Your Preview Verdict: Falling by T.J. Newman

Your Preview Verdict: Falling by T.J. Newman

You just boarded a flight to New York.

There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard.

What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped.

For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die.

The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane.

Enjoy the flight.

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

Falling is T.J. Newman’s first book and I can’t wait to see what she comes out with next because this book was fantastic! I truly was hooked from the very first page and struggled to tear myself away to go to work and then attend to family matters. The characters are so well developed that I felt like they were my own personal friends and that I was right there with them, feeling their fear, anxiety and terror. You can tell the author has done her research thoroughly, with detailed descriptions of the cockpit and flight attendant procedures, making it extremely easy for me to visualise events as they unfolded. This book totally deserves to be made into a movie and I would be wanting to see it on the big screen at the cinema as that is the best way to do this masterpiece justice. I’m so thankful to Better Reading for the ARC that I received. I will certainly be recommending this book to all my family and friends. Maree, QLD, 5 Stars

I did not enjoy the foreword as it seemed to give away the whole story. It made me not want to read anymore. However, I kept reading and after chapter two I was hooked. I loved the different point of views from Bill to Jo to Theo to Carrie. There were twists and turns I didn’t expect which made this novel unpredictable. I love when I can’t predict something and have to think. Great read. Tara, WA, 5 Stars

Wow! What an amazing rollercoaster this fast-paced thriller by former flight attendant, TJ Newman, is. Carrie Hoffman should have realised something was wrong when Sam, the IT guy, turned up on time. After her pilot husband, Bill, leaves for LAX she and her children are taken hostage. On board the flight to New York with 144 passengers plus crew, Bill is contacted by the terrorist who tells him that for his family to live, everyone on the plane must die. He must follow orders and if not there’s a backup plan in place. Captain Hoffman confides in flight attendant Jo who takes charge of the cabin. Jo texts her nephew, an FBI agent, to alert him of the situation and then it’s a race against time to save all souls on board and the Hoffman family and prevent any collateral damage. In the age of the Insta influencer, social media can be a curse or a blessing if used to advantage. Keeping the passengers safe and calm whilst trying to stop the terrorists is a challenge this crew rise to magnificently. Newman’s experience reminds us of the great responsibility these people have taken on. Can’t wait for the film. Sarah, NSW, 5 Stars

This book was a thoroughly enjoyable edge of your seat page-turner. Such an easy read with no dull spots and full of drama and suspense, made me want to keep reading. There is a plausible plot filled with strong believable characters. The book seems to be well researched and as frightening a scenario this book has I could relate to it as an experienced air traveller. With his wife and children held captive the main character, pilot Bill Hoffman, is put in a no-win position and must make an impossible decision – “You will crash your plane or I will kill your family.” The author highlights the strong bond between husband and wife, pilot and crew with an underlying line of betrayal. For a first time author, T.J. Newman has written a first-class book. I thoroughly recommend it. Grahame, NSW, 5 Stars

Wow, what a ride! I’m not usually one who can read a book in one sitting but this had me hooked from the start! A Saturday well spent. Emma, VIC, 5 Stars

Oh my giddy aunt! The blurb of Falling had me bursting to read the book; the first sentence sealed the deal. This book was literally an assault on the senses with each chapter concluding with more mystery and drama. While reading Falling I could picture myself aboard the plane and I experienced a range of emotions. I read this book quickly as the author had me so invested in the welfare of so many characters. This is a gasp out loud, heart in mouth thriller. Well done to this first-time author; what a ride! Claire, VIC, 5 Stars

A passenger plane pilot is placed in the horrific position of having to crash his plane full of passengers or lose the lives of his family. In order to save them, the aircraft must “hit” a designated target. At first, I thought “here we go-another airplane hijack story” but this one exceeds in the genre well above others. The characters are so well defined and all the many “hijinx” twists are original and extremely clever. I found the character of the flight attendant – Jo, to be just as engaging as the main character Capt. Bill Hoffman. We face issues such as integrity, family love, Presidential gruffness, FBI non-intelligence and hijackers who one may not consider terrorists at all. As expected the tension rises as each situation is faced – but this is to be expected but this survival novel is one that will be hard to put down once the game begins. I must admit I found the first few chapters dull and average but please persist because once the ride begins it’s unstoppable. Mick, SA, 5 Stars

This book was such a ride. Bill, the pilot, is given a choice, his family or the plane load of innocent people. The chaos that follows is gripping. It keeps you on your toes until the very end. I am amazed it was a debut novel for this author. T.J Newman did an astounding job writing this book. I hope she continues her journey as a talented author. Thanks Better Reading for my copy of this great book to read and review. Renee, QLD, 5 Stars

A fast-paced roller coaster ride packed with twists and told from the viewpoint of someone intimate with the life and roles of aircrew. Any frequent flyer’s worst nightmare, but a great read with both feet firmly on the ground! Alanna, QLD, 5 Stars

I can’t believe this is a debut novel, it was epic! When the first sentence of the book is “When the shoe dropped into her lap the foot was still in it” you know this book is going to be intense and it was from start to finish. The fact that the author was a flight attendant was evident in the in-depth descriptions and knowledge of the layout and processes of planes and airlines. It’s what made a storyline that’s been done before really stand out for me. Ellen, VIC, 5 Stars

If you love a thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, Falling is it. A pilot is threatened if he doesn’t crash the plane his family will die. Bill is the pilot faced with that choice and he knows whatever happens he will not crash the plane. Jo, the stewardess, his and his wife’s friend is on the other side of the cockpit door and she is determined to save her crew and passengers from the imminent danger. I suggest you read this book with both feet on the ground! Wendy, SA, 5 Stars

Fantastic, could not put the book down, I felt the panic and the shock of the situation. The pilot so calm and his wife so remarkable, felt like you were on board, not sure what was going to happen next. Lynette, NSW, 5 Stars

I love a fast-paced, edge of your seat, nail-biting thriller and Falling ticked all my boxes! A minute by minute account of a worst nightmare scenario – do you chose to save your family from their kidnappers, or the lives of the 143 souls on board? Brilliant, breathtaking and heart-stopping! Kate, VIC, 5 Stars

There was no slow start to this book. The action started in the first few chapters and had me hooked from the start. The whole story was super fast-paced and left me guessing at what would happen next. I finished it in just two sittings. The story is told from multiple points of view, and each character was easy to tell apart with their own thoughts which I often find difficult to distinguish in other books. Would definitely recommend it to those who love thrillers as I’m sure they would enjoy it as much as I did. Lisa, VIC, 5 Stars

I dare you to put this book down after the first page! Falling is the debut novel from TJ Newman, former flight attendant, and takes the reader on a thrill ride up in the skies and a hold your breath race on the ground. As much as a pilot’s family could be kidnapped for blackmail against a full planeload of passengers, the only thing that held me back from really enjoying this thriller is the I found it just a little unbelievable that there wouldn’t be backup procedures, more thorough background checks, just more protection against this happening. Doubts aside, Falling sucks you in from the first page, and until it’s safe to land you won’t want to put this book down! Amanda, VIC, 4 Stars

What a ride! Falling is, quite simply, an addictive page-turner. I read the book in a day (thank goodness, I didn’t have to go to work!) and could not put it down. The premise is one that the mind shies away from deliberating for too long: how to choose between the lives of one hundred and forty-three innocent plane passengers and the lives of your wife and children? Captain Bill Hoffman is a character you warm to immediately: honest, hardworking and a family man who is loyal to his crew. The secondary characters, especially the aircraft crew, are vivid and lovable. I’d gladly put my life in their hands the next time I am in the air. Falling is a thriller that rips the oxygen mask off your face and shoves you out the plane door without a parachute. It will leave you gasping till the last page. Kate, NSW, 4 Stars

Falling was an exhilaratingly fast-paced story with a premise that I sincerely hope never happens in real life! Intense and eye-opening, I was pleasantly surprised that this is the author’s debut novel. It certainly did not read like a debut novel to me. Falling explores the unthinkable: what if a pilot is threatened with the choice of either crashing the plane or watching his family get murdered. For many people, their instant reaction is probably “Of course I’ll choose my family”, but what if you’re responsible for over 100 people on board the flight? You need to save your family, but at the same time, you can’t have over 100 deaths on your hands either. This was something that I sincerely hope never happens in real life and it is also something that worries me every single time I board a plane! Falling was a thrilling debut, and I highly recommend this to everyone! Shirley, NSW, 4 Stars

Really loved this book! It was an edge of your seat ride. Faced with an impossible choice, I turned each page wondering what the Pilot’s move would be. Who if anybody on board was in on the whole plan? Who could the Pilot tell? I really liked the build on this and the possibility that everyone on the plan could be a suspect. A great read, but I am glad we aren’t able to fly anywhere anytime soon! Hollie, QLD, 4 Stars

A fast-paced exciting book with everything you could want from a thriller. Good research was done by the author too. I whipped through this book in no time and enjoyed every minute of it. Ros, ACT, 4 Stars

If you weren’t afraid of flying before, you will be once you’ve read this. A fast-paced, exciting and terrifying read. Pilot Bill Hoffman received a message instructing him to crash the plane, and failing to do so will result in having his family killed. TJ Newman has done a great job for her first novel. Her experience as a flight attendant has really added to the authenticity of the story. I really enjoyed the author’s style and her ability to maintain the suspense. Not many books actually live up to their claim of being a thriller. I can’t explain too much without giving away the story…. I recommend giving it a go. Well done TJ Newman, I look forward to more of your work. 4 Stars!! Thanks, Better Reading Preview and Simon and Schuster for the opportunity to review this book. Angie, QLD, 4 Stars

After Bill’s laptop pinged with an incoming email, his nightmare begins. Captain Bill Hoffman is piloting a commercial flight between Los Angeles and New York. He has been called in on his day off, and his family is unhappy. His departure from home is interrupted as a tradesman arrives and he did not get to say goodbye properly. Once the plane is in the air, Bill receives a message: ‘You will crash the plane or I will kill your family.’ His wife and two children have been taken hostage. Who has taken Bill’s family captive, and why? What will Bill do? Fasten your seatbelt, you are in for a bumpy ride. Fast-paced and full of twists, Ms Newman’s first novel takes us through a near-impossible journey as the hostage-taker seems to have every possibility covered. Can Bill’s cabin crew help avert disaster without alarming the passengers? The action shifts between the cockpit, Bill’s family and the hostage-taker. And then the FBI becomes involved. This is one flight I definitely don’t want to take. Jennifer, ACT, 4 Stars

Coming from the long line of aviators, reading Falling was like a trip down memory lane. T.J.Newman definitely knows her stuff when it comes to planes, pilots and flight attendants. Thriller is built around a bunch of wonderful characters. I’d like to meet them in person. Author’s insights into characters, their actions and emotions are what I enjoyed the most. Suspense is mild. Horror is on the mellow end. However, I read the book in one night. It is a very easy, unputdownable read. Enjoy. Svetlana, VIC, 4 Stars

Just utter perfection in the writing! This book has me reading soooooo fast to gobble it up!! Thrilling! Engaging!! Heart in my stomach the whole time!! Stacey, WA, 4 Stars

This was an action-packed, non-stop thriller, made me feel kinda nostalgic for all the disaster films of the 70s although with updated security etc to bring it into this century. Bill Hoffmann is a pilot on a flight from LA to New York, his family is taken hostage and he is told either his family dies or he crashes the plane, it’s his choice. The story moves between the plane, the family and the FBI, I found the characters believable and their actions seemed reasonable too although I thought more passengers would’ve behaved a bit more outrageously but it was certainly a thrill ride! An entertaining read. JG, NSW, 4 Stars

Falling is a mostly fast-paced thriller – once on-board with Flight 416, the writing picks up, enhanced by the author’s authentic flight experience that adds a layer of credibility to the unfolding drama. The female characters are the real heroes of this story – strong, courageous, selfless and clever – you can’t help cheering them on. Flight attendant Jo demonstrates strength and smarts and, whilst her sense of duty is similar to pilot Bill’s, it resonates much more clearly. Carrie, kidnapped wife and mother, is calm and clever in a way we can only hope to be in the face of danger. If the women are the heroes, the men are their cardboard equivalents. Bill, pilot and family man faced with an impossible choice, is an unconvincing character. I want to care and think of him as a “nice guy”, but just don’t feel it. The book attempts to explain the pilot and terrorists’ motivations, but the efforts feel clumsy and two-dimensional throughout. The plot twists and turns move from shock surprises to Hollywood-style action movie plots, but overall make for a fun, exciting read. Ironically, this is a classic airport read – just pick it up after you land! Marissa, VIC, 3 Stars


35,000 feet is a long way down… Read an Extract of Falling by T.J. Newman

Review | Extract

2 June 2021

35,000 feet is a long way down… Read an Extract of Falling by T.J. Newman

    Crash the Plane… or Save Your Family? Read our Review of Falling by T.J. Newman

    Review | Our Review

    1 June 2021

    Crash the Plane… or Save Your Family? Read our Review of Falling by T.J. Newman

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        Publisher details

        T.J. Newman
        Simon and Schuster
        02 June, 2021


        There are one hundred and forty-three other passengers onboard. What you don’t know is that thirty minutes before the flight your pilot’s family was kidnapped. For his family to live, everyone on your plane must die. The only way the family will survive is if the pilot follows his orders and crashes the plane. Enjoy the flight...
        T.J. Newman
        About the author

        T.J. Newman

        T.J. Newman, a former bookseller turned flight attendant, worked for Virgin America and Alaska Airlines from 2011 to 2021. She wrote much of Falling on cross-country red-eye flights while her passengers were asleep. She lives in Phoenix, Arizona. Falling is her first novel. 

        Books by T.J. Newman


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