Howard Seaborne

There’s no third-person description of Howard Seaborne here. This is just me. If you’re reading this, it’s possible you have a professional interest in the DIVISIBLE MAN novels. So, if I may, I’d like to take a business approach to this author’s bio.

THE WRITING: The quality of the writing is easily determined by reading the books. You’ll form your own opinion and nothing I say will change it. If you haven’t read the books, Kirkus Reviews did, and they said nice things. I don’t pretend to be Eudora Welty or  ...See more >


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"Well-written and engaging, with memorable characters and an intriguing hero...A crisply written thriller...A great read."

Kirkus Reviews

BOOKS REVIEWED BY KIRKUS:

Pub Date:

In this fourth thriller in a series, a pilot with the gift of invisible flight investigates the links between a suspicious death, a dangerous fugitive, and a powerful lobbyist.

A lot has happened in the six months since 33-year-old Will Stewart, a charter pilot for Wisconsin’s Essex County Air Services, miraculously survived an unexplained accident that crashed his small plane. Even more miraculously, the mishap mysteriously left Will with the ability to turn invisible and fly. Currently grounded while waiting for medical clearance, he’s been perfecting his self-powered flight and developing gadgets to help with aim and propulsion. He’s also used his abilities to make some amazing rescues and has helped his wife, Essex County police detective Andrea “Andy” Stewart, solve several crimes. Three weeks ago, someone tried to kill her sister Lydia, believing that she was Andy. The suspect is Mannis Rahn, who’s connected with the previous book’s case, which involved a high-society robbery and lobbyists for private prisons. Now it’s Christmas, and Lydia’s lobbyist husband, Davis Bates, whom she’s divorcing, has been found dead. It could be suicide—but more likely, it’s murder. Andy and Will investigate in Washington, D.C., and follow up leads connected to Davis’ lobbying firm, Rahn, and a mysterious redheaded woman who may have a crucial piece of evidence. Will faces several tests of character that challenge him to use his abilities for good, including a situation involving a possible school shooter and another involving an immensely powerful player in American politics.

As in this series’ three previous books, Seaborne (Divisible Man: The Second Ghost, 2018, etc.), a former flight instructor and charter pilot, proves that he’s a natural-born storyteller, serving up an exciting, well-written thriller. He makes even minor moments in the story memorable with his sharp, evocative prose, as when he describes a parking lot in which “Evenly-spaced lamps all around us cast down cones of lighted mist—creating a magical forest of transparent Christmas trees.” Every reader will be able to relate to the fantasy of being able to fly, and Seaborne keeps that idea fresh by allowing Will to find new and different ways to master his ability. Will’s smart, humane, and humorous narrative voice is appealing, as is his sincere appreciation for Andy—not just for her considerable beauty, but also for her dedication and intelligence. As before, Seaborne does a fine job of making side characters and locales believable. It’s deeply gratifying to see Will deliver righteous justice to some very bad people; a nice scene on top of a municipal water tower will have readers wishing that they could step into Will’s shoes. Readers of the series so far will enjoy seeing Will’s horizons grow as he considers the use of his powers, which seem to have effects beyond invisibility and flight. He also expresses reasonable fears that his powers could put him at risk from others who may want to use them for either humanitarian or selfish purposes.

An intensely satisfying thriller—another winner from Seaborne.

Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-73219-496-0
Page count: 382pp

A man with the powers of flight and invisibility uses them to help investigate a sex-trafficking ring in this third novel in a series.

Five months ago, Will Stewart, 33, a regional pilot for Essex County Air Services in Wisconsin, survived the crash of his small plane—an accident that remains unexplained. He’s still waiting for a medical evaluation to clear him to fly again and restore his pilot’s license; his neurologist, Dr. Doug Stephenson, is concerned about some imaging results, which show a tangled, wiry structure in Will’s brain. But what Stephenson doesn’t know—and what almost no one else knows—is that the accident left Will with a strange and wonderful gift that he calls “the other thing”: He can become invisible and float in the air. Over the past months, he’s been perfecting a set of hand-operated propulsion devices that give him more control over his ability, which he’s used in two previous adventures to help his 20-something wife, Andrea “Andy” Taylor, a police detective, solve crimes and rescue innocents. Now, one night in early December, Will and Andy are having a rare date night when they get an emergency page from teenage Lane Franklin. She’s in on the secret, as Will used the other thing to save her from abduction a few months before; now his abilities are desperately needed to prevent Lane’s distraught friend from shooting herself. The girl, Sarah, is being blackmailed by someone who has a nude photo of her, taken somehow without her knowledge. Will quickly solves the immediate threat, but the investigation into how the picture was taken points toward a larger, more serious criminal enterprise targeting female high school athletes. Will must push his abilities to their limits in order to bring down the bad guys.

As in the previous two outings, Seaborne (Divisible Man: The Sixth Pawn, 2018), a former flight instructor and charter pilot, delivers a solid, well-written tale that taps into the near-universal dream of personal flight. Seaborne makes the other thing integral to the plot in a way that never feels gimmicky, and three novels in, the protagonist is still discovering new and intriguing aspects of his gift. Will’s narrative voice is engaging and crisp, clearly explaining technical matters while never losing sight of humane, emotional concerns. The environments he describes, from regional airlines to big-city police departments, feel absolutely real. Also, as before, the side characters are well-drawn, including Will’s fellow pilot, 22-year-old “Pidge” Page, who’s feisty, foulmouthed, and game for anything—the more dangerous, the better. The plot moves along briskly and has a satisfying conclusion, although the girl-in-trouble plotline is a bit similar to that in the first installment of the series. It also doesn’t follow up on the ending of the second book’s story, which suggested bigger plans for Will’s gift than reconnoitering and rescues. As the protagonist gains more control over the other thing, it would be nice to see him dream a little bigger.

Another intelligent and exciting superpowered thriller.

THRILLERS
Pub Date:
Page count: 319pp

In this debut thriller, a pilot survives a crash and discovers that he’s developed strange abilities, which come in handy when someone kidnaps his friend’s daughter.

Will Stewart, a 30-something pilot for Essex County Air Services, wakes in an Essex, Wisconsin, hospital with a broken pelvis, lucky to be alive after his twin-engine airplane accident. He remembers nothing—but what’s more unsettling is the fact that he’s floating 6 feet above his bed, his body invisible. When the moment passes, Will initially chalks it up to a morphine-induced hallucination. Later, he’s not so sure, but he’s hesitant about testing himself further. For one thing, he doesn’t want to give his 23-year-old police-sergeant wife, Andrea “Andy” Taylor, anything else to worry about. However, Will can’t resist using his new powers, especially after he’s home from the hospital. With practice, he discovers that he can control his invisible floating, and that anything he’s wearing becomes invisible, as well. For a man who loves flying planes, it’s a huge rush: “I felt joy in its purest form. First solo flight joy. First time popping up through the clouds joy. First love joy.” Will perfects his floating technique a bit slowly, but it’s enjoyable to watch his growing mastery. Then disaster hits when gangsters kidnap Lane Franklin, the 14-year-old daughter of the air service’s office manager, in Essex, where she and her mother live. A member of the gang later tells Andy that Lane was “selected by someone big, someone on top.” The cop joins the hunt to find her, and Will feels “the dawning of a brilliant, and possibly insane idea” involving his new abilities. If he can pull it off, he’ll save an innocent girl from a terrible fate.

Seaborne, a flight instructor and charter pilot, vividly evokes the world of charter airlines and those who populate them, particularly with his well-drawn character sketches. For example, he ably evokes the owner of Essex County Air Services, Earl Jackson, who sold his lucrative business and now “prefers to spend his days sitting in a tiny office crammed with maintenance manuals and pondering fuel purchases.” The book offers lots of information on aviation and law enforcement, but it’s nicely counterbalanced with warm human relationships, such as the one between Will and Andy. The novel’s latter half shows how Will’s practice sessions pay off, offering several satisfying outcomes. However, this second part lacks the plausibility that Seaborne so carefully constructs in the first, and more closely resembles an extended action sequence in a superhero tale, although, in this case, Will is still learning to control his powers. The thugs are standard issue, and with few candidates to choose from, the main villain’s identity isn’t hard to guess. That said, Milwaukee is well-described, from its boarded-up inner-city houses to its luxe mansions on Lake Drive. Altogether, this book is a strong start to a series, which will continue in Divisible Man: The Sixth Pawn.

Well-written and engaging, with memorable characters and an intriguing hero.



THRILLERS
Pub Date:
ISBN: 978-1-73219-491-5
Page count: 326pp

In this novel, second in a series, a pilot who can float invisibly helps his police-sergeant wife investigate a violent wedding robbery.

Married couple Will Stewart and Andrea “Andy” Taylor aren’t movers and shakers. He’s a regional pilot for Essex County Air Services in Wisconsin, on temporary suspension until the accident that injured him and wrecked his plane is fully investigated. She’s a police sergeant in Essex County, Wisconsin. Nevertheless, they’re attending a society wedding filled with billionaires because Andy belongs to a book club with the bride, kindergarten teacher (and Sen. Bob Stone’s daughter) Sandra, who’s marrying Todd Jameson, a political up-and-comer close to the governor. But the fancy wedding ends in tragedy when masked gunmen burst in, stealing cash gifts and terrorizing the crowd with gunshots—one fatally wounds the bride’s father. Since his accident, for still-unexplained reasons, Will can become invisible and float like an astronaut in space, but he lacks propulsion and is limited by the need for a tether, though he’s been trying to perfect a more reliable propulsion method for “the other thing,” as he dubs his ability. Doing his best, Will uses the other thing to get closer to the bad guys before their escape, and he learns a few details. The one in charge, for example, has a neo-Nazi tattoo on his hand. This clue helps lead Andy to a rural hideout for white supremacists, but signs point to a larger, more sinister political conspiracy. With Sandra now in danger, Andy, Will, and fellow pilot Cassidy Evelyn “Pidge” Page, 22, mount a daring rescue that will test Pidge’s aviation skills to the utmost. But the real behind-the-scenes player remains untouchable thanks to wealth and power—unless Will can bring off a bold and cunning plan.

Seaborne (Divisible Man, 2018), a former flight instructor and charter pilot, once again gives readers a crisply written thriller. Even minor observations are sharp: A midcentury motel, for example, looks “like a row of shoe boxes, glued together side by side.” Self-powered flight is a potent fantasy, and Seaborne explores its joys and difficulties engagingly. Will’s narrative voice is amusing, intelligent, and humane; he draws readers in with his wit, appreciation for his wife, and his flight-drunk joy. The dialogue throughout is snappy and does a fine job of revealing character, as, for example, when Earl Jackson, Will’s crusty but heart-of-gold boss, tells Sandra “Your dad and I never fight. I enlighten. He chooses not to be enlightened.” Action, too, illuminates character; for example, a dangerous flying maneuver shows Pidge’s badass, death-defying skill and bravery. Seaborne chooses his villains well, with timely links to torn-from-the-headlines issues like for-profit prisons. The book’s several action set pieces are well-orchestrated and exciting, with big emotional payoffs. The ending is surprising and offers deep satisfaction while also suggesting a new, intriguing direction for Will to use his abilities. Readers will be impatient for the novel’s planned sequel.

Even more entertaining than its predecessor—a great read.

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