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22 June 2012

Ward Larsen: Fly By Wire: A Jammer Davis Thriller

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Another winner by Ward
This was an easy reading and fast moving terrorist/air crash thriller that kept me absorbed to the end. Once again Ward Larsen has written a thriller with a completely different plot from his previous books - "The Perfect Assassin" and "Stealing Trinity" - which I thoroughly enjoyed.

Larsen introduces us to Jammer Davis, an ex military pilot now working with the National Transportation Safety Board, who joins a multinational investigation team into the unexplained crash of an innovative cargo plane. Jammer is not a good team player and doesn't tolerate bureaucracy so he barges ahead on his own and quickly uncovers more about the crash than his team members.

While Jammer is larger than life he is not the super hero of many thrillers of this genre.  His wife died in a recent accident and he suffers the stress of being a single father of a teenage girl. He is not totally alone in the investigation when an undercover CIA operative on the investigative team (of course an attractive female) seeks to recruit his assistance.

While the crash investigation proceeds, simultaneous terrorist suicide attacks destroy medium sized petroleum refineries throughout the world. How could this be linked to the crash of a cargo plane?

I find it difficult to give a book 5 stars and had got to 4.5 stars when Jammer said something  unforgettable that pushed it up to 5 stars. In a crucial phone call after Jammer finds the reason for the crash he says, "I am talking to a goddam paper pusher who needs to go piss up a rope! Now go and do something about it and call me back in 10 minutes." You will need to read the book to find out who he was talking to and what he needs him to do.

Larsen's experience as a fighter pilot in Desert Storm  and a trained aircraft accident investigator comes through strongly in the flying and technical content of this book. He is one of my favourite thriller writers to watch and I look forward to reading the next Jammer Davis book, Fly by Night.

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