Fly By Wire
Oceanview, Sep 6 2010, $25.95
The crash in France of the fly by wire technological Cargo Air C-500 stuns everyone. The most advanced freight carrier apparently plunged straight down from six miles up in the sky; the pilots died. With a fleet of over a hundred planes of this type, the French government wants the best investigation possible so they bring in the top gun, American National Transportation Safety Board accident investigator Frank “Jammer” Davis whose reputation is strict adherence to standard operating procedures especially when conducting an inquiry.
As he digs into the disaster, suicide bombers attack oil facilities around the globe; dramatically disrupting the flow and devastating the already shaken markets. In spite of corruption and bureaucratic blindness, Jammer begins to find the cause of the crash, but soon also links the failure to the terrorist incidents. He and girlfriend CIA agent Anna Sorensen try to uncover who is behind the effort to cause a Depression.
Tying the questionable recent moral behavior of the finance industry to the odious behavior of suicide bombers, Ward Larsen provides an exhilarating conspiracy thriller. The crash investigation is superb as Jammer provides the reader insight into how a plane disaster is analyzed while the action really heats up when the case spins into pure avaricious capitalism with the market correcting opponents and competitors. Although Jammer’s issues back home with his teen daughter feels supercilious to make the hero seem human, that detracts from an entertaining thriller.