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Blackout
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Here, aviation analyst, former commercial pilot, and novelist Nance plunges readers into a terrying nosedive as Sea Air Flight 122, an MD-11, drops precipitously and inexplicably from the sky, killing all aboard. Investigate journalist Robert MacCabe has information implicating an unknown terrorist group that has made him its next target and is willing to bring down a 747 to keep him from unmasking the people behind a secret weapon of devastating force. For help, MacCabe turns to FBI agent Kat Bronsky (heroine of Nance's The Last Hostage), and soon they find themselves in a deadly race to learn the truth, while elements of the government (CIA? FBI?) seem arrayed against them. Nance is at his best in several gripping flight sequences, particularly that of a doomed 747. Though the situations are sometimes implausible and the characters are thin, the melodramatic action, bolstered by an ever-increasing threat, will propel readers at breakneck speed to the final confrontation. For all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/01/99.]-Ronnie H. Terpening, Univ. of Arizona, Tucson

YA-Opening with a Boeing 747 rising from the Hong Kong airport, this gripping novel grabs readers from the first page. Within minutes, a flash of light illuminates the cockpit, blinds the pilot, and causes the jet to plummet, killing everyone onboard. Kat Bronsky, an FBI agent and terrorism specialist, is called in to investigate. Questions soon arise as to the involvement of outside forces. When another commercial jet suffers the same fate, Kat finds that other government agencies are asking questions as well as covering up information. Readers are taken on a spine-tingling adventure as passengers in yet another doomed jet struggle to save themselves and discover that someone does not want any witnesses. Thus, Agent Bronsky and the remaining survivors must go on the run. They cannot trust anyone except themselves as there appear to be governmental leaks, and several attempts are made on their lives. Bronsky tracks the mystery from the Orient, across the Pacific to the American Northwest where readers are treated to vivid descriptions of both the varying landscapes and cultural influences. A fast-paced adventure with many ups and downs ending in a surprise, edge-of-your-seat showdown.-Anita Short, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

Arguably the king of the modern-day aviation thriller, Nance is in top form in this white-knuckle adventure about terrorism and heroism in the air and on land. From the jungles of Vietnam to the forests around Seattle and on several harrowing plane trips in between, FBI Agent Kat Bronsky and Washington Post reporter Robert MacCabe investigate why American jumbo jets are falling out of the sky. All the crashes have striking similarities: pilots were either killed or left blind by bright flashes that exploded just in front of the cockpit while the planes were in midair. Equally confusing is the appearance, then disappearance, of a corporate jet in the vicinity of all the crashes. And whoever is orchestrating the fatal air campaign has neither taken credit nor made any demands. After weathering many attempts on their lives by a shadowy terrorist group, Bronsky and MacCabe finally figure out what's happening: the terrorists are using a special ray gun stolen from the government to disable airplanes in flight. Their intent is to cause so much panic in the travel industry that it will disable the U.S. airline fleet. But why? The author's seventh aviation thriller (Pandora's Clock; The Lost Hostage) features, as usual, a completely new cast of characters who mix like old friends and enemies amid the non-stop action, never-say-die theatrics and stealth conspiracies. While the silly romance between MacCabe and Bronsky should have been jettisoned on takeoff, Nance continues to craft brilliantly hair-raising in-flight emergency scenes and brings this turbulent ride to a rousing, well-developed finale that comes together smoothly on final approach. Author tour. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.

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