As I read the blurb, my heart started racing. A book about a plane crash?! Should I really pick a book that has a plane crash as the center of its story . If you don’t already know, I suffer from aviophobia (fear of flying) which you can read about here. However, the thought of an intriguing thriller got the better of me, and I did end up reading it, with some Xanax by my bedside!
A private jet departs Martha’s vineyard headed for New York with eleven passengers on board. Sixteen minutes later, the plane plunges into the Ocean. The only two survivors are Scott Burroughs – a struggling painter and a four-year old boy, JJ.
The story weaves between the ongoing investigation of the crash and the lives of passengers and crew members before the crash.
Noah Hawley, the creator of the hit TV series Fargo, writes this beautifully crafted suspense thriller. A good portion of the story revolves around the back lives of the passengers who were on board.
David Bateman, a multimillionaire, cable news network head, who had also chartered this jet. His wife, Maggie and two children Rachel and JJ and their Israeli bodyguard Gil.
Maggie had also invited Scott Bouroughs to join them on this flight, just that very morning.
Also on the plane is, Ben Kipling, a Wall Street power house and his wife Sarah, along with 3 crew members.
In the after math of the crash, there is an out pour of support, and Scott is hailed a national hero as he did a grueling swim with JJ to the shore, and brought the boy to safety. However, it does not take long for the media to spin accusations as to why Scott boarded this fateful flight. We, as the readers begin to truly understand what power and influence the media has on the news these days.
Through out the book I kept wondering as to why the plane went down, as I assume other readers may have felt. But, Hawley, has interwoven the back story of all the passengers so well, that you are consumed in their lives as well. Both the parallel story lines were beautifully crafted.
However, I did feel, this wasn’t a thriller, in the true sense of the word. It was definitely intriguing, but more so because the characters of the passengers were so well-developed. I went into this book thinking it would be more about the crash, the investigation and the suspects. But the passengers back lives was a more prominent feature of this book. This will make for a good summer read, but go into it, as an intriguing read, rather than a thriller.
Without giving away any spoilers, I will say that the ending to me, was highly plausible, but a bit anti-climatic.
I will leave you with my favorite quote from the book.
“Art exists not inside the piece itself, but inside the mind of the viewer.”
“Because what if instead of a story told in consecutive order, life is a cacophony of moments we never leave? What if the most traumatic or the most beautiful experiences we have trap us in a kind of feedback loop, where at least some part of our minds remains obsessed, even as our bodies move on?”
“It’s hard to be sad when you’re being useful. And he liked that idea. That service to others brought happiness. It was self-involvement that led to depression, to spiraling questions about the meaning of things”.