by Jan Burke
Simon and Schuster, March, 2001.
Hardcover, 393 pages.
Jan Burke's popular suspense novels usually focus on the adventures of investigative reporter Irene Kelly. In a break from the pattern of the previous books in this series, Burke gives us a fascinating suspense novel told from the point of view of Frank Harriman, Irene's police detective husband. Harriman has just been assigned a very unpopular case indeed. Ten years ago, a family is found brutally murdered on their yacht. Las Piernas Police Department Detective Philip Lefebvre rescued the teenaged boy, Seth, the only witness to the crime. But Seth is murdered in his hospital bed, and Lefebvre is accused of the crime. Then Lefebvre disappears, which appears to confirm his guilt. Now Lefebvre's body is found in a downed plane, and it looks like murder. But if Lefebvre didn't kill Seth, that means that the Las Piernas Police Department made a big mistake and destroyed an innocent man's reputation. When a killer strikes again, it's clear that a serial killer is still on the loose. And that he will stop at nothing to stop Frank's investigation -- including murder.
Flight is a compelling thriller. Frank is a tough investigator, and it's quite interesting to see the world (and Irene) through his eyes, for a change. The opening chapters which detail the events of ten years ago are gripping and intense. Burke manages to sustain that level of suspense during Harriman's hunt for a cold-blooded fanatical killer whose obsession with neatness and detail make for gruesomely interesting reading. There are some tricky plot twists and a nice portrait of the local crime boss who claims he was wrongly accused of at least one murder he didn't actually commit. Flight has a harder edge than some of Burke's other books, and it is exceptionally well-written. Highly recommended.
--Claire E. White
Flight is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the May, 2001 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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