LAYOVER by David Bell


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An airport meet-cute goes south in Bell’s (Somebody I Used to Know, 2018, etc.) new thriller.

Poor Joshua Fields. All he does is travel for his job as a real estate developer with his father’s company. He’s tired, bored, and ready to settle down. Enter Morgan Reynolds. After meeting Joshua at an airport gift shop in Atlanta, she agrees to get a drink with him. Who is this tall, ridiculously beautiful woman in the hat and giant sunglasses? Joshua plans to find out. After a drink and a bit of conversation, Joshua is properly starry-eyed, and when Morgan plants a passionate kiss on him, he’s truly a goner. So, it’s a bummer when she firmly tells him she has to go and that they won’t be seeing each other again. Most people would count the experience as an oddity and get on with their lives, but not our Joshua. He throws caution to the wind and changes his flight, but Morgan pretends not to know Joshua when he confronts her on the plane, making him feel like an “aggressive creep, a stalker, a weirdo.” Well, if the shoe fits. When he touches down in Nashville, Joshua sees Morgan’s face on TV, and when he looks her up on Facebook, he’s stunned to see a post headlined “Have You Seen Morgan? Missing Person.” After telling his story to the airport police, he decides that Morgan surely needs his help and sets off to find her. Meanwhile, in Laurel Falls, Kentucky, Detective Kimberly Givens is on the hunt for Giles Caldwell, a prominent local businessman who has disappeared, and the trail leads to Morgan Reynolds. Nearly everyone involved in this paper-thin thriller, with the exception of Detective Givens, seems to be suffering from an alarming lack of common sense, and they’re not nearly interesting enough to make up for it. Bell makes a lot of hay over Joshua’s need to break free of his everyday grind, but that doesn’t excuse his going to such great lengths to follow a woman after she repeatedly brushes him off. Readers desperately hoping to be rewarded with a few shocking revelations upon reaching the end of this dull cat-and-mouse game will be disappointed.

This flight never gets off the ground. Hopefully Bell will return to form next time.

Pub Date: July 2nd, 2019
ISBN: 978-0-440-00086-0
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Berkley
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1st, 2019


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