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Reviewed by Saifunnissa Hassam for Readers' Favorite
John J. Nance's 16 Souls suspense novel is an aviation thriller about a mid-air collision of two planes. Regal Airlines Flight 12 piloted by Captain Marty Mitchell lifts off from Denver International Airport in an intense snowstorm. There are 154 passengers aboard the Boeing 757 plane. At about the same time, Captain Michelle Whittier prepares Mountaineer Airlines Flight 2612 from Durango to land at the Denver airport. The Mountaineer is a small commuter plane with 14 passengers. At about 12000 feet, the two planes collide. The smaller plane's fuselage is embedded, very precariously, in the Boeing's right wing. Incredibly both planes remain airborne. The two pilots work together, struggling to prevent the smaller plane from being ripped off the wing. Marty Mitchell must make a life or death decision. On the ground, Marty faces second-degree murder charges.
John J. Nance's aviation thriller 16 Souls immediately turned into a riveting and compelling story for me. I particularly liked the flow of the narrative through flashbacks and multiple tension-filled situations. I found this very effective in revealing Captain Marty Mitchell's thinking and actions. He is determined to save the passengers on both planes. I was totally immersed in the story, visualizing the terrifying perilous situation through the intense and vivid dialogues and detailed descriptions. Marty Mitchell's court trial is also full of tension and suspense. Judith Winston, an excellent corporate lawyer, takes on the challenge of pro bono defense counsel for Marty, and I liked the buildup of trust between Marty and Judith. I think the story gained more depth as the case becomes critical to flight safety, and a pilot's authority to make life and death choices in dire emergencies. Nance's 16 Souls is well-crafted and fascinating, an exciting aviation thriller both in the air and in the courthouse!