Review: Falling by T.J. Newman


Title: Falling

Author: T.J. Newman

Published: 4th June 2021, Simon & Schuster UK

Status: Read June 2021 courtesy Simon & Schuster Australia



My Thoughts:


Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated, fasten your seatbelt and take a deep breath, we are about to take off and there aren’t any exits from T.J. Newman’s debut novel, Falling.

Barely a half hour into his flight from Los Angeles to News York commercial pilot Bill Hoffman receives an email from his wife, there is no subject or text just an attachment showing Bill’s wife and young children, bound and hooded. The hostage taker’s demand is simple, Bill is to crash the plane he is flying with one hundred and forty eight souls on board or his family will die.

The premise isn’t sophisticated but it is utterly compelling as Bill declares he has no intention of crashing the plane or losing his family. The hostage-taker warns Bill he is to tell no one but Bill nevertheless confides in the lead flight attendant, Jo, who contacts her nephew Theo, an agent with the FBI. As the captain and crew of Flight 416 attempt to devise a way to survive the terrorists threats, the FBI begin hunting for Bill’s family.

The pace is breathtaking as the crisis unfolds over a five hour timeline. While shock and fear eventually take a backseat to determination and courage amongst those trying to prevent a tragedy, the tension is unrelenting as the terrorists manage to stay one step ahead of Bill and Theo. Caught up in the intense emotion and action I couldn’t put it down. In all I felt there was only one awkward note, a mawkish quintessentially ‘American’ scene that happens on the ground near the end of the novel.

The heroes of Falling are, as one would expect, determined no-one will die. They use creative means to circumvent the terrorists, ignoring their own fears, and physical discomfort to protect others. The terrorists are not wholly typical, Newman makes an attempt to humanise by revealing their tragic pasts, and makes some valid points in terms of their cause, but their intentions really have no justification.

Almost everyone is at least vaguely familiar with the interior of a plane which makes scenes set in the AirBus easy to visualise. Newman draws on her experience as a former flight attendant so that the details in regards to the plane’s operation and the crew’s actions seem authentic, even if they are not accurate.

Falling is a well executed, exhilarating thriller, with appeal to a wide audience. Unsurprisingly it’s already been optioned for film and I imagine it will be a summer blockbuster.


Available from Simon & Schuster Australia

Or from your preferred retailer via Booko I Book Depository I Booktopia I Amazon

8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Carla
    Jun 19, 2021 @ 05:23:15

    Wonderful review, this sounds gripping.

    Liked by 1 person


  2. Helen Murdoch
    Jun 19, 2021 @ 13:24:52

    This sounds really good, thank you for the review. I am going to add it to my TBR list right now.

    Liked by 1 person


  3. BookerTalk
    Jun 19, 2021 @ 19:51:50

    It does sound as if this is going to be the next much talked about book. The one “everyone’ will be reading….. It hasn’t arrived in our library system yet but I’m first in the queue…

    Liked by 1 person


  4. Linda Moore
    Jun 19, 2021 @ 23:09:23

    Nice review. This book sounds good.

    Liked by 1 person


  5. Susan
    Jun 20, 2021 @ 04:55:23

    Yeah plane crash stories are often riveting … though don’t read them while you’re on a plane. I get sucked in and spit out by them. This one sounds pretty compelling.

    Liked by 1 person


  6. Northwoman
    Jun 20, 2021 @ 08:48:05

    Fantastic review! I’ve been hearing good things about this one.

    Liked by 1 person


  7. Trackback: It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? #SundayPost #SundaySalon | book'd out

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