This was fun. My second time around, but so long after the first reading that I’d forgotten everything and could enjoy it all over again. And just as with the first reading, I went through it in three long sessions.

I’ve read all of Michael Crichton’s books – and enjoyed nearly all of them. (I’ll never go near Timeline or Pirate Latitudes again.) Yes, the characters are little more than types. Yes, everyone sounds exactly the same. And yes, his action scenes can be so slack they often read like instructions for a screenplay (and for somebody else to make them exciting.)

But I love the relentless pacing and his ability to build suspense out of people examining masses of technical detail. Not so much a whodunnit as a whatdunnit. Here it’s the search for what caused a passenger jet to lost control in mid-air and, even if I couldn’t follow every one of those details – ‘slats proximity sensors’ and ‘Number 1 engine thruster panels’- he does make the collection of them compelling.

Simply put, he tells a great story. And this is one of his best.

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