"Skyjack" by K.J. Howe; Quercus (400 pages, $26.99)
K.J. Howe proves she owns a sub-genre that has long been neglected - the women's adventure mystery - in her second novel about kidnapping and rescue expert Thea Paris.
"Skyjack" soars with a powerful plot, realistic characters and action that is, at times, over the top but always believable.
"Skyjack" finds Thea taking a quiet and emotionally satisfying mission - delivering two orphaned African brothers, Jabari, 12, and Ayan, 9, to their new adoptive parents in London. The children had been forced into being child soldiers after seeing their parents murdered by Boko Haram. Now they will finally have a chance at a better life, a real childhood and education. But not long into the flight, their chartered flight is hijacked to the Libyan Desert. Trying to negotiate, Thea is tricked into leaving the plane, which takes off with the boys and other passengers.
Thea may be stranded, but she has mad skills, and quite a few high-tech toys to get in touch with her tactical team, who will not stop until the passengers, and especially the children, are safe.
"Skyjack" takes the readers on a tour through Europe connecting a WWII legend with an underground militant group's plan to release a toxin that could kill millions.
Suspense is in no short supply in the action-packed "Skyjack," balanced by solid character studies. Even the villains show their humanity. And in tense times, Thea with her intelligence and solid skills is the one you want on your side.
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