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.