*I received a free copy of Passenger 19 from Oceanview Publishing via Netgalley. This has in no way influenced my voluntary review, which is honest and unbiased *Passenger 19 by Ward Larsen
Series: Jammer Davis #3
Published by Oceanview Publishing on 5 January 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Suspense
Jammer Davis has spent most of his life investigating aircraft accidents. When a small regional jet disappears over the jungles of Colombia, it is a tragedy like dozens of others he has seen…but for one terrible detail—his young daughter, who was enroute to a semester abroad in South America, is listed on the passenger manifest.
A distraught Davis rushes to Bogotá and bulls his way into the inquiry. When the wreckage is located, it becomes clear the crash was unsurvivable. As the investigation gains momentum, the facts go astray. Two pilots had been shot before the crash, along with one passenger. The possibility of a hijacking looms large as the search begins to focus on two passengers who boarded the plane, yet their remains cannot be found.
Davis uncovers an even more sinister plot behind the entire disaster—one that goes to the highest levels of the United States government. But how could it possibly involve his daughter?
Passenger 19 is a fast paced suspense novel in which an investigator for the NTSB has to fly to Columbia to conduct an investigation he has a very personal interest in.
I was immediately intrigued when I read the summary for Passenger 19, because a guy who is used to investigating airplane crashes has some pretty tough knowledge. However, when he knows that his only daughter – his only relative, really – was on board a plane that went missing over the jungle in Colombia, he has a whole other problem to deal with. His boss at the NTSB still wanted Jammer for the job, though, because he thought Jammer would have the best incentive ever to get to the bottom of what had happened with the small plane. As Jammer was flown to Colombia, things got strange very quickly, most of all because the private plane he was brought in wasn’t there for anyone but him – no embassy documents or diplomat people, only Jammer.
Little by little, it became clear that not all was what it seemed with this particular crash, and Jammer had a hard time trusting his instinct. Because for once, he wasn’t only an anonymous investigator, he had a vested interest, and he wanted to believe his daughter had somehow made it out alive. However, he had people working against him – even if he couldn’t figure out exactly who these people were, and the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat, eagerly clicking forward to read the next page on my kindle.
Both Jammer and the other characters in Passenger 19 were complex and well fleshed out, and while I needed a good dose of suspension of disbelief at the beginning of the story – I had trouble believing that Jammer would be sent to investigate a crash where his daughter might be one of the casualties – I quickly got so caught up in the mystery I didn’t really care about that anymore. And I really enjoyed Jammer’s courage, his inner musings, and the way his mind worked, not a single detail was forgotten, even if he didn’t necessarily notice what was wrong when he first saw something.
With intricate politics, secret service, and the Colombian police on the case as well, Jammer had his plate full. Even more so when the Colombian chief investigator was found shot in his car in front of the headquarters for the investigation. Some incredible twists and turns made the story unfold with a lot of excitement, and as the full picture came into focus, I was left breathless with the implications of the whole plot.
Written in third person point of view, past tense, most of the story follows Jammer, but other characters are important as well, some of his former allies, some secret service agents, and a couple of DEA people stationed in Bogotà all made the plot more complex, while I, along with Jammer, never knew whom to trust.
His gaze was intense, his mouth slightly parted, a man who knew what he had to say, but wasn’t sure how to say it. In all the years he had know Green, Davis imagined he’d witnessed every mood an reaction in the general’s catalogue. Never before had he seen indecision.
Now it was happening all over again. If he lost Jen, where would he turn? for so long it had been the two of them, and even with Jen in college they talked every day. One of them made the three-hour drive every other week. His daughter was precious, absolutely everything to him.
His last trip to Colombia had indeed been awkward. This one had the makings of a catastrophe.