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Review: Flight Into Darkness by Roger Hardy

What’s more terrifying than al-Qaeda run by Osama bin Laden? A terrorist organization that is organized, well-connected, and has resources.

Roger Hardy’s Flight Into Darkness takes place after bin Laden’s death. When a new hi-tech jet vanishes in the night over the Saudi desert not many people notice. The aircraft was touted as the safest in the world, so what happened? James Hayward is an air accident investigator for the Directorate of Aviation Security. Nothing about the crash has appeared on newscasts or on the Internet. Furthermore, no official report was filed. Who submitted an anonymous report, and more importantly, why?

What Hayward uncovers is not a simple accident. He travels throughout the Middle East and Europe to track down all the missing pieces. He’s an air accident investigator who’s thrust into a world of espionage, trickery, and hatred.

Before starting this novel, I was intrigued by the premise. Yet I had some reservations. I’m not the most mechanically inclined person, and I worried that Hardy would get too technical about airplanes, engines, and all the gizmos that make them fly. There are technical details, but Hardy handles them deftly so as a reader I didn’t feel like I was listening to a lecture in a classroom. He dropped enough morsels to make the story plausible without overwhelming my non-technical brain.

My second concern was that it would be too filled with stereotypes. Reading an entire novel about bad guys who are one-dimensional puts me off completely. His terrorists aren’t nice guys, but have more to them than pure hatred. This isn’t like a bad propaganda flick that tries to persuade you who the “real” enemy is. It’s a novel that delves deeply in the political atmosphere of our times. the depth of his research is impressive, and I didn’t feel like I was being beaten over the head with an overt message.

Hardy’s novel tells a story. There’s intrigue, suspense, humor, politics, and even a love story. And it’s a story that I didn’t want to put down. As the plot unraveled I discovered not one twist, but many twists. Hayward may be a novice when it comes to this type of business, but I would want him in my corner. I give this novel 5 out of 5 stars.

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