Tag Archives: suspense

Perfect, by Douglas Wickard

Perfect, Douglas WickardWith each book, Douglas Wickard grows as a writer. This one is his best to date, which should not be a deterrent from reading his other novels. I devoured them in just a few settings.

The plot of Perfect moves along at a pace that allows the reader to enjoy the scenery, which Wickard is a master at showing. The characters story savor their surroundings which are given to the reader in satisfying glimpses, or are repulsed by them. There were a few times I thought the story came to a halt while a scene was described, but those times were rare.

The interactions of the characters are realistic and you get to know the point of view characters thoughts and feeling intimately. This being the third book in the Sami Saxton series, she carries baggage from the two previous novels that Wickard wisely doesn’t dwell on. Hints are given so readers of the previous novels are reminded and understand Sami’s emotional well-being. New readers to the series won’t be left questioning why she thinks and acts the way she does.

Sami’s bestie from the previous novels, Drewe, is given more story time in this novel, which gave this reviewer more insight into why she and Sami are so compatible to each other.

But poor Sami. Wickard does not give this woman a break. Just when you think things might be looking up for her, emotionally and romantically, Wickard drops her into hell, yet again. This book comes to a satisfying conclusion, but is left wide open for a continuation of Sami’s torturous life to go on. I can’t wait to read it.

Cassidy Jones and the Luminous

Cassidy Jones and the LuminousBefore you begin reading this engaging novel, set some time aside before you turn the first page. If you don’t, you’ll be late for work or school, forget to meet friends, or wish you hadn’t stayed up so late the next day.

 Elise Stokes has an amazing ability to put the reader into the mind of a fifteen-year-old young woman who just so happens to have superpowers. The character, Cassidy Jones, with the exception of the superpowers, is the kind of daughter all parents would cherish, or teenagers wished they had as a friend. She doesn’t swear, or deliberately get in trouble. But having her extraordinary gifts and using them to rid her hometown of Seattle of villains often puts her in the crosshairs of nasty people.

 What I love about this book and the series in general, is how the ordinary life of a teenager is portrayed while Cassidy works with her genius neighbor and best friend Emery to keep Seattle safe. The interaction with the students in school who consider themselves so above Cassidy made me feel I was back in high school. Cassidy’s interaction with her family and friends evoked many smiles. The action scenes are fast paced and you’ll want to reread to savor how well written they are.

 Although classified as a young adult book, readers of that age or older will thoroughly enjoy reading Cassidy’s latest adventure. I look forward to reading the next in the series.

 

Tracon, by Paul McElroy

ImageBeing an airline pilot, I enjoyed reading this book. Mr. McElroy is not an air traffic controller, but it seems he did his research and got the details correct without taking the reader to air traffic controller school. I’ve often wondered what life on the other end of the two-way transmission I often take for granted is like and got a firsthand glimpse of that life.

 

As an author of airline thrillers, I loved the plot in this story, and a bit envious it has been used. It’ll make the reader feel the possibility of something similar having happened when the story takes place — more than a decade ago – might’ve happened.

 

But a great plot is no good without believable characters to carry the story, which was not a problem with this novel. I cared for the characters, hated a couple, and shook my head at a few.

 

The story moved forward at a moderate pace without lagging by stopping to tell backstory. What backstory is told is told in conversation which makes learning about the character more realistic. If I had a dislike it was the author’s choice to change character points of view within a chapter or section numerous times; a personal grip of mine

 

Overall, I recommend this story.

 

 

 

The Cover-Up, First Chapter

Monday, June 14 2:07 p.m.

Chapter One

Monday, June 14 2:07 p.m.

cropped-cover-small-the-coverup.jpgChunks of rubber as large as garbage can lids flew from the tire of the main landing gear of the Omega Airline 737.

LaGuardia Airport air traffic controller Sanchez Lopez’s heart pounded as he watched the aircraft continue to accelerate for another thousand feet. Then, slots in the sides of the two jet engines opened and the nose of the airplane dipped, indicating the crew rejected the takeoff.

Sanchez looked to his right. United Airlines Flight 549 crossed the end of runway three-one and began its flare to slow its descent rate for landing. Runway four, which the Omega aircraft barreled down, intersected runway three-one. There was the potential for a collision, or the runway being contaminated from the debris from Omega’s tire. He keyed his microphone. “United 549, go around. Aircraft on the runway.”

Omega continued through the intersection and raced toward the end of the pavement. It appeared to be going too fast to stop on the remaining runway. The last two thousand feet was built out over Flushing Bay, with a twenty-foot drop to the water.

Sanchez curled his toes as if pressing on the brakes of the aircraft, willing it to stop. Eventually, his training kicked in. He raised his voice to get the attention of the other six controllers. “Omega 918 is going off the end of the runway.”

The other controllers pivoted their heads to the end of runway four.

Sanchez confirmed visually that United 549 was in a climb, retracting its landing gear, before he spoke into his boom microphone. “United 549, fly heading three four zero. Climb and maintain five thousand feet.”

He glanced back in time to see Omega slide off the end of runway four.

“Shit!” Sanchez braced himself against the counter as if he were in the airplane.

The airplane was airborne for two hundred feet, then smashed through the first set of approach-light stanchions. Parts of the engine cowling ripped away as if from an explosion. The plane continued forward, its nose canted down, for another two hundred feet before it collided with the second stanchion. The tail of the aircraft rose before slamming down, sending out a shower of water.

The 737’s left wing sat on the stanchion. The right one lay in the water, canting the aircraft thirty degrees. Its nose looked as if a wrecking ball had smacked it.
 

Coerced, Chapter One

CHAPTER ONE

COERCED - 1 - FULL RESOmega Airlines flight 1194 would land at New Orleans International just as the approaching thunderstorm moved over the airport.

Air traffic controller Jacob Crispen looked out the airport’s control tower windows and observed the black line of clouds two miles to the west continuing eastward toward the airport. Every few seconds, lightning shot out.

If Omega 1194 didn’t land in the next few minutes, the storm would close the airport. Any other traffic inbound would have to hold or fly to their alternate airport.

Omega was three miles from the airport and several thousand feet higher than other flights would normally be that far away. It seemed impossible they would lose their excess altitude and make a normal landing.

Crispen considered giving Omega the option of flying a three-sixty-degree turn to give them more time, but that would have them landing after the storm hit. He brought the microphone to his lips and keyed the transmit button. “Omega 1194, winds two one zero at fifteen, gusting to twenty-five. You’re still cleared to land.” His foot tapped a steady beat.

“Omega 1194,” one of the two pilots radioed back.

The 737’s wings rocked. They were two miles from landing, but their altitude readout on Crispen’s radar showed them at three thousand feet. Most aircraft would be at eight hundred feet. He couldn’t believe they were continuing the approach.

“Omega 1194, wind one eight zero at twenty gusting to thirty.” Crosswind gusts in excess of twenty-five knots made landing difficult.

The plane continued toward the airport.

The wind howled as it rounded the control tower windows. Crispen considered evacuating the tower and seeking the safety of the offices at ground level in case the wind toppled the tower, or blew out its windows. After Omega landed, or aborted their approach, he’d scramble down the stairs.

Omega was a mile from the airport and a thousand feet above it. They should be less than five hundred. The plane’s wings continued to rock from the thunderstorm half a mile away. “Omega 1194, wind one seven zero at two two. We just had a gust of forty.” Crispen stood and stepped from foot to foot in time with the plane.

The flight crossed the end of the runway two hundred feet in the air. Most aircraft would’ve been at fifty feet. It continued descending, the wings rolling left and right.

“Go around. Go around,” Crispen said without keying the microphone. He could only order the flight to do so if the runway wasn’t clear of traffic.

Over halfway down the runway and twenty feet off the ground, Omega’s nose aligned with the runway. The aircraft descended fast, hitting the runway in what must’ve been a jolt. It bounced ten feet into the air and hovered while continuing on its path, before dropping to the concrete once more.

Do they have enough runway to get stopped?

The spoilers on top of the wings lifted, and the slots in the side of the engine opened, signaling the pilots had selected reverse thrust.

The aircraft swerved back and forth.

Crispen’s mouth gaped when Omega went off the right side of the runway. Pieces of smashed runway edge lights flew into the air.

The thunderstorm swallowed Omega in the heavy rain. Visibility dropped, making it difficult for Crispen to observe Omega’s roll out.

Without taking his gaze off the ghost-like shape of the plane continuing down the side of the runway, he lifted the phone with a trembling hand and speed dialed a number.

“Fire and Rescue,” a male voice said.

“This is the tower.” Crispen’s voice was louder than necessary. “Omega Airlines 737 went off the side of the runway and may need assistance.”

“Location, damage, and souls onboard?”

“They just came to a stop at the west end of runway two-eight. Aircraft appears intact. Souls onboard unknown.”

“We’re rolling.”

He hung up. “Omega 1194, tower. Rescue equipment is on their way. Do you require assistance?”

No one answered.