Bob Winrush used to fly passengers, then worked for years as a 'freight dog', flying consignments of goods and sometimes people to all the corners of the world - including bush-strips in war zones: 'real flying,' as he called it. Until, one day, he walked away from a deal that didn't smell right - something a freight dog should never do.
Now working as a private pilot for an Emirate prince in Dubai, he finds that moment of refusal catching up with him. Caught between those who want to find out more and those who want to cover their traces, he becomes a marked man, and flees to a remote Scottish island. Pursued by both armed assassins and a ruinous, bitter divorce, he struggles to re-fashion himself in this barren, beautiful place, taking on another identity.
But back in the world of smuggled AK-47s and heroin, the stakes are rising. Despite the presence of Judith, the alluring environmentalist, memories of his uglier flights return to haunt him. Even in the furthest Hebrides his past is with him, and the predators are closing in.
Adam Thorpe's tenth novel is an extraordinary amalgam: a vertiginous, page-turning thriller and a masterful work of literary fiction. Fast, funny and very frightening, Flight shows a new facet of this most brilliant of writers.
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This is breakneck, knuckle-whitening thriller, written with absolute brilliance - pooh to the Booker judges if this is not on the shortlist. - The Times
Flight draws one in irresistibly. Alfred Hitchcock's influence is never far away...a zingy page-turner. - Telegraph
This book is so much better written than most thrillers that it's almost ridiculous. - Financial Times
Flight blends an unlikely cocktail of genres with great success – think 007 as a middle-aged dad you’re halfway there. - Metro
One can think of only a handful of pleasures to compare with the experience of being enveloped by the plush interiors of Adam Thorpe's classy prose and gliding along on his warmly purring narrative rides... Thorpe is one of our most fiercely intelligent and intellectual writers. - The Times
A gripping thriller from its first sentence... Thorpe is a craftsman as well as an artist, and the book is well put together, with respect for the genre. Like William Boyd, Thorpe is a thorough professional. Thorpe convincingly portrays a world in which the means of communication have shrunk the world and made privacy hard to secure. - Scotsman
Adam Thorpe is a marvel among contemporary British novelists, and we are lucky to have him. - Independent
Full of bleak aviation humour regarding the business of air-freighting deceased holiday-makers, as well as other more unsettling cargoes. - Spectator
It's enthrallingly nerve-racking in the Hitchcock mode: realism with intimations of fatal disaster... Flight can be appreciated simultaneously on three levels: as an almost continuously tense narrative interspersed with unpredictable, entrails-knotting incidents; as an increasingly sympathetic revelation of a complex, intelligent character; and as a travelogue of extreme contrasts, all depicted in stylish prose of marvellous originality. - Literary Review
All the lingo and lore of flying is here, along with the requisite stunts that keep the plot soaring. - Financial Times
Flight is full of fine writing, with a compelling tale that will keep readers securely fastened into their seats. - Independent
In Flight's slick plot and its testosterone-fuelled characters, Thorpe has found a fresh way of looking at corruption and betrayal, and the sticky web that is flung across the world, connecting drug and arms dealers, and all shades of mortals in between. - Herald
Flight is a good performance, as you’d expect from anything that Thorpe turns his hand to. - Sunday Times
Adam Thorpe was born in Paris in 1956. His first novel, Ulverton, was published in 1992, and he has publishedtwo books of stories and six poetry collections - most recently Voluntary. His new translation of Madame Bovary has just been published by Vintage. He lives in France with his wife and family.