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Headwind Hardcover – Bargain Price, March 29, 2001


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Hardcover, Bargain Price, March 29, 2001
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • ISBN-10: 0399147136
  • ASIN: B00007CWGY
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.5 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,040,089 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Veteran aviation writer John J. Nance, a commercial pilot and TV commentator as well as a bestselling author, weighs in with a timely thriller whose near misses in the sky can't compete for drama with the political suspense unfolding on the ground. Former U.S. president John Harris, a principled politician who walked away from certain reelection because of a campaign promise to serve a single term, barely misses arrest on an Interpol warrant accusing him of violating the Treaty Against Torture by ordering a CIA operation against a biological weapons laboratory in Peru that resulted in the mutilation and murder of hundreds of innocent civilians.

The Peruvian government's hired gun is a British barrister who's tangled with Harris before; Harris's is an old friend and defrocked Texas judge who's languishing in obscurity at a Wyoming college when his former mentor calls on him for help--and who, not so coincidentally, has a deep-seated fear of flying. An added fillip is the plot's many references to the ongoing extradition battle over former Chilean President Augusto Pinochet on similar charges. But the real hero of this fast-paced suspense story is Craig Dayton, a reserve military officer and captain of the Boeing 737 that's running out of fuel as it searches for a safe harbor for Harris--not easy to find, since every nation in Europe has signed the treaty and will arrest Harris as soon as he lands.

It's a brilliant setup, and Nance handles it more than competently. Unusual for this writer, he pays as much attention to his human characters, their motivations and complexities, as he does to the aeronautical details. Harris is a bit overdone--what president ever walked away from a sure reelection win? And a secondary plot line featuring a group of veterans on Harris's flight who come to the aid of their former commander in chief errs on the side of sentimentality. Even so, this is a first-class read from a million-mile writer. --Jane Adams --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

The real-life Pinochet extradition case inspires this international legal thriller peppered with bestselling author Nance's (Blackout, etc.) trademark razor-edge escape scenarios and death-defying aviation theatrics. Peru charges that former U.S. President John Harris ordered the brutal slaughter of peasant families by Shining Path mercenaries on a CIA-led raid on a Peruvian drug factory, in violation of the recently ratified International Treaty Against Torture. Powerful British lawyer Sir William Stuart Campbell takes Peru's case and, with a personal grudge to avenge, plans for the immediate arrest and extradition of the former president, who is on board a German commercial airline about to leave Athens. Tipped off by an American stewardess, the American and British pilots fake a hijacking and run for Rome, only to learn that warrants are waiting at every European airport. From the plane, Harris calls Jay Reinhart, a brilliant former law partner who was booted off the Texas bench, and gets him to take on Campbell's formidable team. While Reinhart jousts with Campbell in foreign courts, the pilots evade warrants by staying airborne with one stop at an American military base for refueling, playing nifty tricks that fool police, air traffic towers and their own company executives. Nance gets in jabs at diplomatic scuttling of military actions and sets up the David vs. Goliath legal battle with aplomb. Hair-raising near-disaster in the air, high courtroom drama and a strong international cast of characters make this surefire bestseller a nonstop read, with gut-wrenching twists that leave the reader scrabbling for a parachute. (Apr.)
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

John J. Nance, aviation analyst for ABC News and a familiar face on Good Morning America, is the author of several bestselling novels including Fire Flight, Skyhook, Turbulence, and Orbit. Two of his novels, Pandora's Clock and Medusa's Child, have been made into highly successful television miniseries. A lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, Nance is a decorated pilot veteran of Vietnam and Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He lives in Washington State.

Customer Reviews

The characters are weak and unconvincing.
Benjamin G Weston
Missing dramatizations and related sound effects, Nance does a great job voicing the characters in an almost riveting airplane story.
SAM
As always, the book moves at a very fast pace.
Jeanne Pottle

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on August 21, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
OK. Let's get the biases right up front. I am a pilot, a lawyer and I have an interest in politics and current events. So naturally I am going to give five stars to a book that deals with all four, right? Not so fast, Pilgrim.
Mr. Nance has earned his rating with this novel which details the efforts of the President of Peru to arrest and extradite a former United States President under the Treaty Against Torture (the same treaty that Chilean ex-President Pinochet recently dealt with). The story takes us from Greece to Sicily to London to Belfast and to Galway as well as from Laramie, Wyoming to Denver, Colorado on a ride in a Cessna Skyhawk that none of us would want to have been on. The international flying is an odyssey of the finest kind as the captain of the German commercial airline's 737, a US Air Force Reserve Officer, tries to keep his former Commander in Chief from being arrested much to the chagrin of his British First Officer who sees their jobs evaporating with each new escapade.
Add to the excellent flying portion of the story, a chess game on the ground between two international lawyers with very different backgrounds and the story only gets better.The Peruvian government has hired a British Barrister who is tops in his field. The American ex-president hires a former partner, who while once a very able international lawyer, has had a bit of a time of it lately, having been disbarred as a Judge and suspended as a lawyer and is waiting out his suspension teaching classes at the University of Wyoming when the call comes.
The Peruvian government seems to have irrefutable evidence of the crimes of the former president and therein lies more twists and turns in this most compelling novel.
The characters are well drawn, the dialogue flows smoothly and the story moves seamlessly across the pages of the book until, alas, you are at the end. Looking for a page turner? Look no further.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Joseph Haschka TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 3, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Craig Dayton is the American pilot of a German 737 passenger jet. After boarding travelers in Athens for a flight to Rome, Craig is faced with the Greek police who want to arrest one of his First Class passengers, John Harris, a former President of the United States. Harris is wanted on an Interpol warrant initiated by the Peruvian government. Peru charges that Harris, in violation of an international treaty against torture, sanctioned atrocities that occurred during a CIA-sponsored raid on a Peruvian heroin factory during the Harris Administration. As a former U.S. Air Force pilot now in the reserves, Dayton's instinct to protect a former Commander-in-Chief takes over, and he backs his jet away from the gate, overturning a loaded baggage tram in the process, and vamooses out of Dodge, so to speak. Thus begins a chase across Europe, Harris in the 737 pursued by the Lear carrying Stuart Campbell, the international lawyer retained by Peru to bring the fugitive to bay.
HEADWIND is an engrossing read if one accepts the shaky premise that an American pilot, sufficiently dedicated to guard the welfare of an ex-President, would also be enough of a cowboy to endanger his job, his crew, and the 118 paying passengers aboard his plane. To a certain degree, Dayton is a hero of the plot, though a bigger one is Jay Reinhart, a friend of the ex-President's and an expert in international law, whom Harris retains as his attorney. Jay, a former Texas District Judge, has recently been reinstated to the bar after having suffered a suspension for falling in love with a female defendant on trial in his court for murder. In any case, Jay now has to scramble from his Wyoming hideaway to Europe where the chase is on.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Dean Redfern VINE VOICE on June 28, 2001
Format: Hardcover
A man without a country - that's what a former United States President has become during an innocent trip to Europe. An international arrest warrant has been issued against former President John Harris for alleged crimes that he is said to have committed during his tenure in office. Peru claims President Harris ordered a CIA-backed attack of a biological weapons factory that resulted in the deaths and carnage of Peruvian lives. Under the same international treaty that foiled Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet into a long detainment in England, Peru wants the former U.S. President arrested and extradited to Peru to stand trial.
The former President is on board a German commercial airline, en route to Rome, when he learns of his legal problems. Since most of the free world has signed the treaty, including the United States, it seems as though there is no place to run to. But the former President has friends in all the right places, including the cockpit, whose captain is a U.S. Air Force reservist who has strong feelings and loyalties about defending a U.S. President, active or otherwise.
The hunt for a safe haven, while on board a jetliner, makes for a fast-paced and exciting drama that is irresistible to put down. The velocity quickens, and even the headwinds build, until the plane takes the former President to his final destination.
This is a breakout novel of sorts for author John Nance as it has less to do about aviation, (as his fantastic previous airborne thrillers are), and more to do about the human, political and legal ironies of our times. There are a couple of courtroom dramas that bar none, as well as insightful forays into the decision processes of the Oval Office and 10 Downing Street, both of which give new meaning to the definition of leadership. This is pure adrenaline from takeoff to landing, and author John Nance at his very best.
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