Most helpful positive review
135 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Taut, tense and terrific.
on September 18, 1999
I was coerced into buying this book because of an interest in flying and action/adventure novels. But once I started reading it I didn't remember why I needed coersion. It simply a terrific read from begginning to end. I thought that it would be similar to books like Arthur Hailey's 'Airport' which I had read years ago and quite enjoyed but I wondered how DeMille was going to do anything new with the genre. Although a big fan of the 'X-Files' and the like I was just about "conspiracied" out. But DeMille makes the missile tragedy and cover-up very believable. The attention to detail (as he acknowledged, Thomas Block's aeronautical knowledge was vital)is excellent but he never lets the technicalities (either the problems experienced at the altitude or the militaria) bog the story down. You find yourself in the cockpit right next to John Berry with your heart pounding.
Interestingly the romantic sub plot was barely touched on and was refreshing in this age of sex/sexual tension influencing everything. Rightly, the protaganists put this to one side to concentrate on the more important issues at hand. This leads to the sexual tension being there, just in the periphery. 'Mayday' is brilliantly written and while originally published in the late 1970s, the version that I bought was updated for the 1990s (in much the same way the Stephen King updated 'The Stand') and I can honestly say it's an excellent book. I bought 'Mayday' about 3 months ago and quickly got my hands on and read 'Spencerville' and 'The General's Daughter' by DeMille (both of which are excellent) and we also now have 'Gold Coast', 'Plum Island' 'Word of Honour', 'The Talbot Odyssey' and 'By the Rivers of Babylon' in our bookcase.
For fans of the action side of the story, I can also recommend Clive Cussler, whose earlier books resemble 'Mayday', including coincidentally one called 'Mayday', although I think its American title was 'The Mediterranean Caper'.