Wings of Deceit

Wings of DeceitWings of Deceit by William Hoffman
Publisher: Self Published
Released: April 11, 2019
Pages: 315
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Captain Robert "Mac" Frank is a seasoned pilot whose life is centered around being in the captain seat of a wide body airliner.

Living out of a suitcase has left him isolated. A lifetime of dishonesty has left him empty and alone. His career has filled many voids, but when health puts his license in jeopardy, he discovers he will risk everything to claw for control of his crumbling life.

While alone in the cockpit above the Pacific Ocean, his condition progresses, triggering chaos and ruin. Julie, his young female copilot and former student, is called to save hundreds aboard.

Faced with an investigation and certain criminal charges, Mac has to decide what his life has meant and if it is still worth fighting for.

Disclaimer: I got this book through Reedsy Discovery in exchange for a fair review, and I promise that my review is fair and honest one.

I’m an air-travel geek who likes thrillers, so my interest was well and truly piqued by the synopsis of this book. I was expecting a quick, irreverent story about some drama on an airplane. That’s not what I got. This book is much more than that, and much better for it.

Wings of Deceit follows a pilot, Mac, who settles in for a routine flight between Seattle and Hawaii with some trepidation. He’s a senior captain who loves flying, yet there’s something weighing on him. He has a sense that this particular flight will be different. Once disaster strikes, Mac has to face up to some hard truths about choices he’s made, and about what turned him into the person who’d make them.

This book isn’t exactly action-packed, at least not in the way one might expect from an aircraft-thriller, but it’s extremely compelling. A disaster is occurring in present-day, and the events that led to this moment are gradually revealed through flashbacks. Rather than consisting of twists and turns this book is like watching a freight train (or a freight plane, perhaps?) moving slowly toward an inevitable point of impact. It’s going to get there, but the tension as you find out how it gets there is tangible.

The storytelling is captivating. There is the occasional overdone cliche, but most of the time the book strikes a note that feels exactly right. It’s colourful and vivid when describing landscapes, airports, and even social interactions, and at times absolutely brilliant in how it conveys emotion. It invokes the whole spectrum of feelings, from angst, loneliness, and desperation, various forms of love, and the loss of it. Some emotional punches are predictable, others less so, but they all landed firmly in my gut.

On the face of it, Wings of Deceit is an easy book to recommend as a light thriller, but, despite being deceptively short, the book packs a substantial and powerful story. I’d highly recommend it, but anyone who picks up this book expecting a light thriller – and only that – will either be a little disappointed, or very pleasantly surprised. I was pleasantly surprised. Despite it being about a disaster in the air, most of the book, and most of the impact of the book, comes from the underlying story about a lonely man who keeps losing his grip on the things he loves, and who is desperate to keep hold of the thing he loves the most.

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