"Spirited, readable debut with extra points for plot and pacing."– Kirkus Reviews
In Ebbers’ debut thriller, a commercial pilot and his wife are framed by a murderous criminal network.
The author, a reporter and former Vietnam pilot, fashions a resilient character in Capt. Frank Braden, who, at 50, is enjoying his career as a commercial pilot for WestSky Airlines. When a sudden explosion rips out part of the hull during a routine flight, Frank, alongside his trusty copilot, is able to save more than 100 passengers from hurtling toward certain death. The resulting FBI probe traces the source of the explosion to a bomb sewn into a dog’s belly in the plane’s cargo hold; worse still, they believe the episode was a premeditated suicide mission on Frank’s part. The deck is stacked against the captain once it’s uncovered that he was a taxidermy fan as a child, he recently filed for bankruptcy and his pet Labrador is missing. Suspended from WestSky, Frank scrambles to clear his name while navigating a succession of shadowy stalkers and the resurgence of a war compatriot. As his fate hovers uncertainly before him, Frank’s conscience remains heavy with memories of Vietnam. The author writes with breezy energy and is consistently at his best when describing scenes of suspenseful intrigue. The thrills last right through the book’s final chapters and a particularly climactic, watery denouement. Frank and wife, Nicole, who puts her physician practice on hold as all this unfolds, emerge as a heroic pair despite the implausibility of much of the melodrama. Whether they’re skirting imminent danger at the hands of marauding villains or devising schemes to outsmart the doggedly persistent killers, these two steal the show.
A spirited, readable debut with extra points for plot and pacing.