Synopses & Reviews
A major literary voice spins a psychological terror tale in the mode of John Le Carré.
Lowell, a single father, is haunted by the memory of a hijacked Paris-New York flight on which his mother was killed when he was a teenager. A stranger, Samantha, has recently begun harassing him with phone calls about information from declassified documents. She is obsessed with learning the whole truth about Air France 64. "I was on that flight. I was six years old. I have a right," she says. "What can be worse than not knowing?"
Janette Turner Hospital's electrifying new novel is a tightly woven web of familial and national histories, of sexual and political passions, and of individual and national complicities in the age of terrorism. She probes with astonishing acuity the murky worlds of espionage and intelligence gathering, and the painful meaning of survival.
"The interlocking connections and revelations are quite cleverly made....Strong stuff: an accomplished fusion of doomsday thriller and mordant morality play." Kirkus Reviews
"An avalanche of galactic foreboding effaces the thriller's need for ultimately patterned logic, and is at the same time artificially crimped by it....[The major characters] serve to declare the existential anguish that the plot aims to nourish." Richard Eder, The New York Times Book Review
"Although it sounds like a high-concept thriller, Hospital's novel is nothing like that....Much of this novel is excruciatingly painful...but the pain is never gratuitous or sensationalistic." Bill Ott, Booklist (Starred Review)
"Hospital has crafted a novel of fiercely powerful emotions and deeply unsettling implications that is not so much a departure from her earlier works as an extension of their psychological probing." Library Journal
"[A] writer of many gifts....[A]n enthralling tale....In intense, lyrical prose, Hospital introduces seemingly disparate characters and places and connects them through an elaborate and poignantly tragic plot..." Publishers Weekly
Janette Turner Hospital's electrifying novel chronicles the lives of two strangers connected by the tragic loss of parents in a hijacked Paris-New York flight. As an adult, Samantha, one of the children set free by the terrorists, has become obsessed with the hijacking. Under the guise of her senior thesis, she pulls Lowell, the son of a victim, into a web of terror, death, and betrayal that he has spent his adult life trying to forget. Hospital's electrifying novel is a tightly woven web of familial and national histories, of sexual and political passions, and of individual and national complicities in the age of terrorism. She probes with astonishing acuity the murky worlds of espionage and intelligence gathering, and the painful meaning of survival.
"In this bracing, visceral thriller...Hospital continually locates, in human events, the unyieldingly human experience."--
About the Author
Janette Turner Hospital received Australia's Patrick White Award for lifetime literary achievement, and is Distinguished Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. She lives in Columbia, South Carolina.