reviewed by Max Birner
Falling has a simple but terrific premise. Bill, a pilot, prepares for his next flight to New York when he gets a Facetime from a stranger telling him that his wife and his children have been kidnapped. The only way to save them is by crashing the plane and killing everyone inside of it.
The reader is left completely in the dark at the start of the book while the antagonist slowly reveals more information about his motives and his hidden past. A classic dilemma with a hard decision. Will Bill ever be able to make a decision, and will his morals stop him?
These have to be some of the most rootable and likable characters that I have read the past few years. While I’d usually prefer the people I read to be a little rough around the edges, I couldn’t help but cheer for Bill, his family, the crew, and (most) of the passengers every step of the way. I was especially root for the cabin leader, Jo, as she tried to navigate the entire group through nearly impossible situations.
The author TJ Newman also has the fun story that she is a flight attendant, so writing this book was really her true calling! It has a lot of depth and details that just wouldn’t have been captured if any other mystery/thriller author was writing the same book. I definitely felt like I was at the movies, especially in the pretty graphic opening, so if you’re missing the theatres Falling could be the perfect purchase. I’m buying tickets right away when we ever get word of the Universal adaptation. You’d be surprised how much tension and suspense someone can create with a locked room setting.
There’s a mid-way twist that I was not expecting to happen so soon, and just a lot of moments where I found myself shocked. I wasn’t entirely sure how it would end but I knew I had to finish it as fast as possible! The pacing does not let up and you will be consistently entertained from cover to cover.
Be prepared to devour this book in only a few hours, I expect to hear people talking about this one a lot in the next few months. TJ Newman is a debut author to watch.