Hostage by Clare Mackintosh | Book Review

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“I snap myself out of the worst-case-scenario loop playing in my head. Mina’s right: I’m a doom merchant. They’ve tested this flight three times. They’ve got the whole world watching. Their reputation, not to mention the safety of hundreds of lives, is at stake. Nothing will go wrong.”
 
It’s the first non-stop flight from London to Sydney and the atmosphere on board is electric. Passengers in business class are rumoured to include celebrities, and the world is watching this landmark journey.
 
Flight attendant Mina is trying not to think about her troubled five-year-old daughter back home, or the cataclysmic problems in her marriage and, instead, focus on the passengers.
 
But soon after the plane takes off, Mina receives a chilling anonymous note. Someone wants to make sure the plane never reaches its destination. They’re demanding her cooperation . . . and they know exactly how to get it.
 
It’s twenty hours to landing.
 
A lot can happen in twenty hours . . .

24. Hostage

I’d been desperately looking out for a review copy of Hostage on NetGalley with eagle eyes, when surprise, surprise, I receive an email from the publisher with an exclusive link for early access. The reasons this review is posted 2 months later is because A. my reading list (which currently has a dozen ARCs pending) is ordered by publication date, and B. Covid-19 which, despite strict social distancing, managed to infect my family and me and we are still on the road to recovery. Even so, I did manage to get this review of Hostage to taxi to the front of the line and take-off without any unnecessary delays. 

With every book, Clare Mackintosh brings something new to her narrative style. The events in Hostage are narrated by Mina, the flight attendant on Flight79, and her husband Adam who is home with their daughter Sophia. Then there are the passengers, identified simply by their seat numbers, introducing themselves. There is, of course, a hijacker on board who, for the time being, has chosen to remain anonymous. The clues to their identity and motive lie hidden in the stories bouncing back and forth.

The twenty hours to landing are counted down hour by hour. When the hijacker threatens Mina to co-operate or else, the hours seem to fly past which is impressively effective in amping up the tension.

In the beginning, keeping up with the passengers and their stories may seem confusing; a new one added every few chapters. But as you absorb them, the pieces begin to find their spot in the puzzle, slotting into place. Even so, Mackintosh refuses to hand over control of her story to the reader, keeping you guessing every step of the way. There are moments that make you gasp, shudder, pull the ground from beneath your feet, and yet you can’t bring yourself to stop reading. You’re completely hypnotised.

Mina’s past, her turbulent marriage with Adam, coupled with the challenges of raising a special needs’ child, adds a layer of unpredictability to Mina’s character. This, in making her a delightfully flawed protagonist, adds to the suspense.

You’re always in for a surprise with this author. Just when you think the mystery is solved, she throws in one last piece of the puzzle and pushes you off a cliff. I’ve come to learn that in Clare Mackintosh’s novels the game is over when her characters say so. Not a moment sooner.

I have enjoyed all books by this author though her debut I Let You Go has always been my favourite, one I recommend new readers of her work to start with. Well, let’s say it has now moved to second place.

Mounting tension and high drama at thirty thousand feet, with nowhere to go other than fall out of the sky, Hostage is by far the most intriguing suspense thriller I’ve read in a long time. I doubt I’ll find another one to match this anytime soon.

Hostage by Clare Mackintosh. Due to be published on 22nd June 2021 by Sphere, an imprint of Little Brown Book Group UK. This ARC courtesy of NetGalley and Little Brown Book Group, UK.

Book 25 of 2021.

Aquamarine Flavours Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟.

Available on Amazon*.

About Photo: As Mina’s daughter, Sophia, explains to her teacher, her mum is due to travel to Sydney on a Boeing 777 with 353 passengers. It’s a twenty-hour nonstop flight from London and another twenty hours to come all the way back.
This paper model of a British Airways Boeing 777 is made of 142 pieces. The template is from Paper-Replika and I’ve crafted the model using 230gsm Ivory.
 
24. Hostage
 
About the Author: Clare Mackintosh is the multi-award winning author of four Sunday Times bestselling novels. Her first three novels were all Richard and Judy Book Club picks. Translated into forty languages, her books have sold more than two million copies worldwide, have been New York Times and international bestsellers and have spent a combined total of 50 weeks in the Sunday Times bestseller chart.
Clare is patron of the Silver Star Society, a charity based at the John Radcliffe hospital in Oxford, which supports parents experiencing high-risk or difficult pregnancies.
She lives in North Wales with her husband and their three children.
Find her on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and join the Clare Mackintosh Book Club.
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*Disclosure: This post contains an affiliate link which means, at no additional cost to you, I will earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

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