Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Lockout is a high-tech thriller written by John J. Nance. The author is a veteran airline captain, a retired U.S. Air Force pilot and an aviation analyst. NSA analyst Jenny Reynolds was troubled by the satellite burst that seemed to make no sense, but was too specific in purpose to be dismissed as random. Her boss, Seth Zieglar, commiserated with her inability to crack the code and hoped her concerns were unfounded, but after 911, they had to make sure. Across the globe from Jenny’s desk in Maryland, Pangia Airways Flight 10, which was scheduled to leave Tel Aviv, had a distinguished passenger who had come on board without the usual fanfare accorded a man of his stature. Moishe Lavi still smarted at his loss of power as the former Prime Minister of Israel, and his hard-right stance on Iran had made him a volatile political presence. Once in the air, Captain Jerry Tollefson and First Officer Dan Horneman had enough bad history between them to make things in the cockpit tense, but when the turbulence the Pangia Airbus entered seemed to have left them with a blank instrument panel and a total loss of control over their plane, their personal issues were forgotten in the face of a potential disaster of worldwide proportions.
John J. Nance’s high-tech thriller, Lockout, is a fast-paced and enthralling look at a worst-case scenario and the efforts made on the ground and in the air to regain control of Flight 10 and avert an international incident. I especially enjoyed following as Dan, a passenger with a background in engineering, and a techie work together to identify and attempt to demobilize the mysterious metal cabinet found in the electronics bay of the plane. Nance’s plot threads three different stories together as the political ramifications of the threat, the on-ground efforts of NSA personnel, and the in-the-air troubleshooting efforts of Dan and the passengers unfold, and those threads work brilliantly together as the reader becomes all too aware of the looming deadlines the world faces. This all-too-plausible storyline will have some readers thinking seriously about their next flights and whether alternative arrangements are preferable. Lockout is most highly recommended.