Flight Risk Review

Title: Flight Risk
Author: Michael McGuire
Published: January 2019
Publisher: Allen and Unwin
Readership: Adult
Genre: Fiction
Rating: ★★★★
RRP: $29.99 AUD

I received a copy of Flight Risk from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

Disgraced former pilot Ted Anderson works for a top-secret government organisation set up to investigate terror-related incidents. Sent to Jakarta to find out as much as he can about the pilot of a vanished Garuda flight, he discovers a flight simulator in the pilot’s apartment.

When the investigation turns sour, Ted escapes to New York as further disaster strikes.

Another plane disappears from the sky. Then another. Three planes and hundreds of passengers and crew, vanished, without a trace. Panic is widespread and the world is teetering on the brink.

Still no one has come forward to claim responsibility.

At an eerily deserted JFK airport trying to get a flight back home, Ted witnesses a suspicious exchange between an airport cleaner and a nonchalant airline pilot. He follows the pilot to his destination: a Ukraine International Airlines flight, due to leave in an hour.

All his instincts tell Ted that this is the next plane to go down. But what on earth can he do? Take the flight and face almost certain death? Or fly back home and wait for the news headlines?

He does the unthinkable and gets on the plane.

Astoundingly original and utterly gripping, Flight Risk is a white-knuckle ride of nonstop suspense – a high-octane thriller full of pure adrenaline, explosive action and jaw-dropping revelations.

I’m going to start this review with a fact: I really like flying, and after reading Flight Risk, even I’m questioning whether I’d want to get on a  plane again.

Flight Risk is a thriller by Australian author Michael McGuire, and follows the exploits of a disgraced former pilot, Ted Anderson, who works for a secret intelligence agency that responds to crisis situations. He’s called in when a Garuda plane disappears mid-flight offer the coast of Australia, and what follows is a nail-biting race against time to uncover the truth of the missing plane and the fate of it’s passengers, especially when more planes disappear.

This books was inspired by the disappearance for Flight MH370, a story that got a lot of coverage here in Australia back in 2014, and takes the notion of a disappeared plane to truly sinister places.

This is a story set in multiple countries – we start in Australia, then spend time in Indonesia, the United States and Africa. Each location is specific to a different direction that the plot takes as Ted tries to follow the evidence he’s uncovered about the missing flight. Along the way he encounters a range of different characters that alternatively aid and hinder his search.

Ted is an interesting protagonist in that he’s not inherently likeable – he’s admittedly a cynic and arrogant and he has problems following orders – but he’s complex enough that he regrets some of the decisions in his life which lead to guilt over his wife’s death and his estrangement from his daughter. He’s a grown man adrift in a world that is rapidly changing around him and yet he’s caught in his own bubble. Beyond that, he’s tenacious and determined to do his job well. He comes across as very much Australian in his manner and his speech.

The first 50 or so pages are, admittedly, a little slow as the story is set-up and we get to know Ted and his history and motivations, but once the action kicks off the story doesn’t take breaks. It’s definitely a page turner that alternates from being thrilling to disturbing quickly and without too much warning. The moment the reader realises that Ted intends to board a plane that might be the next one to go missing is about as tense as you can get in a book, and what happens to that flight is chilling.

If you love a good suspenseful, thriller, add Flight Risk to your TBR.

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