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The opulent interior of the first airliner, the Pan American Clipper, on a transatlantic flight from Southampton, England, to New York in war-darkened 1939, is the setting for Follett's high-flying caper, guaranteed to hold the reader in his seat. Recalling a time when air travel was an exotic adventure, master of epic suspense Follett ( Pillars of the Earth ) spins an excruciatingly taut drama on the aerial equivalent of the Orient Express. Persons unknown kidnap the wife of Clipper engineer Eddie Deakin from their home in Maine in order to force Deakin to maneuver an emergency landing in the choppy waters off Bangor. Apparently the shadowy conspirators plan to remove one of the passengers, an intriguing group who include an FBI agent transporting an extradited mafioso; a Russian princess; a British industrialist chasing his wife and her lover; an American movie star; an Oswald Mosely-like aristocrat turned fascist, his daughter and her lover, a young jewel thief. Details of early aviation firmly establish the cast in their era and a tantalizing mosaic of subplots whisks the reader through a whirlwind of romance and intrigue. Follet soars to a thoroughly satisfying ending with aeronautical precision. This is his best since The Eye of the Needle. Author tour.
Copyright 1991 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
With the Dark Ages (The Pillars of the Earth, 1989) out of his system, Ken Follett returns to the spies, sex, and Nazis that did so well for him in Eye of the Needle. Fascinated by the huge flying boats launched by Pan Am in the late 1930's to fly the north Atlantic route, Follett has cooked up a sort of Airship of Fools or Flying Grand Hotel about a Clipper load of rich folks and lowlifes fleeing England after the declaration of war. The passengers include a fascist marquess and his family--so much like the Mitfords as to include a Nazi daughter and her socialist sister; a cuckolded industrialist chasing his pretty wife; an aging movie star; a Jewish refugee physicist; a suspected mafioso; a rich, powerful, but unloved American widow; the widow's weak, treacherous brother; and the handsome young jewel-thief without whom no such epic is complete. The danger that hangs over all these worthies is sabotage of the flight plan by an otherwise trustworthy flight engineer whose wife is being held captive in Maine by nameless rotten scoundrels. The merciless kidnappers want the plane set down early in order to remove a nameless someone before it reaches New York. Since the plane flies rather slowly and since there are three refueling stops, and since the beds make up into comfortable little berths, there is plenty of time for the passengers to search for the marchioness's priceless rubies, counterplot against the bad guys, stretch the legs in Irish pubs, quarrel, have reconciliations and indulge in a fair amount of good, healthy sex. No technothrills. No psychodrama. No fine writing. Hours of good storytelling. (Book-of-the-Month Split Main Selection for November) -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
Ken Follett is a writer who gets you involved in his stories. I was in Botwood Newfoundland lately and the local museum there and I remembered reading this story years ago, but... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ina Mensink
I was disappointed in the writing after having read The Pillars of the Earth.Published 3 months ago by diane snow
Ok read but not nearly the level of excitement that I expect from a Follett book.Published 5 months ago by KS
Good Follet read... End of aristrocy and prewar life and timesPublished 7 months ago by Len Persinger
Ken Follett maintains your interest with an
engaging plot from a most interesting era.
The Pan Am Clipper was almost a flying
Cruise ship and the interaction of... Read more
Read it many years ago - tastes change. Found it verbose - full of hyperbole.Published 16 months ago by Ian D. Hawkins