So – the latest Clare Mackintosh! An author whose first couple of books you read and loved; you’ve got all the others in your TBR pile. How did Hostage measure up?
Oh my goodness! I’ve been looking at a lot of the books I own and have read, and – to paraphrase Crocodile Dundee – thinking, “That’s not a book! This is a book!” (meaning, of course, Hostage!) I’ve got to admit – embarrassingly – I’d sort of forgotten how damn good Clare Mackintosh is at the little details that build up into a great book. She’s quite brilliant at the minutiae that builds up to make everyday lives, and fill her books, and their characters, with such a strong sense of authenticity.
Hostage is about an air stewardess who’s on the inaugural non-stop London to Sydney 20-hour flight, and is threatened by an anonymous hijacker who wants her help bringing down the plane – or they’ll kill her daughter. Is that the plot, in a nutshell?
Absolutely – and what a fabulous premise, in one sentence, that is, isn’t it? It makes for a tense as hell situation; one which has you pondering exactly what you would do in her position at many points in the novel. And the fact that the vast majority of the book is set on the flight makes it as claustrophobic as hell too! Occasionally books set mainly in one space can get a little bit dull, or same-y, but not this one – Mackintosh manages to keep you turning the pages long past your bedtime! Not that that should be a surprise to the army of fans she’s built up over the last few years.
Tell us a little bit about Mina, the stewardess and central character…
Obsessed about aeroplanes from an early age, Mina has her dream job. Her family is police officer Alan – who comes across as shifty from the very start; my instant thought was, “affair,” and it seems like that’s what Mina thought too as they’ve recently taken to sleeping in separate rooms. The only reason they haven’t actually separated is because adopted daughter Sophia has “separation anxiety,” amongst a host of other psychological difficulties. These two are pretty much Mina’s world, as obviously her job takes up most of the rest of her life. It also keeps her sane, as Sophia is a pretty demanding child – and so takes up most of the rest of it. But she utterly loves her daughter, that’s clear.
What would be your selling line to readers thinking of picking up Hostage be?
Buckle up for take off! And hold on tight – you’re in for a hell of a trip! (And clear your diary before you begin reading…) Actually, that’s three lines – here’s a fourth: Hostage is all killer, no filler.
Go and buy or borrow this book now! It’s the perfect summer read!
I’d like to thank Anne Cater at Random Things Tours and Compulsive Readers for the invitation to participate in this blog tour, and Sphere Books for the ARC. That has in no in way affected my opinion of the book, and this is an honest review.
Author Clare Mackintosh
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BLURB: You can save hundreds of lives. Or the one that matters most.
A claustrophobic thriller set over twenty hours on one airplane flight, with the heart-stopping tension of The Last Flight and the wrenching emotional intensity of Room, Hostage takes us on board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.
Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina’s assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.
It’s twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.