Monday, October 24, 2016

Guest Review: Free Fall

Summary: Pilots with no control…

High above the Adirondack Mountains, a commuter flight to New York City turns into a rolling, twisting nightmare, plunging from the sky before the crew regains control. Then, in London, a jetliner crashes into the runway, killing fifteen people.

Investigators with no answers…

Reporter Kate Page believes something beyond mechanical—or human—error is behind the incidents that have air investigators baffled. But the mystery deepens as teams scramble to pinpoint a link between the tragedies, and Kate receives an untraceable message from someone boasting responsibility and threatening another event.

A looming disaster…

As Kate, the FBI and the NTSB race to find answers, the shadow figures behind the operation launch their most devastating plan yet, and time ticks down on one of the greatest tragedies the world has ever known. -- Mira

I have to be honest. There is no way I would ever read FREE FALL by Rick Mofina. The premise of an airplane going out of control with no explanation is way too scary for me. Lucky for me, Booking Pap Pap read it instead. Here are his thoughts:

In FREE FALL by Rick Mofina, the main character is reporter Kate Page who works for a newswire service. While in the office on the weekend fine tuning a news article, Kate hears on the scanner a report about a New York commuter flight that has malfunctioned sending the passengers into a panic. Kate immediately heads for LaGuardia airport to learn as much as she can about the flight. The National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) is quick to identify the problem as pilot error but the pilots insist that the advanced operating system failed. As the investigation is taking place, another airliner with the similar operating system crashes while landing in London killing several passengers. Pilots again say the operating system failed but investigators again lean toward pilot error. Investigators insist that the two accidents occurring so close together is a coincidence. As Kate tries to find a common thread in the two incidents, she receives an email from a party claiming responsibility and threatens even more death and destruction. Kate reports the email to the FBI but aviation authorities insist it’s a hoax and claim airplane operating systems cannot be hacked or controlled remotely. All parties are concerned about reporting the story without the full facts and causing panic in the airline industry. Kate continues to chase the story as she confronts resistance from her own editors, the FBI and the NTSB. Kate’s efforts result in her and her family becoming targets. Soon the FBI, Kate and the NTSB get on the same page and work together to try to avert a major disaster.

Author Rick Mofina does a great job of weaving all the characters into the story while maintaining a high level of intensity. Mofina makes the storyline even more realistic when he goes into great details in describing the work of an airline disaster investigation and follows the work of the FBI in trying to solve the case. Although the characters are well developed, they are not the story. The story is the airlines, the sophisticated operating systems and the question as to whether they can be hacked. What results is a chilling fictional account of an issue that we all can relate to. Is airline travel safe?

FREE FALL is a complex thriller that centers on a subject that is too real. I suggest that you don’t do what I did. I read this thriller before getting on an airplane.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this novel.

Mystery Mondays is a regular feature where I review all types of mystery books -- traditional mysteries, suspense/thrillers, and even cozies! Please feel free to share your thoughts on any recent mystery books that you've read.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

Yeah, that sounds pretty darn scary to me!