THE SOUND OF WINGS by Spencer Dunmore


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A basically familiar Twilight Zone episode, nicely padded out with mystery, aeronautics, and low-key romance. Adam Beale, Dunmore's narrator-hero here, is 37, not-so-happily married to ambitious London ad-exec Joyce, and a co-pilot (yearning to be made a captain) for Anglo-World Airways. Then, near the start of a N.Y./London flight, Adam sees--or thinks he sees--a high-wing monoplane about to crash into his 1011! Did Adam just imagine this apparition? What about the Morse Code signals he keeps hearing in his headset? Is he going bonkers? So it seems--until, studying up on vintage aircraft, Adam recognizes an exact match for his mystery-plane in an illustrated history-book: the Bellanca used by Mae Nolan in her doomed 1927 attempt to fly across the Atlantic! (The plane, pilot, and copilot disappeared without a trace.) ""Was Mae Nolan still circling the lonely Atlantic?"" A ghost-aviatrix in a ghost-plane Well, though skeptical re the supernatural, Adam comes to accept the idea; he sets out to learn all he can about Mae and her flight, hoping to understand why her ghost is contacting him; the trail leads to Mac's hometown in upstate N.Y., to librarian Beverly, whom Adam (now ditched by Joyce) gradually comes to love. But, when Adam and Beverly start digging into Mae Nolan's 1920s past, someone in the Nolan family fears that an old, secret crime-of-passion will be exposed. So there'll be a tad of violence and some nasty confrontations before the ghost is satisfied, the 1920s villain is unmasked. . . and the Adam/Beverly romance is happily-ever-aftered. Without the punch and texture of Stanley Ellin's somewhat similar Very Old Money--but a neat, likable entertainment, especially for those partial to ghosts and/or aviation.

Pub Date: March 18th, 1985
Publisher: Macmillan