist mentions a backup plan, everybody looks suspicious. I found this terrifyingly exciting in places and so dull that I skimmed a lot. The author has added back stories for many characters, which I usually appreciate and enjoy. I like understanding where people come from and how their personalities were formed. None of it really mattered in this instance (to me), because I just wanted to know what was going to happen. Probably the best character is Jo, the senior flight attendant, who has to explain to the junior trainee what it is exactly that they do. The trainee wants to hand out snacks during a moment of crisis while Jo needs her to do something else. “‘Kellie,’ Jo said. ‘That’s not our job. Service is just something we provide.’ . . . First aid and self-defense. Drilling, over and over, the evacuation of hundreds of people from a burning aircraft, or from a water landing. . . . They’d learned about the different kinds of fires and the different ways to fight them. Hazmat, heart attacks, hijackings. Federal regulations and federal air marshals. Turbulence. Terrorists.” There’s plenty to enjoy in this novel, but I never felt invested in the characters (although I liked Jo). I do, however, see this as a terrific screenplay that will no doubt be (maybe has already been) turned into a film or mini-series, where we will suffer the mounting tension and can’t skip the back stories. I won’t give it more stars, because it didn’t hold my attention enough to stop me skimming to get to the end. Others have loved this, and you may, too, so read their reviews instead. 😊 Thanks to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster Australia for the copy for review from which I’ve quoted.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    Don't believe the hype via a massive marketing campaign and glowing reviews from famous authors (do they get paid for their reviews?). This book is awful. Truly awful. I'd rather watch grass grow, or get my tooth pulled kind of awful. People seem to have forgotten that there was an equally awful trend of thrillers in hijacked planes in the 1960s and 1970s. They were cheesy and cliched so much so they actually made a very successful parody film on the genre. Who could have imagined that it was re Don't believe the hype via a massive marketing campaign and glowing reviews from famous authors (do they get paid for their reviews?). This book is awful. Truly awful. I'd rather watch grass grow, or get my tooth pulled kind of awful. People seem to have forgotten that there was an equally awful trend of thrillers in hijacked planes in the 1960s and 1970s. They were cheesy and cliched so much so they actually made a very successful parody film on the genre. Who could have imagined that it was re-invented with a plodding, cliched story that was so tedious and predictable I couldn't wait for the ending. One dimensional characters, and a story so flawed that you could drive a bus through the plot holes . I also feel bad for the Kurds who were turned into bad guys in this book. I guess it's more politically correct blaming Kurds for terrorism in the skies even though there's never been a single incident involving Kurds and in fact they are among the most oppressed people in the world. I could find no redeeming qualities in this book at all other than the very successful marketing campaign. I wish Goodreads had a zero star option.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Diane S ☔

    3.5 This book has been majorly hyped. I've seen it pretty much everywhere on book sites and other media sites. Of course my curiousity was piqued, had to jump on the bandwagon and see if the hype was justified. It was and it wasn't, mixed for this reader but then again I'm not a huge fan of thrillers. It was exciting in places, definitely kept me reading though there were parts I skimmed. Did come to like the main characters, appreciate the horrible dilemma in which they found themselves. The re 3.5 This book has been majorly hyped. I've seen it pretty much everywhere on book sites and other media sites. Of course my curiousity was piqued, had to jump on the bandwagon and see if the hype was justified. It was and it wasn't, mixed for this reader but then again I'm not a huge fan of thrillers. It was exciting in places, definitely kept me reading though there were parts I skimmed. Did come to like the main characters, appreciate the horrible dilemma in which they found themselves. The reason behind the scenario does make one think about how much in the news we just let pass us by. Doesn't really affect our lives, so we let it go. Anyway, this was filled with the usual thriller impossibilities and implausibilities, but it will, if it hasn't already, be optioned for a film. It's the way it is written. Wouldn't read this if one intends to fly soon. ARC from Edelweiss.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jonetta

    Coastal Airways Pilot Bill Hoffman agreed to take a flight at the request of the chief pilot at the last moment over wife Carrie’s objections. It means he’s missing his son’s opening day baseball game so when he left the house that morning, things were tense even though the cable guy was there to figure out what was going on with their internet. Just a normal start of the day in a family’s household. Until it wasn’t. After Bill leaves home, the “cable guy” took his family hostage and once he rec Coastal Airways Pilot Bill Hoffman agreed to take a flight at the request of the chief pilot at the last moment over wife Carrie’s objections. It means he’s missing his son’s opening day baseball game so when he left the house that morning, things were tense even though the cable guy was there to figure out what was going on with their internet. Just a normal start of the day in a family’s household. Until it wasn’t. After Bill leaves home, the “cable guy” took his family hostage and once he received clearance for takeoff and left the tarmac, he gets an email that will change his life forever. Grab some popcorn and settle in for a quite a ride! The man holding Bill’s family hostage, strapped to explosives, wants him to choose his family and crash the plane or choose his passengers and sacrifice his family. Bill is a senior, seasoned officer so he relies on training and experience to try and think his way out of this. I learned a lot about flight training from his perspective and the crew, which included what type of responses are drilled into them. This drives their decisions and, most importantly, helps them focus on rising above the fear and panic. Bill knows there’s a “backup” plan by the hostage taker so figuring out who that might be is another challenge. This turned out to be exactly what I’d hoped for, a tense and nail biting listening experience that measures up to all those Airport movies I'm a sucker for. (By the way, this is a perfect movie vehicle and, in fact, has already been optioned by Universal Pictures following an intense bidding war.) The motivation behind the hijacking is an added element that is provocative. I bonded with the crew, the captain, Carrie and the FBI agent who gets in the mix of things. There are some predictable moments but when you get invested in the characters that matters less. That ending…*sigh* I listened to the story, narrated by one of the finest, Steven Weber, and he nailed everything. Most importantly, he helped make these characters human and elevated the suspense. I got everything I hoped for in this story and can’t wait to see it on screen. Posted on Blue Mood Café (Thanks to Simon & Schuster Audio for my complimentary copy. All opinions are my own.)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Faith

    “You will crash your plane or I will kill your family.” That is the message that Bill Hoffman receives while he is piloting a commercial aircraft from California to New York. His wife and 2 young children are being held hostage. There are guns, lethal gas and explosives involved and Bill must decide who will die. This is the first book from this author and it is a terrific thriller. Finally, a thriller that is actually thrilling. My interest never flagged. It would make a great movie as the acti “You will crash your plane or I will kill your family.” That is the message that Bill Hoffman receives while he is piloting a commercial aircraft from California to New York. His wife and 2 young children are being held hostage. There are guns, lethal gas and explosives involved and Bill must decide who will die. This is the first book from this author and it is a terrific thriller. Finally, a thriller that is actually thrilling. My interest never flagged. It would make a great movie as the action switches among the hostages, the cockpit, the FBI, the flight attendants and air traffic control. The author was a flight attendant, so the details of the procedure on the plane felt very real (although the author wrote in the afterword that she made enough changes to prevent the book being used as a training manual for terrorists). This book was immensely entertaining. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mark

    SPOILER ALERTS Already irritated by a 3 page missive from the President of Avid Reader Press at the start of the book ( I presumed it was the start of the book ) that included details on how wonderful a person the author is ( this of course is fine but better at the end ) plus plot giveaway, then was further irritated by the desire of one of the flight attendants as she wished ‘she was one of the bubbles on top of the coffee she was pouring’, the then introduction of ‘Daddy’ (also answered to ‘B SPOILER ALERTS Already irritated by a 3 page missive from the President of Avid Reader Press at the start of the book ( I presumed it was the start of the book ) that included details on how wonderful a person the author is ( this of course is fine but better at the end ) plus plot giveaway, then was further irritated by the desire of one of the flight attendants as she wished ‘she was one of the bubbles on top of the coffee she was pouring’, the then introduction of ‘Daddy’ (also answered to ‘Big Daddy’ ) as another flight attendant did nothing to quell it 😊 My choice to read a 4th book set on a plane ( didn’t finish 1 ) and so cannot complain about the content and the action scenes are good, even if they do contain highly improbable drama where chemical weapon cannisters are being thrown around, caught and deactivated by passengers, however I can complain about the authors seemingly want to explain the terrorists motivation, tbh it sounded justified but it was so OTT that the Captain makes it his life mission to help the people the terrorists were acting on behalf of ‘for the rest of his days’ as he had ‘promised one of the terrorists’…..however worthy a cause I think any reader only wants so much of it in one book ( maybe I am wrong on that? ) The story turns farcical when the aeroplane is due to crash on a baseball game in NY and the players being given warning of this decide to ‘play on’ regardless ‘as patriots would’ whilst everyone is scrambling to leave, all to the tune of ‘New York, New York’ being played over the sound system by an unsuspecting Frank Sinatra I can safely say I was as pleased to finish the book as the passengers were to land 2 Stars 3/10

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