Monday 17 May 2021

Hostage - Clare Mackintosh

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 . . .

What did I think?

WOW! What a book!  This is one of those books where I want to tell you to stop reading my review and just buy the book now - it's THAT good.  So for anyone still with me, I'll try to sum up my thoughts of a book that left me completely speechless (and incredibly tired as I really couldn't put it down).

The moment I opened this book, I knew I was going to be hooked.  The prologue is an emergency call transcript that is so chilling it made all of the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.  It haunted me throughout the book and I couldn't read fast enough to get to that point but also felt terrified of reaching it.

Mina is in the middle of a marriage breakdown so she signs up to be a flight attendant on the first ever non-stop flight from London to Sydney, even though this means she will be separated from her daughter Sophia for several days.  Someone on the plane knows all about Sophia and they're banking on Mina being willing to do anything to keep her safe.  Can Mina really sentence hundreds of people to death just to save one life?  That's all I'm going to say about the outstanding plot that kept me reading late into the night.

There is a lot going on behind the scenes of Mina's life and I was very intrigued as to how she ended up becoming a flight attendant.  Clare Mackintosh very cleverly weaves a story into the main thread that shows we can be physically held hostage but also metaphorically held hostage to our past.  This felt like a pearl of wisdom from the Dalai Lama; how often do we hark back to something we wish we'd said or done differently?  Let it go!  It's holding you hostage.

Claire Mackintosh scoops all the stars as well as all the adjectives in her exceptional new novel.  Hostage is breathtaking, jawdropping, awesome, stunning, gripping and terrifying; it's an absolute must read and destined to be one of THE books of 2021.  Very highly recommended.

I chose to read a digital ARC received via NetGalley and this is my honest and unbiased opinion.

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