Airplane thrillers—thrillers set on planes, not thrillers meant to be read on planes—need a cracking plot and flawless execution, and “Falling” possesses both. Debut novelist T. J. Newman’s premise, that of a pilot told to crash a commercial flight to save his family, sets off a fast plotline controlled superbly, and the escalating tension kept this reader glued to his seat. The author is a robust stylist and the airplane milieu is evoked splendidly. My only minor qualm was a strand of patriotic sentimentalism that kept rising to the surface needlessly, but this quibble was swept aside by the pleasure of the read. Falling is a scorching read and an ideal present for your non-reading grand-niece or brother-in-law.