Falling: A Novel

by T. J. Newman

Hardcover, 2021




Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster (2021), 304 pages


Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:#1 NATIONAL BESTSELLER * INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER "T. J. Newman has written the perfect thriller! A must-read." ??Gillian Flynn "Stunning and relentless. This is Jaws at 35,000 feet." ??Don Winslow "Falling is the best kind of thriller...Nonstop, totally authentic suspense." ??James Patterson "Amazing...Intense suspense, shocks, and scares...Chilling." ??Lee Child You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don't know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot's family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane. Enjoy… (more)


½ (269 ratings; 3.8)

User reviews

LibraryThing member jfe16
Review of Advance Reader’s Edition

On an ordinary Saturday morning, Bill Hoffman prepares to fly an Airbus A320 on a transcontinental flight lasting roughly six hours, traveling from Los Angeles International Airport to New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

It’s an ordinary
Show More

Until it’s not.

It's not because there's an unexpected ultimatum for the pilot: Your family will die unless you crash the plane.

What choice will Bill make? Will he choose the lives of his wife, Cassie, ten-year-old son Scott, and ten-month-old daughter Elise? Or will he choose the one hundred forty-nine souls aboard Coastal Airways Flight 146?

Readers will find themselves pulled into the telling of this riveting tale from the outset. Anchored by a strong sense of place and filled with credible, relatable characters, this can’t-put-it-down thriller radiates palpable tension. Underlying whispers of menace permeate the compelling narrative as it plays out on the ground and in the air.

Although told mostly in the present, the story benefits from flashbacks that provide some backstory and give both the characters and the story depth and authenticity. The pace is relentless, the action, non-stop, and the book, impossible to set aside, especially with the stupendous plot twist readers simply won’t see coming, the one that changes everything for the aircrew.

Readers are sure to empathize with the stalwart pilot determined to save both his family and his passengers, the courageous mother defending her children, and the courageous flight attendants determined to do their part to thwart the terrorists and keep the passengers safe.

There’s much to appreciate in this tale of bravery in the face of terrorism; it belongs in every reader’s must-read pile.

Highly recommended.
Show Less
LibraryThing member tottman
What would you do if you were a pilot and someone told you they’d kidnapped your family and if you don’t crash the plane, they’ll kill them? That’s the terrifying premise in T.J. Newman’s debut novel, Falling. Pilot Bill Hoffman gets just such a call shortly after beginning his
Show More
cross-country flight. Along with a picture of his wife in children in hoods with bombs strapped to them. Crash the plane or your family dies. Bill’s response is I won’t crash the plane and you won’t kill my family. Now he has five hours to try and make both those statements true.

Falling grabs your attention from the opening line and propels you forward for the next 300 pages. Newman develops her characters with care. The premise is exciting, but the tension arises because you get to know and care about Bill, his family, the flight crew, and the FBI agents. You even gain some understanding of the perpetrators, who are more than monolithic bad guys.

Newman more than delivers the goods when it comes to action as well. Alternating between events on the plane and on the ground keeps you flipping the pages. The safety of Bill’s family and the safety of the plane appear to be mutually exclusive, especially as the ticking clock gets closer to zero.

This book is the closest I’ve come to the experience of seeing Die Hard for the first time. Great action, great characters, and pacing that will have you holding your breath. This summer thriller is going to be in everyone’s hands. Don’t miss out!

I was provided a copy of this book by the publisher.
Show Less
LibraryThing member juju2cat
Welcome aboard, enjoy the flight...if you live. What a thriller! I read this with a breathless panic. Calling in sick to finish it once I started was not an option but I sure thought about it. I have to say a few parts were a bit cheesy but all in all my heart was in my throat most of the time. A
Show More
fast read and a great book!
Show Less
LibraryThing member Cherylk
When I read the premise for this book I just knew I had to read it right away. Well, I am happy to report that this book did not disappoint. In fact, I am more shocked than anything. Shocked because this is author, T.J. Newman's debut novel. It does not read like a first book.

Author, T.J's
Show More
background of being a fight attendant means that she also was able to gain knowledge from pilots. As an aviation fan, I can say that the lingo used was accurate.

As soon as I started reading this book, I was hooked. I could not put this book down to the point that I finished it in one sitting. That was that good. It was like I was in the airplane experiencing everything first hand. I can guarantee you that this is a book that readers will be raving about this year. It is already in my top 3 for 2021!
Show Less
LibraryThing member JopLee1
I liked it, no cliffhangers, good camaraderie, emotional scenes that make other people emotional, just make me angry, but when a lead character is successful I get choked up, then.

LibraryThing member susan.h.schofield
What a fantastic debut thriller from T.J. Newman!! It is intense and suspenseful from the beginning - once you start reading you will not want to put it down. I will be shocked if this doesn't get made into a movie. This is the perfect summer escape - but I wouldn't read it while flying! I look
Show More
forward to reading more from T.J. Newman in the future. Thanks to NetGalley for the digital ARC.
Show Less
LibraryThing member HuberK
FALLING by T.J. Newman

A new take on revenge and using an airplane to accomplish your foul deeds. Original story, highly recommend, reading while on the ground.

You or them? It's an easy question, right? Not so easy of a question, if it's referring to your beloved wife and two young children versus
Show More
the airplane full of innocent passengers, that you are flying along with you, the pilot.

I thankfully received a complimentary copy of #falling @falling from #simonschuster #avidreaderpress @simonschuster @avidreaderpress I was under no obligation to post a review.
Show Less
LibraryThing member pgchuis
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

I could have done without the prologue, the purpose of which escapes me, but after that it was certainly action-packed. The blurb doesn't really make clear how much of the narrative focusses on the cabin crew and their efforts to
Show More
contain the situation. I found the multiple perspectives diluted the tension, and I skimmed the second half as the characters lurched from one crisis to the next. There was a lot of detail about the procedures cabin crew and pilots follow. I think this would work well for readers who prioritize plot over character development.
Show Less
LibraryThing member breic
Nothing extraordinary, but still enjoyable. The plot has major holes that knocked me out of the story.
LibraryThing member DrApple
This is certainly a page turner! The only part I felt was unnecessary was the preface. The graphic description of a plane crash was a bit much. I guess is was provided to create tension in the following chapters. Overall, I enjoyed this book about a terrorist attempt to crash a plane. I
Show More
particularly liked the teamwork of the flight staff which was essential to the survival of the passengers.
Show Less
LibraryThing member MontzaleeW
by T. J. Newman
Avid Reader Press / Simon & Schuster

I want to thank the publisher and NetGalley for letting me read this book!

There is so much tension and suspense in this book! You really feel that! A pilot's family is held hostage and the pilot is ordered to crash the plane or his family
Show More
dies. The terrorists also have someone on board to monitor that he does what he says. He is suppose to do a list of things. The stewardess and pilot work together to try to solve issues and get through this.

There's some great moments in here. Long stretches of suspense and terror. But there are also a lot of very unrealistic or predictable situations. This is a first novel and I think it was done well for that. Worth the read. 3 stars for me is "Good". Not great or excellent but good! I did enjoy it but wouldn't re-read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Twink
Falling is T.J. Newman's debut novel. And I just have to tell you the story behind the book before I tell you how much I enjoyed Falling!
T. J. Newman, a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on
Show More
cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. But getting it published was a whole 'nother thing.... From the publisher:

"Bookseller turned flight attendant writes sensational thriller set on an airplane, gets rejected by forty-one literary agents before finding the right one, and then sells it in a major multibook deal to the first editor to whom it's submitted."

I am most definitely not a fan of flying. (You might not be either after this tale!) This isn't a spoiler, but is the publisher's description...." You just boarded a flight to New York. There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don't know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot's family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die."

Oh, great premise! There are so many ways this plot could unfold - and Newman gives us enough twists and turns to make you dizzy. Newman's familiarity with commercial flying gives her setting and characters detail and believability. The characters are all intense, from the captain, the flight crew and the 'bad guy'. I think Jo, the lead flight crew member was my favourite, but Big Daddy is a close second. Just as intense is the action - it just never lets up. And that means I couldn't stop turning pages. Easily done in a day.

Yes, you might have to suspend belief a few times, but just go with it.

Falling reads like an action movie - think Die Hard and Speed. The film rights have already sold to Universal Pictures. (Betcha those first forty one agents that said no are kicking themselves!)

Looking for an addictive read for the the beach bag? Pick up Falling! And I can't wait to see what Newman writes next.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Carolesrandomlife
This was an incredibly entertaining read! It is always fun to try new authors so I decided to give this book a try and I am so glad that I did. This was one of those stories that made you wonder what you would do if you found yourself in the same situation as the characters and I found the pages to
Show More
fly by quickly. I am so glad that I decided to pick up this fast-paced and exciting story.

Captain Bill Hoffman agrees to pick up a flight on his day off. It is a six-hour flight to New York and it should be fairly routine. It turns out to a nightmare that he could never have imagined. Someone has his wife and kids and in order to keep them safe, he is instructed to crash the plane he is flying, killing everyone on board. Bill is determined to figure out how to save his family and his passengers but he is not sure how he is going to be able to do it.

This book started with a bang and never let up. There were so many twists and turns and I spent most of the book worried about how things would work out for the characters. I grew to really like the key players in this story and loved seeing them work together to get things done. There were some really exciting scenes that had me turning the pages as fast as I could just so that I could see what would happen next.

I would recommend this book to others. This was an incredibly exciting and entertaining story that had me glued to the pages. I am incredibly impressed by T.J. Newman’s debut novel and cannot wait to read her future works.

I received a digital review copy of this book from Avid Reader Press via NetGalley.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Beamis12
3.5 This book has been majorly hyped. I've seen it pretty much everywhere on book sites and other media sites. Of course my curiousity was piqued, had to jump on the bandwagon and see if the hype was justified. It was and it wasn't, mixed for this reader but then again I'm not a huge fan of
Show More

It was exciting in places, definitely kept me reading though there were parts I skimmed. Did come to like the main characters, appreciate the horrible dilemma in which they found themselves. The reason behind the scenario does make one think about how much in the news we just let pass us by. Doesn't really affect our lives, so we let it go. Anyway, this was filled with the usual thriller impossibilities and implausibilities, but it will, if it hasn't already, be optioned for a film. It's the way it is written.

Wouldn't read this if one intends to fly soon.

ARC from Edelweiss.
Show Less
LibraryThing member tibobi
The Short of It:

Lots of hype over this book!! Turned down 41 times before getting published, I can happily tell you that it’s the page turner you want right now.

The Rest of It:

There are 143 passengers on board headed to New York. What they don’t know is that their pilot’s family has been
Show More
kidnapped and unless he brings the plane down according to the orders he’s been given, his wife and two children will be killed.

Captain Bill Hoffman decides right then and there, that they will NOT kill his family and he will NOT crash the plane. Although he’s told not to alert his crew, he doesn’t see how it can be avoided. He owes it to the passengers to have every chance at survival that they can have.

What a ride.

What you will notice right away is that there is an air of authenticity to the story and that’s probably because T.J. Newman spent years as a flight attendant. The attention to detail puts the reader right on the plane with those passengers. You are in the galley, in the jump seat, scrambling through the cabin trying to save lives. It’s riveting.

Some of the story may not seem plausible but at the same time, given limited means, it’s what the average person would do in that same situation. The last quarter of the book gave me high blood pressure and I could not put it down.

This is what you want in a thriller. Characters you care about, a fast pace, a seemingly impossible situation. It’s good. Throw this in your beach bag and you won’t leave the beach until you’ve turned the last page.

For more reviews, visit my blog: Book Chatter.
Show Less
LibraryThing member BettyTaylor56
For some unknown reason, I really enjoy a thriller set on board an aircraft. Newman’s “Falling” was, thus, the perfect read for me. I was immediately hooked by the premise of the book. Pilot Bill Hoffman has just gotten his aircraft to cruising altitude when he receives an email. His family
Show More
has been taken hostage, and he has a choice to make. Either he crashes the plane, or his family dies. That comes in Chapter 2, and I was along for the ride. Switching back and forth from what was happening onboard the aircraft to the happenings on the ground kept me glued to the book. I was in suspense throughout much of this fast-paced book.

I loved the characters in the book. The bravery of the flight crew had me cheering them on. I could envision Octavia Spencer as senior flight attendant Jo Watkins. I was equally impressed with the pilot’s wife and son. She even humanized the terrorists. I won’t give any more details as I certainly do not want to leak a spoiler. You need to experience this for yourself.

The author is a former flight attendant so the scenes in the main cabin and cockpit had that insider touch. I could hear the mechanical noises of take-off, the chimes used as communication among the flight crew, the bumps of turbulence. And I could feel the tension of the crew’s in-flight emergency response.

This book should give everyone a greater appreciation of the duties and responsibilities of flight attendants.
Show Less
LibraryThing member FormerEnglishTeacher
I’m a sucker for airline stories, and this was a pretty good one. There was enough intrigue to keep me interested, but it was fairly predictable. Once scene near the end at Yankee Stadium was more than ridiculous. I’m not sure why the author decided to include it because I think it weakened the
Show More
ending. I have no doubt that Newman has a promising career ahead of her if this debut is any indication. An enjoyable read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Dokfintong
I didn't realize what this book was when I started. I read the first chapter which sets up the story and then I quit. There are only three paths here and I don't need hours of reading to find out which the author chose.
LibraryThing member silversurfer
A superb thriller written by a Flight Attendant brings realism to this gripping story.
An intense page turner of epic proportions that reads like a film.
You take a flight with one hundred and forty three other souls.
But what you don't know is the First pilot's family has been kidnapped.
The plane
Show More
is hijacked and his instructions are to either crash the plane
Or his family will be killed.
An agonizing choice. A great book.
I can only imagine the forty one literary agents that passed
On this best seller, kicking themselves.
Universal Studios has picked up the film rights.
Highly recommended except when taking a flight!!
Show Less
LibraryThing member shelleyraec
Ladies and gentlemen, please be seated, fasten your seatbelt and take a deep breath, we are about to take off and there aren’t any exits from T.J. Newman’s debut novel, Falling.

Barely a half hour into his flight from Los Angeles to News York commercial pilot Bill Hoffman receives an email from
Show More
his wife, there is no subject or text just an attachment showing Bill’s wife and young children, bound and hooded. The hostage taker’s demand is simple, Bill is to crash the plane he is flying with one hundred and forty eight souls on board or his family will die.

The premise isn’t sophisticated but it is utterly compelling as Bill declares he has no intention of crashing the plane or losing his family. The hostage-taker warns Bill he is to tell no one but Bill nevertheless confides in the lead flight attendant, Jo, who contacts her nephew Theo, an agent with the FBI. As the captain and crew of Flight 416 attempt to devise a way to survive the terrorists threats, the FBI begin hunting for Bill’s family.

The pace is breathtaking as the crisis unfolds over a five hour timeline. While shock and fear eventually take a backseat to determination and courage amongst those trying to prevent a tragedy, the tension is unrelenting as the terrorists manage to stay one step ahead of Bill and Theo. Caught up in the intense emotion and action I couldn’t put it down. In all I felt there was only one awkward note, a mawkish quintessentially ‘American’ scene that happens on the ground near the end of the novel.

The heroes of Falling are, as one would expect, determined no-one will die. They use creative means to circumvent the terrorists, ignoring their own fears, and physical discomfort to protect others. The terrorists are not wholly typical, Newman makes an attempt to humanise by revealing their tragic pasts, and makes some valid points in terms of their cause, but their intentions really have no justification.

Almost everyone is at least vaguely familiar with the interior of a plane which makes scenes set in the AirBus easy to visualise. Newman draws on her experience as a former flight attendant so that the details in regards to the plane’s operation and the crew’s actions seem authentic, even if they are not accurate.

Falling is a well executed, exhilarating thriller, with appeal to a wide audience. Unsurprisingly it’s already been optioned for film and I imagine it will be a summer blockbuster.
Show Less
LibraryThing member DocWalt10
For a first-time novelist, this was an exceptional read. You are hooked from the first page and want to continue reading. I love to read and T.J. Newman joins authors I want to read whatever they write. I highly recommended this book.
LibraryThing member bblum
Jo, a longtime stewardess, using her knowledge and unflappability to help the pilot under threat in the cockpit manage and protect the passengers from poison gas and worse. This is a great airplane read with action on the ground, the pilots family is kidnapped by another a co conspirator and all
Show More
must remain secret as to the crash site to save the family. First class read.
Show Less
LibraryThing member Micareads
Captain Bill Hoffman heads to the airport for what he thinks will be a normal cross-country flight from LA to NYC..he has no idea how wrong he is. Within moments of Hoffman leaving his home, his family is taken hostage. Shortly after his flight takes off, he receives a strange message which has a
Show More
video of his wife bound, gagged, and wearing a suicide vest. Hoffman is given a choice - either he crashes the plane and saves his family or he saves his family and crashes the plane killing all 143 people on board. He must make a choice.

This is the first book written by T.J. Newman. Newman is a flight attendant which gives this story something extra in my opinion. This was a fast-paced well-told thriller. There were some moments where I thought I knew who the bad guy on board was only to realize that I based my thought on how I believed a terrorist would act. I loved the way the flight attendants were portrayed in this story - while it was the pilot who had to make a choice about crashing the plane, in truth, it was the flight attendants who held the passengers together when it was needed the most.
Show Less
LibraryThing member muddyboy
For the most part this is a taut exciting book about a terrorist plot th bring down a plane and kill the pilot's family. An unusual twist is that the terrorists are Kurdish angry at the United States for removing troops leaving them at the mercy of the Turks. The novel flashes back and forth from
Show More
the airplane to the pilot's family and attempts to rescue them. My main issue is the terrorist's target and what happens when the plane threatens the target. That is beyond belief. On the whole it is agood novel written by a promising young author.
Show Less
LibraryThing member waldhaus1
a fast paced thriller about a terrorist airplane hijacking and the efforts made by the flight crew and ground support to help out. Some predictability but still an exciting story.


Original language


Physical description

304 p.; 9.25 inches


1982177888 / 9781982177881
Page: 0.1364 seconds