Plane kidnapping story soars – Winnipeg Free Press

Imagine that you are the pilot of a commercial jet. You receive a message from the ground. Someone has taken your family hostage and given you a choice: crash the plane or kill your family. What would you do?

If you’re Bill Hoffman, the pilot of Coastal Airways Flight 416, you tell the hostage taker he won’t kill your family and you won’t crash the plane.

Fall (Simon & Schuster, 320 pages, $22), the debut novel by former flight attendant TJ Newman, is one of the best thrillers you’ll read this year. That’s in every way what counts for a perfect thriller: a great story, characters who look like real people, impeccable pacing, dialogues that ring true.

Newman takes a killer premise and really runs with it, taking big risks that pay off spectacularly. A film adaptation seems inevitable, but don’t wait for that. It’s hard to imagine it could be as good as the book.

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city ​​on fire (William Morrow, 384 pages, $25), the new novel by Don Winslow (The Border, Strength), is the first part of a trilogy.

In the mid-1980s, control of New England’s criminal enterprises was split between an Irish family and an Italian family. They kept the peace for years, each family minding its own business; but now something has happened that will send both families to war. And nothing will ever be the same again.

Winslow here sets the stage for an epic crime and family story that could rival that of Mario Puzo. The Godfather. Like Puzo, Winslow creates characters, not caricatures: they are criminals, yes, but they are also fathers, sons, wives, mothers – people who do bad things for a living, but who don’t are not (in the context of their own world) bad people. Stunning.

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Jacob Finch Bonner was a novelist. Now he’s a mediocre creative writing teacher. When one of his students comes to him with a one-of-a-kind, must-see idea, Bonner does what any failed writer would do: he becomes consumed with jealousy.

And later, when he learns that the student died before he could write the novel, Bonner…well, he steals the idea.

The parcel (Celadon Books, 336 pages, $24), by Jean Hanff Korelitz, is a beautifully plotted thriller. We know Bonner can’t get away with stealing another writer’s idea, but how badly he doesn’t get away with it, how awful things are for Mr. Bonner, will shock you.

Korelitz makes us sympathetic to Bonner, even though we know he gets (mostly) what he deserves, and when the author unleashes his game-changing plot near the end of the book, you might need some a moment to catch your breath.

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If you are a fan of the 1979 horror film Extraterrestrial and its various sequels, you probably know that there have been quite a few novels set in the Alien universe.

by David Barnett Alien: Colony War (Titan Books, 416 pages, $22) is set around 60 years later Extraterrestrialand (if you keep track of the timeline) follows immediately after Alex White’s Extraterrestrial: in Charybdis.

A reporter who wants to uncover the truth behind her sister’s death teams up with a scientist who is desperate for a way to save his wife’s life. But when they arrive at the colony on the planet known as LV-187, neither is prepared for what they will find.

Is the book scary? Listen to this: “A haunting, a thing carved out of night and dipped in death. He had been dragged from hell and clad in armor, his tendons taut like the strings of a musical instrument on which only openings of pain could be played.

Does it reveal new things about the Alien universe? That’s for sure: Barnett has some nice surprises up his sleeves. This is one of the best novels set in the Alien universe.

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Halifax freelancer Davit Pitt’s column appears the first weekend of every month. You can follow him on Twitter at @bookfella.

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