Originally published: 22 June 2021
Author: Clare Mackintosh
Published by: Sphere
Length: 400 pages
Reading dates: 4-7 June 2021
You can save hundreds of lives.
Or the one that matters most . . .
The atmosphere on board the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney is electric. Celebrities are rumoured to be among the passengers in business class, and the world is watching the landmark journey.
Flight attendant Mina is trying to focus on the passengers, instead of her troubled five-year-old daughter back at home – or the cataclysmic problems in her marriage.
But soon after the plane takes off, Mina receives a chilling anonymous note. Someone wants to make sure the plane never reaches its destination. They’re demanding her cooperation . . . and they know exactly how to get it.
It’s twenty hours to landing.
A lot can happen in twenty hours . . .
I read and enjoyed the deeply moving After the End two years ago which was a departure from Mackintosh’s usual genre. Better known for her thrillers – I also loved both I Let You Go and I See You, so when I saw she had a new thriller out, I put my hand up for a copy and was lucky enough to receive a great looking proof with a boarding pass as the front cover.
Mina is a flight attendant of the first flagship non-stop flight from London to Sydney. She is estranged from her police officer husband Adam after discovering he had an affair with their nanny. Her 5 year old adopted daughter Sophia has various issues including hyperlexia, Attachment Disorder, Attention Deficit Disorder and Pathological Demand Avoidance and while Mina loves Sophia dearly, she sometimes struggles with her quirks.
While serving some drinks on the flight, Mina gets a note saying she has to cooperate with some terrorists who have gotten on board the plane or her daughter will be harmed. With no way of contacting anyone on the ground to see if her daughter is safe, Mina has to decide if she should put her own daughters life ahead of the passengers on the plane.
Told from Mina’s viewpoint as she battles with her conscience we hear about the correct protocols for hostage situations. We also hear from various passengers on the flight and I liked seeing what was unfolding from different perspectives. We also hear from Adam on the ground, who is looking after Sophia with the help of their teenage babysitter – we know he is expecting to be sacked from his job at any moment. Under threat from loan sharks, he is worried for his daughter’s safety but is completely blindsided by events as they unfold. Not understanding his daughter’s problems meant Adam had a difficult relationship with his daughter, but with Mina away, father and daughter have to work together to escape their dangerous situation.
A really exciting read, I loved all the action on the plane as Mina and the other passengers and crew have to battle to survive. A simple premise, it made me think if I was in Mina’s shoes, and someone I loved was under threat, I would do exactly the same thing!
A very tense and fast paced read, there are lots of red-herrings and twists that made me want to ignore everyone and everything to keep reading! A thriller that I can imagine must already of been snapped up for the big screen, I really had no clue what was going to happen and if anyone would survive. A great read…but maybe not if you are on a flight!
Many thanks to Millie and Kirsteen at Little Brown for sending me a copy for review.
Hostage is my 2nd book from my 20 Books of Summer.
About the author:
With over 2 million copies of her books sold worldwide, number one bestseller Clare Mackintosh is multi-award-winning author of I Let You Go, which was a Sunday Times bestseller and the fastest-selling title by a new crime writer in 2015. It also won the Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year in 2016.
Both Clare’s second and third novels, I See You and Let Me Lie, were number one Sunday Times bestsellers. All three of her books were selected for the Richard & Judy Book Club. Clare’s latest novel, After the End, was published in June 2019 and spent seven weeks in the Sunday Times hardback bestseller chart.
Clare’s latest thriller, Hostage, will be published in June 2021.
Together, Clare’s books have been published in more than forty countries. Clare is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies. She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.