#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the author of Jurassic Park, Timeline, and Sphere comes this extraordinary thriller about airline safety, business intrigue, and a deadly cover-up.
“The pacing is fast, the suspense nonstop.”—People
Three passengers are dead. Fifty-six are injured. The interior cabin is virtually destroyed. But the pilot manages to land the plane.
At a moment when the issue of safety and death in the skies is paramount in the public mind, a lethal midair disaster aboard a commercial twin-jet airliner flying from Hong Kong to Denver triggers a pressured and frantic investigation.
Airframe is nonstop reading, full of the extraordinary mixture of super suspense and authentic information on a subject of compelling interest that are the hallmarks of Michael Crichton.
“A one-sitting read that will cause a lifetime of white-knuckled nightmares.”—The Philaelphia Inquirer
“The ultimate thriller . . . [Crichton’s] stories are always page-turners of the highest order. . . . [Airframe] moves like a firehouse dog chasing a red truck.”—The Denver Post
“Dramatically vivid.”—The New York Times
Like his role model, H.G. Wells, Crichton likes to moralize in his novels. In this slight, enjoyable thriller, the moral is the superficiality of TV, especially of its simplistic news coverage. Readers willing to overlook the irony of this message being broadcast by the man who created TV's top-rated drama (E.R.) will marvel again at Crichton's uncanny commercial instincts. The event that launches the story, conceived long before TWA Flight 800's last takeoff, is an airline disaster. Why did a passenger plane "porpoise"-pitch and dive repeatedly-enroute from Hong Kong to Denver, killing four and injuring 56? That's what Casey Singleton, v-p for quality assurance for Norton Aircraft, has to find out fast. If Norton's design is to blame, its imminent deal with China may collapse, and the huge company along with it. With Casey as his unsubtle focus-she's one of the few Crichton heroines, an all-American gal who's more plot device than character-Crichton works readers through a brisk course in airline mechanics and safety. The accretion of technical detail, though fascinating, makes for initially slow reading that speeds up only fitfully when Casey is menaced by what seem to be union men angry over the Chinese deal. But as she uncovers numerous anomalies about the accident, and as high corporate intrigue and a ratings-hungry TV news team enter the picture, the plot complicates and suspense rises, peaking high above the earth in an exciting re-creation of the flight. It's possible that Crichton has invented a new subgenre here-the industrial thriller-despite elements (video-generated clues, for one) recycled from his earlier work. It's certain that, while this is no Jurassic Park, he's concocted another slick, bestselling, cinema-ready entertainment. 2,000,000 first printing; Literary Guild main selection; film rights sold to Disney for a reported $8-$10 million; simultaneous large-print edition and Random House audio and CD editions.
As a retired major airline captain the book held my interest and showed accurate aircraft terms. Two things were not accurate. Leading edge slats and also flaps and landing gear have speed limits and could not be deployed at cruise speed without serious damage. The cause of the DC10 crash in Chicago was much more complicated than described and involved a damaged retracted slat which wasn’t mentioned which was strange since the story line was built around a defective slat system. Also not mentioned is that flaps and slats work together usually with the same handle.
Great thriller, suspenseful.
I was very pleased with this novel. M.C. never ceases to amaze me. This is such an in-depth mystery-thriller that I couldn't set down. I probably finished this in a week and I'm not an avid reader like some. It is definitely worth your time.
This isn't very family-friendly. There are sexual situations and foul language.