Crash Land

Doug Johnstone. Faber & Faber, $14.95 trade paper (276p) ISBN 978-0-571-33088-1
Finn Sullivan, the naïve hero of this flawed thriller from Johnstone (The Jump), is waiting to board the last commercial flight from the Scottish island of Orkney to Edinburgh before Christmas when he notices a brutish oil worker harassing the alluring Maddie Pierce. Maddie breaks away from the guy, strides up to Finn, who’s standing at the airport bar, and asks him to buy her a drink. Finn obliges, and the two share several drinks while their flight remains fog-bound. After the plane takes off, the oil worker assaults Finn and Maddie, causing the pilot to fly back to Orkney. There, mayhem and murder ensue. One cop thinks Finn is the “lad responsible for the biggest death toll on Orkney since the Vikings.” Johnstone vividly describes the island’s stormy and dangerous landscape, but most of the problems and deaths might have been avoided if on the plane either Finn or Maddie had sought the help of the flight attendant when the oil worker’s behavior turned ugly. Agent: Philip Patterson, Marjacq (U.K.). (July)
Reviewed on: 05/08/2017
Release date: 07/01/2017
Genre: Fiction
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