Foreword Review — Winter 2012
“Davis felt like a homicide detective trying to solve a murder without a partner or a medical examiner or even a body.” And that turns out to be the easy part. Heaps of espionage, plenty of aeronautical adventure, and a dash of bravado, make for a captivating mystery in Ward Larsen’s latest thriller.
Set in the Sudan, the book touches on political upheaval in Africa and the Middle East and features the current favorite nemesis of action stories, Muslim extremists. However, this book offers a twist on the usual fare by addressing fresh issues and offering a hybrid spy-detective novel.
In Fly by Night, the CIA sends airplane accident investigator Jammer Davis to investigate a plane’s disappearance into the Red Sea. His real mission, however, is to uncover whatever is cloaked in a mysterious hangar owned by Fly by Night Aviation, a questionable company. A top-secret spy plane has been lost and the hangar might hold clues.
When Davis arrives, it becomes clear that something bigger and more nefarious than anyone suspected is afoot. But finding out what that is won’t be easy. Everything is a cover-up. Pilots go missing or are found dead. The plane that supposedly crashed really didn’t. And secret shipments spark even bigger questions. As Davis fights his way out of jams, struggles to stay ahead of whoever is trying to stop his investigation, and uses all of his flight skills to stay alive, he’ll come up against a plot with worldwide implications.
Ward Larson draws from his unique experience as a fighter pilot and airplane accident investigator. That knowledge, combined with strong, crisp storytelling, brings the narrative to life, and he masterfully includes technical details without overwhelming readers. His style is sharp, and the dramatic pacing keeps the pages turning. It’s evident why he won the Florida Book Award silver medal and why one of his previous books, The Perfect Assassin, was recently optioned for a major motion picture.
This book will suit fans of mysteries, spy novels, and military-themed adventures. While it touches on contemporary issues and flirts with over-used themes, it nonetheless avoids being cliché. The book even raises powerful, timely questions about changes in the world today. An exciting and relevant read with gripping adventure sure to satisfy fans from many genres.