- Paperback: 304 pages
- Publisher: House of Stratus (November 28, 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1842320106
- ISBN-13: 978-1842320105
- Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8.1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,562,448 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Flyaway Paperback – November 28, 2008
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This month's Book With Buzz: "The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers "In a Dark, Dark Wood" and "The Woman in Cabin 10" comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, "The Lying Game." See more
'As long as meticulous craftsmanship and honest entertainment are valued, and as long as action, authenticity, and expertise still make up the strong framework of the good adventure/thriller, Desmond Bagley's books will surely be read.' REGINALD HILL, Twentieth Century Crime and Mystery Writers 'Bagley is a master storyteller.' DAILY MIRROR 'Mr Bagley has no equal at this sort of thing.' SUNDAY MIRROR `Compulsively readable.' GUARDIAN --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Desmond Bagley was born in 1923, in Kendal, a rural town in England's scenic Lake District. He left school aged fourteen and worked for a number of years in the aircraft industry before embarking on an adventure - travelling to South Africa by road and supporting himself along the way by working in gold and asbestos mines. Bagley spent the Fifties in South Africa, working as a freelance journalist and critic, before moving to Italy with his wife, Margaret, and then to Guernsey. His first novel, The Golden Keel, was based on a true story overheard by Bagley in a bar in Johannesburg, about Mussolini's vast personal riches and the men who went looking for it. It was published in 1963 to great acclaim and followed by a further fifteen popular adventure ovels. Bgley's career spanned two decades and his influence can be seen in the work of several highly respected thriller writers. When he died, in 1983, his final novel, Juggernaut, was completed by his wife.
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Top customer reviews
When low-level "nobody" Paul Billson disappears, a routine investigation by security consultant Max Stafford soon turns up all manner of bizzare questions, revolving around the mysterious disappearance of Paul's air-ace father "Flyaway Peter" forty years ago. A combination of personal and professional curiosity eventually finds Stafford travelling through North Africa in search of Paul, who is also being pursued by those who are very keen that the secrets of Peter Billson's air crash never be revealed.
It's a very solid plot for a thriller, but as I say the focus is more on the journey than the destination. Bagley brings to life the desert surroundings and the people that inhabit them. In particular, Luke Byrne as the white man who has gone native is a fascinating character who remains enigmatic throughout the book. Billson himself is portrayed as weak, selfish, and impatient early on, but gradually grows and matures as the book progresses. Even minor characters such as Hesther are interesting in their own right, although the antagonists are pretty stock-standard Bad Guys.
The unravelling of the mystery, though, is a bit rushed and ham-fisted, coming in a few pages at the very end of the book. In an ironic twist, if the main antagonist hadn't been so concerned about keeping tabs on Paul Billson, he probably would have got away with his deception. The villain showing his hand, combined with obvious inconsistencies such as Billson's salary, were what drew Stafford (and hence Byrne) into the situation in the first place. If Billson had simply been left to go blundering impulsively into the desert on his own, he would never have found the aeroplane and almost certainly would have died. Problem solved.
That rushed ending is a bit of a let down after the slow, Innes-like build up, and it's a pity it couldn't have been handled better. But for the most part, `Flyaway' is very good, not just as an engaging thriller, but as a solid piece of descriptive writing.
it every summer and/or during the winter holidays - even when I have a choice of other books
to read! There is something about the setting, the characters, the plot and perhaps
Bagley's writing style that makes this book a great source of relaxation.
I used to borrow this book from my local library all these days. Looks like they finally
got rid of it by selling it as a old/used book! :-( I will now have to look for a copy of
my own on Amazon!
Btw, I found it somewhat intriguing that 3 out of the 7 reviews (and now, make it 4 out
of 8 reviews) are from readers of (East) Indian origin..
"Flyaway" retraces the course of a pilot who disappeared while on a race over the Sahara Desert in the '30s. It's nearly 50 years later, and documents are found that suggest the disappearance might not have been accidental, and the family wants to find out the truth.
Bagley creates yet another reluctant hero eventually finds the missing pilot's airplane beautifully preserved in the dry desert air - and the unwanted attention of those who wish the disappearance to remain a mystery. All this after a captivating journey along desert caravan routes and some time-travel between "then" and "now."
It's a great story, well written .. what more can I say?