Falling by T. J. Newman
A compelling read, this debut thriller is perfect summer reading; unless you’re on an airplane. Former flight attendant and bookseller Newman had many rejections when trying to find an agent, then ended up with an instant bestseller. Pilot Bill Hoffman of Coastal Airways has just begun a flight from Los Angeles to New York City with copilot Ben when he gets an emailed photo of his family, taken hostage. Expecting a ransom demand, Bill is instead told to crash the plane in order to save his wife Carrie, son Scott, 10, and baby Elise. Bill gets word to head flight attendant Jo, who has a contact with the FBI, and she agrees to try to protect the passengers. Chapters alternate between the points of view of Bill, Carrie, Jo, and the FBI, making the book increasingly difficult to put down. The author’s background makes the airplane setting and responses of the flight crew seem authentic. In a twist, the hostage taker informs Bill that he has a Plan B already on board the plane. Film rights have been sold. Readalikes include Airport by Arthur Hailey, Hostage by Clare Mackintosh and Airframe by Michael Crichton.