AIRSCREAM by John Bruce


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You really don't have an air-crash novel without vats of gore and burst bones, the pornography of a massive explosion at 400+ mph, satisfying our horrified curiosity about what it's like to go off in a mist of blood, flaming gasoline, and metal particles. John Bruce's only twist on this genre is to add a homosexual flight captain trembling under blackmail and/or exposure. Over Wellington, New Zealand, a giant, government-owned passenger jet collides with a small private Cessna being flown by an elderly veterinarian. The jet comes in at 4000 feet, the Cessna at 3000--somehow they meet. Is the vet or the disturbed flight captain responsible? The vet's wife indignantly defends his name during the book's long legal inquiry, but the Prime Minister wants to defend the government against mass suits (this is New Zealand's first major air disaster), and big business is bending all arms to protect its interests. The homosexual captain's panic makes for an effective opening, but, while waiting around for the defective equipment to be located, Bruce falls back on mere voyeurism and routine legal puzzlework.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1977
Publisher: Atheneum