Book Review: Falling, by T.J. Newman

Falling, by T.J. Newman

Publication: Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster; July 6, 2021


You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

**My Review**

Falling, by T.J. Newman has been on my NetGalley shelf for a while, and to be honest, I do not remember requesting this book. Nevertheless, enjoying a rare day off I decided to dive into this one earlier today and, holy crap, this book is a non-stop roller coaster ride! A pilot, Bill Hoffman is flying from L.A. to New York when he gets an e-mail from his wife. But when he opens it, he sees a photo of his wife, Carrie, sitting alongside their two children and she is wearing a vest covered with explosives. Soon he realizes that Sam, the man at their home this morning that was there to fix the cable, is actually a terrorist and wants Bill to crash the plane.

Bill is on the flight with a young copilot Ben, two seasoned flight attendants, Jo and “Big Daddy,’ and a brand-new flight attendant named Kellie. He’s got a place full of passengers, a terrorist has his family, and he’s instructed not to inform anyone about the situation. What does he do? He tells Jo. And guess what? Jo’s nephew is with the FBI. Too easy? Maybe, but I was completely addicted from the beginning. 

Told from alternating points of view, Falling is narrated by Bill, Carrie, Jo, and her FBI nephew Theo. Bill is obviously faced with the biggest internal and external conflicts being forced to choose between his family dying and safely landing the plane. Carrie is trying to hold her shit together with her ten-year-old son and ten-month-old daughter, all while wearing explosives and watching Sam communicate with her husband via e-mail and video chat. Jo, who has been flying forever is bound and determined to maintain the cabin and her passengers’ safety without causing complete mayhem with the passengers. And Theo, who has already screwed up several times and is basically on probation, is trying to convince his higher-ups that his aunt is a flight attendant on a plane that has basically been hijacked. Literally, nothing is going well for anyone. 

Let me say that, enjoyment of this novel requires a bit of suspension of disbelief. Yes, I sort of chuckled and rolled my eyes a few times, but think of any plane emergency movie – yes, things happen that are completely impossible, but we enjoy them anyway. This book is a thriller and is meant to be treated as one. It’s not going to change your life, but for those looking for a great thriller that’s a quick read, this is it. 

Regardless of my praise, I do have a tiny bit of criticism. Suspension of disbelief or not, there is a World Series scene that was just too much. Luckily it didn’t happen early on or I may have wondered about this one. Secondly, I hated the last few pages. Without spoilers, obviously, there was political motivation behind the hijacking, but I saw no need to include what I felt was bashing and a call to action. Don’t get me wrong, I will talk politics and foreign policy with you all day long (and love it) but when I’m finishing up a fiction thriller, it just sort of bugged me.

Nevertheless, this is a good one for an afternoon escape if you love action/thrillers!

*Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for providing this ARC in exchange for my honest review!

Purchase Falling on Amazon!



3 thoughts on “Book Review: Falling, by T.J. Newman”

  1. I freaking loved this book! And I seem to be one of the few people who actually enjoyed the scenes with the World Series. I could see a movie audience on their feet cheering (I’ve heard Falling has now been optioned for the big screen after a bidding war). It’s a great popcorn book, one of my top reads of the year. I can’t wait to see what Hollywood does with it!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. When I told my husband about the book he loved the World Series scene too! I didn’t know about it becoming a movie but I’m so glad, I felt like I was watching a movie the entire time.

      Liked by 1 person

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