Today I’m back with Lone Star Lit and another fast-paced Christian thriller from DiAnn Mills. Airborne is a gripping tale about a deadly virus that is released on an airplane.
I was provided an advance copy of the book from the publisher via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Date of Publication: September 8, 2020
Number of Pages: 400
Scroll down for the giveaway!
Heather Lawrence’s long-awaited vacation to Salzburg wasn’t supposed to go like this. Mere hours into the transatlantic flight, the Houston FBI agent is awakened when passengers begin exhibiting horrific symptoms of an unknown infection. As the virus quickly spreads and dozens of passengers fall ill, Heather fears she’s witnessing an epidemic similar to ones her estranged husband studies for a living—but this airborne contagion may have been deliberately released.
While Heather remains quarantined with other survivors, she works with her FBI colleagues to identify the person behind this attack. The prime suspect? Dr. Chad Lawrence, an expert in his field … and Heather’s husband. The Lawrences’ marriage has been on the rocks since Chad announced his career took precedence over his wife and future family and moved out.
As more victims fall prey days after the initial outbreak, time’s running out to hunt down the killer, one who may be closer to the victims than anyone ever expected.
A NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR
The story line for Airborne came to me three and a half years ago. All I had was a what-if: A virus unleashed on an international flight.
The search to find experts who were willing to give me accurate information took another year. Along the way, God placed the right people in my path: a woman and new friend whose doctorate is in microbiology and immunology, a man who trains flight attendants for the airline that I envisioned in my story, a pilot who not only flies for my designated airline but is also a suspense and thriller writer, the amazing people and resources of the CDC, and the wisdom and guidance of the FBI.
Tyndale House Publishers saw my passion for Airborne. This book was completed and edited before COVID-19 spread across our globe. My mission then and now is to show a story that weaves hope, reality, and the sacrificial work of first responders when a deadly virus spreads through innocent people.
My prayer is people will experience God’s presence during our current global crisis. Will you join me in that prayer?
CLICK TO PURCHASE AIRBORNE
I have a confession to make: sitting in the depths of a pandemic, anxiety flaring, and utterly over social distancing (but doing it anyway for health reasons), my initial reaction to a book ABOUT a deadly virus was a hearty no thank you. However, I’m a fan of DiAnn Mills’ thrillers, and with the realization that Airborne must have been contrived and written long before we found ourselves where we are piqued my curiosity. How would she imagine it? How would she find a way out of it?
My admiration for her deft plotting and well-developed characters won the internal battle, and I’m glad I read it.
In Airborne, FBI Agent Heather Lawrence is on an overseas flight when passengers suddenly begin falling seriously ill, some fatally so. As the crew, Heather, and fellow passengers try to help the infected, the flight is diverted to New Jersey where the ill are taken to the hospital and the remaining healthy passengers are quarantined on an island. Heather is among the healthy, seemingly unaffected, and works with the FBI to discover the source of the virus. To complicate matters, her currently estranged and soon-to-be ex-husband is an immunologist and becomes a prime suspect.
The story unfolds via the points-of-view of both Heather and her husband Chad, who is desperate to clear his name. Initially, Chad isn’t particularly likable – where Heather is heroic and brave, Chad appears selfish and suspicious. However, one thing I love about the author is her character development, and it shines in this novel. Both the primary and secondary characters are interesting and fleshed out, and there are multiple characters who could be the antagonist, which keeps things interesting.
The chapters relating to the virus, the search for the source and the cure, and the interactions on the island and between Chad and the FBI or his lab assistant are fast paced. It’s also evident that Mills did her research here regarding viruses, the CDC, and the FBI. However, I did feel that there were moments that the internal dialogue about the couple’s relationship and/or faith issues slowed down the plot just a bit.
This IS a work of Christian fiction as well as a thriller. Generally, I find author Mills’ novels to have elements of faith that are handled with a light touch. Not so in this story, as one of the wedges between Chad and Heather is Chad’s lack of faith. His faith journey (or lack of it) really is a separate storyline in the book. While the story is billed as a romance and a thriller, I think “romance” is the wrong term. As the quarantine keeps the couple separated for much of the plot, the story is more about their relationship, so I’d consider it more of a family issues tale.
Interspersed throughout is a third POV, and the only told in the first person – that of the person who spread the virus, who calls his/herself “Shield”. The antagonist’s comments only further threw me off his/her identity – and even when I thought I knew who it *should* be, their personality didn’t parse with Shields, so I was kept guessing.
This is very much a character-driven story; the details of the virus itself is secondary. The relationships that develop between the passengers of the plane both on the plane and in quarantine are moving and relatable. The focus isn’t as much on the science and the how as it is to the why.
Overall, this was an excellent whodunnit of a thriller that kept the pages turning! I’m giving Airborne four stars. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She is a founding board member of the American Christian Fiction Writers; director, alongside Edie Melson, of the Blue Ridge Mountains Christian Writers Conference and Mountainside Retreats; and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association, Mystery Writers of America, Sisters in Crime, and International Thriller Writers.
DiAnn is passionate about helping other writers be successful and speaks to various groups and teaches writing workshops around the country. She and her husband live in sunny Houston. DiAnn is very active online and loves to connect with readers on social media and at diannmills.com
Each gets a signed, personalized hardcover edition of Airborne
+ choice of either $25 Amazon or $25 Barnes and Noble e-Gift Card
August 18-28, 2020
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