Flight or Fright

Flight or Fright

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When people board the aircraft, they just have mundane day to day affairs on their minds. But when their flight is hijacked and later crash lands in a place that is totally isolated, they have to use all their survival skills to trek in a hostile terrain with meager food. Adding to their problems, there is also a terrorist among them, pretending to be one of the passengers. Will they ever reach back home.

‘Flight or Fright’ is a thriller by Sudha Ramnath – the lady who dons many a hat with effortless ease. This is an author who has undertaken adventures many of us can only dream of. So, it is but natural that expectations run high for a person of her calibre. And, Sudha doesn’t disappoint.

Plot – A plane en route Delhi is hijacked, and later crash lands in a totally isolated territory. It takes all the survival instincts of the stranded passengers to come out of a tad unscathed. Of course, there are a few, sad casualties along the way.

Before I proceed with the review, here is praise for Sudha’s unique way of acknowledging the support she got from the various stakeholders. ‘If publishing a book can be compared to a car, then the four wheels of the car are …..’ How often has one come across such a fabulous way of thanking the people involved in a beautiful book?

Now, let’s embark on the flight which turned into a fright.

Pros – 

  • The meticulous list of passengers and their details in the beginning help. It is exhaustive, but considering the fact that it’s a flight, a decent number of fliers is required to make it believable. An overdose, on the other hand, kills the readers’ interest. The author has maintained a fine balance here.
  • Every traveller’s introduction is laced with information that makes their transformation or behaviour in the crisis relatable.
  • The mention of the city of Mumbai, coupled with its zest and concrete jungles, will bring a smile to the lips of its residents.
  • The technical terminology used in the cockpit is commendable. 
  • The twist, in the end, was well depicted. (No spoilers here)

Cons –

  • Punctuations errors crept their way into the storyline.
  • Some typos like Rahul Rao (in the passenger list) becoming Rahul Roy (in chapter four), Meetha turning into Meeta (and sometimes even Mita), and Basheer becoming Bashir can be jarring to a grammar Nazi like me.
  • A missing comma in the case of Suleiman, Afzal Rahman & Mahmood confused the reader in me, until I realised that Afzal & Rahman are two different persons.
  • ‘Please live a few people here’ (instead of ‘leave’) is another example, where a pleasant reading experience can get marred by a ‘silly’ typo.  

I blame the not-so-good editing and printer’s devil for bringing a brilliant book down by a slight notch. This is sad, because Sudha is a brilliant writer, and the story keeps us engaged. Having read quite a few thrillers myself, I did see the twist coming, but don’t let that prevent you from having a dekko. 

This is an immensely enjoyable book, and I wish Sudha Ramnath all the best for her future works. 

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