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Crashers

A book by Dana Haynes

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Investigating the gruesome remains of an aircraft crash to find the cause...

  • May 16, 2010
Rating:
+3
Via the Amazon Vine review program, I selected a copy of the book Crashers by Dana Haynes for review. This thriller has an element that I haven't encountered in my reading before... the investigation of an aircraft accident by the National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB for short. And the fact that the author sets the story in Portland, Oregon (the city I live in) didn't hurt in my decision-making process, either. What I ended up with in Crashers was a fun thriller that kept me turning pages to see how the technical aspect of the crime was carried out (as well as the why was it done in the first place).

The story revolves around a plane crash that seems to have no root cause. The cockpit recorder shows that everything was working fine up to the point where the copilot notices a signal for a catastrophic system failure and instantly the plane starts to shake itself to pieces. A team from the NTSB arrives on the scene, led by Leonard Tomzak, a disgraced team member who failed to find a cause for the prior crash they investigated, leading to second-guessing by other members of the team. Part of the team wants to write the crash off to pilot error, but Tomzak isn't quite ready to buy that explanation, as the behavior of the pilots doesn't fit for him. Focus starts to turn to the new generation of flight recorder on the plane, and the technical lead from the company is more than happy to show off the capabilities of the device. However, it could be that the device does more than just record, and that the tech lead is part of a larger terrorist plot that could have international ramifications.

There was quite a bit to like about Crashers. The NTSB characters were fleshed out, and they were realistically flawed and believable. The terrorism thread was also interesting and I enjoyed watching the two storylines converge. A couple parts were pretty far-fetched (such as the freeway scene), but not enough that it took away from the overall entertainment value of the novel. Given that this is Haynes' first novel, he's done a nice job, and I hope he decides to evolve this into a series based around crash investigators.

Disclosure:
Obtained From: Amazon Vine Review Program
Payment: Free

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review by . October 24, 2010
Crashers is the fascinating story of a "go" team from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) that sets out to determine the cause of an airplane crash. Based on fact, this is a novel of suspense that is deeply interesting and I learned a lot about the way that crashes are investigated.      Author Dana Haynes is very good at creating believable characters. I especially appreciated the strong women in the book, such as Kiki, who is a sound analyst, and Daria, …
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Thomas Duff ()
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Thomas Duff, aka "Duffbert", is a long-time member of the Lotus community. He's primarily focused on the development side of the Notes/Domino environment, currently working for a large insurance … more
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Wiki

Haynes's compelling first thriller takes familiar elements—a mysterious airplane crash, a bent FBI agent, a deadly female spy—and mixes them with the world of National Transportation Safety Board aviation disaster investigations. When pathologist Leonard Tommy Tomzak, who's attending a Portland, Ore., medical conference, sees a TV report of a nearby jetliner crash, he rushes to the site via helicopter. There Tommy takes charge of the investigation, though he quit the NTSB a few months earlier in a huff. As other NTSB personnel (known as crashers) make their way to the crash scene from around the country, Tommy and his local crew secure the site. The forensic details fascinate but aren't for the weak of stomach. Haynes (Sacrifice Playand two other mysteries as Conrad Haynes) nicely integrates several subplots involving terrorism. The slam-bang crash landing of a conclusion will leave readers anxiously awaiting the promised sequel.100,000 first printing. (June)
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Details

ISBN-10: 0312599889
ISBN-13: 978-0312599881
Author: Dana Haynes
Publisher: Minotaur Books

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