Falling by T. J. Newman

cover image

Do you save your family or a plane load of souls? Captain Bill Hoffman faces this impossible choice in this uncompromising thriller. Fast–paced and compelling, this book grabs the reader on the first page and the edge of your seat experience lasts to the last page. It is impossible to put down.

Bill arrives for his flight to New York. "I'm a good man, he reminded himself without wavering."  A few minutes into the flight Bill learns that his family has been kidnapped. His wife and two children will only be released if Bill crashes the plane at a designated location. This is where the book really takes off. Written by a former flight attendant, the detailed knowledge of the behind the scenes workings of an ordinary flight brings another level of complexity and suspense to an already explosive plot. The action takes place in real time and the author skilfully enables the reader to feel they are there taking part themselves.

The characters are well drawn, savvy and courageous individuals. We come to know the backstory of Bill and Carrie (his wife) and the terrorists - as well as the flight attendants and FBI agents assigned that day. These people feel real, and the reader is right with them as they make excruciatingly difficult choices. The reader is forced to consider the shades of grey that colour our days, and the compassion that eases the way. The intricately crafted plot twists made this a powerful, heart stopping read and it is no surprise that the book will soon be bursting onto the screen as a movie.

So, what does Bill do? Save his family or a plane full of souls? You’ll need to read it to find out.

Additional resources available: The book trailer sets the scene for the book and is a great addition to a library website/blog. In her first interview, T.J. Newman explores the influences that framed her writing.

Themes: Terrorism, Courage, Loyalty, Sacrifice, Relationships – friends and family.

Linda Guthrie