I am delighted to share my review today for Airside by James Swallow. This is a brilliant, tense, crime mystery and thriller book.
My huge thanks to Maddie at Welbeck Books for my copy of this book and for my spot on the Blog Tour.
Beleaguered businessman Kevin Tyler’s life is imploding: he’s spent months setting up a deal to open an office in Northern Germany, risking everything he owns to push the project through – but at the last possible moment, his partners renege on the agreement when another party sweeps in with a better offer.
Left high and dry, Tyler knows he is going home to bankruptcy and an uncertain future. And to add insult to injury, an overbooked flight sees him bumped off the last plane home, leaving him behind to wait out a storm until the next departure the following morning.
Stranded in the airside zone of a remote municipal airport, Kevin’s luck seems to have run out – until he stumbles upon a bag of money that could be the solution to all his woes.
There’s just one problem – the money is part of a conspiracy of blackmail and murder, and those involved are willing to do anything to keep it…
I have not read any books by this author but I do have a copy of Nomad that I really must get to. This is a standalone novel and one that takes place in a small airport in Germany.
Kevin Tyler’s day goes from bad to worse and then worse again. He has lost a lucrative deal, has been bumped from the flight due to the flight being overbooked and then he finds himself in a quandy when he discovers a small fortune in the airport toilet.
Kevin is used to only passing through this airport, it’s somewhere to pick up or switch onto connecting flights. So when he finds that he may have just put himself in the worst situation possible by taking the bag of money, he is very much on his own.
Of course, a bag of money is not going to be hidden in the toilet for just anyone to find. It will have been put there for a reason, and so also be picked up at some point. And, yes, you just know it isn’t going to be honest money.
I do like the dilemma of Kevin, he knows he shouldn’t, but just thinks about how it will help him. He isn’t one of life’s greatest thinkers, and the author does suggest that actually thinking isn’t necessarily one of Kevin’s skills. This actually paints Kevin into quite a sad, lonely and unsuccessful character. A normal businessman who has found himself in the wrong place at the wrong time and doing a stupid thing like helping himself to a lot of money.
This starts as quite a slow read, it then subtly starts to speed up. I do like stories like these because it gives the reader a chance to get to know the main players and start to form opinions. The author then makes more subtle changes, adding more characters, and a slight twist and it moves the story along.
While part of me thinks this is a mystery, it is also a suspenseful thriller and it does have a certain noir feel to it. It is essentially a locked room mystery, but the room in this story is an airport. This gives the author a lot of room to play with and he uses this space to great advantage. While the characters may be limited, the airport itself becomes almost like a character in itself as various sides and levels are shown, and indeed used.
As I mentioned this is a slower book, by the end it suddenly bursts into a full-blown pace. I didn’t initially notice this but it did start to become more evident around the halfway point.
This is one for those who like a thriller that is subtle, it is almost quiet, until a lot further in the book. I like the suspense and intrigue. I wonder what other people would do if they found a bag of money – after reading this book I would definitely leave it where it was and scurry away quick!
This is a fab read and full of mystery. I am definitely going to have to look at other books by this author. Airside is a wonderful read and one I would definitely recommend.
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