Today, I launched Episode #2 of my new podcast, The Thriller Zone, where my special guest is KJ Howe, author of Skyjack. In the spirit of transparency, this is a rebroadcast of an episode posted late last year. It aired on my other podcast, Naked Monday. I enjoyed my time with KJ so much, I wanted to share our time our audience. Listen to The Thriller Zone with KJ Howe. As you’ll hear, we really enjoyed ourselves.
I also wanted to provide my review on Goodreads. Enjoy the brief review, and consider picking up a copy of the book. If you enjoy strong female protagonists who enjoy kicking some ass while doing good for the world, you’ll enjoy SKYJACK.
One of the things I most admire about K.J. Howe is the honesty she brings to everything she touches. Whether it’s a novel, running the prestigious Thrillerfest in New York each summer, or how she gracefully attends to those friends around her, when you meet K.J., you instantly get that.
When you read Skyjack, you’ll also get a sense of “she knows what she’s talking about, because she’s lived it.” At least, in part. While I didn’t read her debut novel, The Freedom Broker, I can only imagine it had to have been just as powerful as Skyjack. And look, I’m a sucker for a female protagonist; especially one who’s as tough-as-nails, like her lead character, Thea Paris.
Here’s a quick intro: Thea Paris is shepherding two African orphans from Nairobi to their new adoptive home in London when the plane they are on is hijacked. The CIA, the Vatican, the Sicilian mob, and a secret stay-behind army from the Second World War makes this SKYJACK much more than a flight gone wrong.
Okay, you’ve got me hooked right there. You know the lead is a female with strong mother instincts, but has several layers of expertise where she’s willing to put her life on the line to save two kids who aren’t hers. Next, you incorporate a massive government group, the largest church in the world, and sprinkle in the mob (and Sicilian at that), and you know you’re in for the ride of your life. Or shall I say, flight of your life!
I won’t spoil it (nobody likes that), but I will say this book keeps you turning pages right up to the end. Read this book, and you—like myself—will understand why the name K.J. Howe is destined to remain among the bestseller lists for years to come.
For the record, I had neither spent much time reading—nor knew much about—books about kidnapping and ransom. But this opened my eyes to that world, as well as opened my eyes to the fact that K.J. has carved out her very own niche. I like that.
In closing, you’ll quickly see her solid grasp of storytelling. You’ll also discover just how much research she puts into a book. She’s not into rushing things, as you can imagine given the amount of time between books, but then when they’re this good, it’s worth the wait.
My only beef? It ended too quickly. But then, I guess that’s a good problem to have. If you like fine details, superb research, plausible storylines, likable characters (and some, not so likable), plus a novel that doesn’t drag anywhere, but moves with a grace and ease of a long-seasoned writer, you’ll find yourself searching the bookshelves for the next K.J. Howe thriller.
Action, bravery and chaos take place in the sky, at the hands of a brave new protagonist named Thea Paris.
Friendly disclaimers: I was provided a copy of this book in preparation for having Ms. Howe on my podcast. My apologies for just now posting this review. If you’re interested in hearing her insights, please tune into The Thriller Zone Podcast wherever you get your podcasts.