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June 19, 2010 / schulerbooks

Crashers, by Dana Haynes

Cascadeair Flight 818 is dead – crashed just after takeoff, with few left alive to tell the tale. What happened?
Getting the answer is the job of a quickly-assembled “Go team” – numerous experts from the National Transportation Safety Board who converge on the smoking ruins of the plane to secure the area, and come up with an answer so this can’t happen again. Tensions are running higher than normal, since the person assigned to lead the team – Tommy Tomzak – has a shadow hanging over him from the last time he led, along with a few unresolved interpersonal issues. But there’s no time for anyone to second-guess the decision – the clock is ticking, and every second is precious.
However, those problems are the least of Tommy’s worries.
While they don’t know it yet, the flight was brought down by a single person: an amoral computer genius armed with insider technical know-how. And he may not be acting alone, either – dangerous Irish terrorists are on the move in Los Angeles, bringing in both the FBI and a Bureau asset with a very peculiar past, and a tendency to take outrageous risks while working a lead.
With the two teams working different sides of the same problem, it’s inevitable that they’ll meet in the middle, even if they don’t know exactly why. But can they find out what – and who – killed Flight 818 before it happens again? Sinister plans are in motion, the clock is ticking, and there’s at least one wolf in the fold…
Reading Crashers, it’s hard to believe that it’s Dana Hayes’ first thriller. He’s constructed a swift and richly textured read, full of memorable characters, clever dialogue, fiendish intrigue, and sharp twists that start early and don’t stop coming. Most importantly for a techno-thriller, the technical information is never allowed to weigh down the plot in wide swaths of exposition, but is instead delicately laced within the action – something even seasoned authors have a hard time doing, sometimes.
If you like fast-paced, intelligent thrillers with good, solid characters and slam-bang action, you should read Crashers as soon as you can. Just maybe not while you’re flying.
Crashers is out NOW, and available at all Schuler Books and Music locations.
reviewed by Jim Tremlett, eastwood
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