Passenger 19 Ward Larsen
Back in the late 70’s early 80’s, whilst sailing around the world working for Shell Tankers, my favourite genre of book was the suspense novel. I loved authors like Hammond Innes, Frederick Forsythe, Wilbur Smith, and the early Nelson Demille books such as Rivers of Babylon and Cathedral.
It has seemed to me that there are not so many books written in this vane anymore, the modern Authors who attempt this type of work always go over the top with implausible scenarios, and I had fallen out with the genre.
Last week I was lucky enough to get my hands on a copy of Passenger 19 by Ward Larsen. I will admit I had never heard of Ward Larsen before, maybe it’s a geographical thing and his books are just not high profile in the UK yet, but now I know about him I will be reading his other books.
Passenger 19 is an adventure book, a suspense novel and a fantastic read.
Air Crash Investigator Jammer Davis is enjoying semi-retirement when his Boss comes to see him with bad news. An aircraft has crashed in Columbia. Jammers daughter, Jen, is listed amongst the passengers.
Jammer is assigned to the case and from the start appears to be having too much help from the American Authorities. When he arrives at the scene of the crash he is informed all on board are dead, but that there are 2 bodies missing. One of the missing people is Jen.
What made the plane crash? Is the first question Jammer needs to answer, but his biggest question where is Jen and is she still alive?
Ward Larsen picked a good country to set the story in. He uses the topography brilliantly allowing him to have an isolated inaccessible crash site, but best of all he can use the corrupt infrastructure to add danger to the investigation in a who-can-be-trusted plot line.
The clever US political angel adds to the weight of the book.
The story rushes through the jungle at a fast pace that never slows or gets dull.
Best of all it’s a credible tale. There are no stretches of the imagination; at no time does the reader need to suspend reality.
I’ve been looking for this book for years. Not specifically this book, but one of this genre. I have spent hours in book shops browsing shelves looking at books by Innes and alike and wishing for some modern Author to pick up the baton, sit at their laptop, and write a good suspense adventure novel. Well Ward Larson has.
Thank you Ward, I’m looking forward to reading your others.