From Publishers Weekly
Originally published last year in a paperback edition, which quickly became the favorite book of pilots and air traffic controllers (although probably not of nervous airplane travelers), McElroy's fascinating, frightening saga of the events surrounding a horrific midair collision is being reissued in a "Commemorative Edition" in hardcover to mark the 20th anniversary of the disastrous Professional Air Traffic Controllers' strike the one the Reagan administration settled by firing everyone. Journalist McElroy's novel is, as he admits in a new afterword, largely a work of nonfiction lots of solid reporting, with some fictional elements added. It's also a very persuasive argument against the giant computer early warning system called TCAS (Traffic-Alert/Collision Avoidance System), which is supposed to take over automatically when planes get too close. As McElroy's hero traffic controller extraordinaire Ryan Kelly, the cool-as-a-cucumber whiz who works the titular underground room where most of the heavy lifting gets done knows, TCAS can't be relied on. Nor should we trust the FAA and the politicians who grease their own runways with that agency's bounty. McElroy surrounds Kelly with a vivid cast of seasoned controllers (and one newbie who sees the job as being akin to "tending a group of wind-up toys, all buzzing in different directions") and journalists, one the daughter of a powerful, devious senator who has his own reasons for keeping the facts about the midair crash out of the papers. This is great page-turning fun with the added punch of social and economic importance. (Aug. 3)Forecast: As a commemorative hardcover edition, this thriller will likely appeal most to air traffic controllers and aviation buffs (many of whom may already have picked it up in paperback). If word gets out to general readers, however, the market may broaden. McElroy will appear at a few major aviation events, as well as at Seattle's Bookfest Northwest.
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
A charged winner. Recommended as one of the season's outstanding fiction picks. -- Midwest Book Review, August 2000
An accomplished debut novel. -- Seattle Post-Intelligencer, August 11, 2000
Insightful adventure punctuated by superb writing and an attention-grabbing plot. You find yourself staying up late to read it. -- Pacific Flyer, August 2000
It's the most authentic book I've ever read about air traffic control. I couldn't put it down. -- Vice President Randy Schwitz of the National Air Traffic Controllers Association
Totally absorbing page turner with a great mix of realism, romance and suspense. -- American Airlines First Officer David L. Hinman
Tracon scared hell out of me. A must read for anyone who flies. Gripping and frighteningly accurate. -- Clive Cussler, author of Serpent and other New York Times bestsellers
A charged winner
one of the seasons outstanding fiction picks. -- MIDWEST BOOK REVIEW
An accomplished debut novel. -- SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER
One of those books you find yourself staying up late to read. Very, very late. -- PACIFIC FLYER
Riveting from beginning to end. -- PRIVATEPILOT