Review of Free Fall at Angel Creek by Julie Tizard
I’ve got this author on my radar (no pun intended) since I read her debut The Road to Wings which won a GCLS Goldie Award. Her expertise in airplanes and flying make her books very original and interesting. I couldn’t pass this up.
When Flight 402 has an accident without any survivors, among them, Detective Dee Rawlings’s estranged sister, Dee is desperate to try to find out the causes of the accident. Dr. River Dawson, one of the aircraft accident investigators, believes that Dee is interfering with the investigation but when Dee discovers critical evidence, they start working together to find the causes of the accident. What they couldn’t predict was their mutual attraction…
I like authors who are experts in a subject matter and add that expertise in their novels. Some examples come to my mind, Radclyffe with medicine, Carsen Taite with law, and VK Powell with police work, among others. Add Julie Tizard to that list. If you read her bio, I assure you that you will be definitely impressed. Captain Tizard has 40 years of experience as a professional pilot, was one of the earliest women US air force pilots, a commercial airline pilot, and an aircraft accident investigator. Suffice it to say that if she writes a book about an airplane accident, she’ll be right on the money.
Free Fall at Angel Creek is a two-part story, one about the accident investigation and the other about the romance between the main characters. Ms. Tizard takes the reader through the accident investigation with extreme detail and in simple terms so anyone can understand. It’s a bit like reading a mystery in which you follow the investigator trying to guess the guilty party. It’s very interesting to see the different factors to consider, the technical details, the history of aviation, etc. As the investigation progresses so does the pace of the story and the action around it. I enjoyed this aspect of the plot a lot.
The other part of the book is the relationship between Dee and Rivers which starts off on the wrong foot but slowly improves and eventually evolves into a romantic entanglement. I admit that I didn’t enjoy the romance as much as the accident investigation, as it felt a bit rushed and the ubiquitous conflict on the 80% mark contrived. I get that this wasn’t the main focus of the book and I’m happy to overlook my disappointment with the romance because I found that the rest was very enjoyable.
Overall, an original premise for an entertaining read. 4 stars.