cover image Lords of the Air

Lords of the Air

Graham Masterton / Author St. Martin's Press $19.95 (486p) ISB

In a return to mainstream fiction, Masterson ( Walkers ) follows the movement of a British family from England to Miami to the outback of Australia in the 1920s, '30s and '40s. Aviation tycoon Herbert Lord commits dramatic suicide during an experimental flight of a seaplane, leaving behind naive widow Constance and three sons, each of whom has flying in his blood. The libertine James marries the wrong woman and uses his wiles to build the strongest airline in the southeast U.S. Richard also weds the wrong woman and dedicates himself to modernizing the family aeronautics company. Michael, exiled to Australia following a scandal involving James's wife, finds a vocation as a pilot flying supplies to remote territorial farms. Michael is the only Lord to develop any sort of character, as the parade of selfishness and bad judgment seems endless. Almost without exception the females in the cast are stereotypes; the finale is contrived; and after a while even the parts of the narrative tracing the history of aircraft become boring. Even pilots will fall asleep with this one. (Nov.)