1 April 2023

Review: FLIGHT RISK, Michael McGuire

Synopsis (publisher

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

My Take

This novel is certainly a page turner.

It is one of the books chosen for the monthly book group that I belong to, mainly because the author is from Adelaide.

One of the greatest mysteries of aviation history happened on March 8, 2014. Malaysia Airlines MH370 went missing on a flight from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing. The plane left its programmed flight path and headed south towards the Indian Ocean. Over the years Australian aviation authorities, among others, have spent a lot of time and energy on working out what happened to this plane, and finding its final resting place. There have been tv programmes about it. My recollection of that latest one I saw is that it is thought the pilot deliberately took the plane off course and eventually crashed it. The remains are supposedly somewhere off the West Australian coast. Bits and pieces have been found.

FLIGHT RISK reminded me of that event. And what if, instead of just one plane, there were four? And what if, in true Agatha Christie style, there was a mastermind behind it all? I won't say any more. I will let you discover the plot yourself.

One of the things McGuire makes you think about is how the pilot could get away with an event like this. Why wasn't he overwhelmed by other crew and passengers? Read the book to explore this scenario. Will you ever get on a plane again?

My rating: 4.5

About the author

Born in Glasgow in 1971, Michael McGuire moved to South Australia with his family at the age of 10.

Michael has worked as a journalist in Sydney and Adelaide for The Australian, The Sunday Mail and The Advertiser, with a couple of forays into the state and federal politics as an advisor.

Michael is married to Rachel and they have two children, Tom and Ruby. NEVER A TRUE WORD, his first novel, is a satire about politics and was published in March 2017 by Wakefield Press.

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