Author : Clare Mackintosh
Title : Hostage
Pages : 360
Publisher : Sphere / Little Brown
Publication date : June 22, 2021
| ABOUT THE BOOK |
Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina’s assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply.
It’s twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.
| MY THOUGHTS |
Looks like it’s unpopular opinion time on my blog.
Mina is cabin crew on the very exciting inaugural non-stop flight from London to Sydney. Mina shouldn’t really be on this flight but she found it preferable to spending time with her estranged husband. She tries to focus on her job but the plane has barely taken off when she receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger. Cooperate or put her five-year-old daughter in harm’s way. Save hundreds of lives? Or the one that matters to you most? What would you do?
Meanwhile on land, Mina’s husband Adam is in a whole heap of trouble. He doesn’t quite come across as the reliable type so knowing he’s supposed to be the one to keep their daughter Sophia safe doesn’t exactly fill one with confidence.
Two characters in the spotlight, two strands of a story that immediately promise tension and let’s face it, the premise shows a lot of potential. High up in the skies, in a metal box, nowhere to run to, no way of contacting anyone … stuff of nightmares. And yet, as a whole, it just didn’t quite work for me. It all started out extremely well but then it just went downhill for me.
First of all, there are the characters. I don’t even know why by Mina and Adam never managed to convince me. I didn’t find them particularly likeable and while that’s not something that normally bothers me, in a situation like this where I’m supposed to root for them it feels rather important. Some of the passengers on the flight are introduced to us and again, I had niggles there as well. This flight is a huge deal. There are celebrities and journalists on board. Surely not every Tom, Dick and Harry could have afforded a ticket? But here we are and unfortunately I can’t say anything more about that because it would spoil an entire thread of the story. Don’t even get me started on the ending because I may never stop.
Suspending belief is all fine and dandy and I have no qualms with that if the book is entertaining me, but for me this storyline went completely above and beyond and not necessarily in a good way. As the flight goes on, the tension builds up but at some point it seemed to come to a halt just where I thought it should have mattered the most. There is a reason Mina is cabin crew and even that failed to have any kind of impact on me, which feels entirely wrong when you know what it is. And Adam … ugh. I somehow just ended up being annoyed with everyone and everything.
I guess it’s rather obvious Hostage and I just didn’t get along. Nobody is more surprised about this admission than I am because I normally love Clare Mackintosh’s books. It is what it is. Will it stop me from reading Clare’s next book? No, it will not. And these thoughts of mine should not stop you from reading Hostage as I am very much in the minority!
My thanks to the publisher for the review copy. All opinions are my own.
20 Books of Summer : 3/20