Reviewed by Shaun O'Keefe
When the engine of a 737 tears itself apart at Los Angeles Airport, Tom Patrick is in the wrong place at the wrong time - playing poker at a nearby casino.
He's been losing at cards and probing pipeline leaks ever since his big mouth led to his fall from grace as the National Transportation Safety Board's top air-crash investigator. Now he can't wait to come in from the cold.
Sidelined by the official investigation, Tom starts to dig anyway. And when another 737 crashes for what looks like similar reasons, it's clear that something could be terribly wrong with the world's most popular passenger jet.
Risking everything, Tom Patrick sets out on a global paperchase, racing against time and ruthless killers - before planes and people start falling out of the sky like bloody confetti...
Brace yourself for high octane, high risk...high rollers.
High Rollers by Jack Bowman is one of the books that has been in my backlog since last Summer with no sign of reaching the top of the TBR pile so I was grateful when fellow blogger Shaun at Book Addict Shaun offered me a review for the book.
The thing that drew me to this book was the cover. But after a few pages I was gripped to the story. And that is why I finished this book at 12.09am when I should be asleep ahead of having to be in work in a few hours. However the last part of this book was so action-packed that there was never any doubt of me not finishing it in one sitting. Anyone looking at this book in the airport before a flight should put it down and buy it when they reach their destination airport, and read it. Or for any daredevils, buy it and read it on the flight! (It feels odd to recommend a book but not recommend it at the same time!)
Tom Patrick is playing poker when the engine of a 737 explodes at LAX, taking the lives of maintenance workers and potentially ruining the lives of the ones that weren't killed. We learn that Tom is the top air-crash investigator but has been demoted for shouting his mouth off too many times. Tom is my type of character, the sort of person who defies his bosses but does it for good reasons not because he wants to be a dickhead. He reminded me a little bit of Matt Hilton's Joe Hunter, and certainly got into the sorts of scrapes that Hunter often finds himself in!
Following the disaster at LAX another plane blows up mid-air and crashes somewhere in Africa. The author didn't shy away from very vivid descriptions which is why this book is definitely not flight reading. The book felt incredibly realistic and this was thanks to excellent descriptions from the author who has clearly done his research into the subject. Alongside all this Tom meets a woman called Ness while he is playing poker and together they go off to Africa in search of answers to the planes falling out of the sky. Tom's recklessness means that his bosses are reluctant to listen to him never mind help him but he is determined to find answers.
I thoroughly enjoyed the book and there were plenty of twists and turns that kept me guessing and not wanting to put the book down. I had it read within 24 hours which is always the sign of a good book. It's hard to say any more about the story without giving away the plot but despite a lot of coincidence the book was fantastic. This was the type of book that I would love to see made into a film.
I'd like to thank Polly at Transworld for sending me a proof copy of this book and Shaun for this fab review.