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Review: Hostage by Clare Mackintosh

Title: Hostage

Author: Clare Mackintosh

Year Published: 2021

Category: Adult fiction (thriller)
Pages: 368
Rating: 4 out of 5

Location (my 2021 Google Reading map)UK, International Airspace, and Australia

Summary (from Amazon): From New York Times bestselling author Clare Mackintosh comes a claustrophobic thriller set over 20 hours on-board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems with her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination: "The following instructions will save your daughter's life..."

Someone needs Mina's assistance and knows exactly how to make her comply.

When one passenger is killed and then another, Mina knows she must act. But which lives does she save: Her passengers...or her own daughter and husband who are in grave distress back at home?

It's twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

For fans of the locked-room mystery of One by One and the heart-stopping tension The Last Flight, Hostage is an explosively addictive thriller about one flight attendant and the agonizing decision that will change her life―and the lives of everyone on-board―forever.

Review: I got a bunch of mysteries and thrillers last weekend so that I would have plenty to read for my first time doing the RIP Challenge. This one was a good addition though it felt similar to (and not quite as good as) TJ Newman's Falling.

Flying is so cumbersome these days and I do get a bit nervous before take off. The thought of a 20-hour flight is just overwhelming and to be in hour 16 and have a group of environmental terrorists hijack the plane is a true nightmare. I liked how the experiences of those on the plane and those at home (Mina's husband and daughter) were told in alternating chapters. It was an effective way to build the tensions for both groups as well as showing the relationship between the characters, which helped me empathize with them all.

The scenes on the airplane feel very real with details about accessing the cockpit, the way the cabin crew shifts and duties work, etc. It is clear that that the author spoke with pilots and plane crew to get it just right. She also did a great job giving us an idea of key passengers' stories and insight into the hijackers through their own chapters. This all meant that I cared about lots of passengers and could imagine the motives for the hijackers.

I thought it was a nice addition that the events on the plane actually end about 40 pages before the end of the book and we get to see what happens to the characters in the subsequent three years. And, the twist at the end totally caught me by surprise!

Challenges for which this counts: 
  • RIP XVI--thriller

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