CONTROL TOWER by Robert P. Davis

CONTROL TOWER

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Implausible, lively melodrama at Miami Airport, complete with a ludicrous happy-ending--all from the disaster-loving author of Cat Fire (1977). Jess Sutton has just resigned as top man in the air traffic control tower because his campaign for better equipment, shorter hours, and such has brought no results. So, on his final day he finds himself embroiled with: a lady psychiatrist with whom he's fallen in love; an air traffic controller who's gone berserk and is holding the control tower at bay with a heavy pistol and a hand grenade; the visiting Secretary of Transportation who is inspecting the tower; a peninsula socked in with heavy rain and zero visibility; a variety of planes being kept aloft in holding patterns; a brand new piece of radar equipment; and--above all--a Concorde from London (Jess' teenage daughter is aboard) that is running out of fuel while circling the field and which has impaled a slow-moving prop-driven plane onto its pointed nose and can't land because the little plane's wing tanks will detonate the Concorde's, killing everyone. How did this impossible impaction happen? In freak downdrafts of 200 m.p.h. velocity. Need characterizations be stressed in this situation? Hardly. Can some manner of safe landing be devised for a Concorde with a small plane on its nose (there's a family of four in the passenger plane)? Well, yes--but only with comic-strip ingenuity. For airport-catastrophe fans: a drawn-out climax packed with headlong (or noselong), mindless, aeronautic excitement.

Pub Date: Feb. 22nd, 1979
Publisher: Putnam