Treason Flight

Fiction - Military
198 Pages
Reviewed on 04/17/2021
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

T.R. Matson has over two decades of both military and civilian aviation experience. This experience covers time in the U.S. Navy flying the E-2C Hawkeye and F/A-18C Hornet on combat tours, as well as multiple training tours as a T-45 Goshawk Instructor and Landing Signals Officer (LSO). On the civilian front T.R. Matson flies for a major airline.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Pikasho Deka for Readers' Favorite

Do you love movies like Top Gun? If action-packed military thrillers are your genre, waste no time and get yourself a copy of Treason Flight by T.R. Matson. Jack "Rattler" Owen is a strong-willed Navy pilot with an unblemished reputation amongst his peers. After heroically saving a Hawkeye aircraft and its crew over the Persian Gulf, Rattler's fame rises further. As he mourns his upcoming divorce, his friend Clipper introduces him to an Australian woman named Sandy during one of their port calls. But it's cut short when an oil rig owned by a US company comes under siege from Al Qaeda, and a hostage rescue mission is prepared where Rattler must pilot a Hawkeye. However, there might be a traitor in their midst who not only jeopardizes the mission but throws Rattler and his friends into a deeper conspiracy.

Treason Flight is a wild thrill ride that pumps you with constant doses of adrenaline from beginning to end. The plot moves at a blistering pace, and the vividly described action sequences keep the reader hooked to its pages. There are intimate moments where T.R. Matson captures a personalized look into the headspace of a Navy pilot, and it provides a fascinating perspective to the reader. The twists and turns of the plot feel organic yet not-so-easy to predict. I found the characters likable and easy to root for, and Rattler, Clipper, and Sandy were my personal favorites of the bunch. I had an absolute blast reading Treason Flight. I would recommend it to fans of action-oriented thrillers.

Jon Michael Miller

In Treason Flight by T. R. Matson, Jack “Rattler” Owen has wanted to be a jet fighter pilot ever since as a kid he thrilled at the Blue Angels air show with his dad. His dad told him he could accomplish whatever he dreamed. On his way, Rattler joined the U.S. Navy and became an ace on the Hawkeye, an all-weather, early warning aircraft stationed on the U.S.S. Nimitz aircraft carrier. He earns a stellar reputation by landing the craft after it was hit with a SAM missile fired by Al Qaeda over Iraq. The plot thickens when Rattler senses unexplained animosity coming not from the enemy but from his own skipper. Could it be as simple as professional jealousy? Whatever its source, the friction grows exponentially as Rattler ups his success each step toward reaching his ultimate goal.

Treason Flight by T.R. Matson is written in crisp, fast-moving prose with a highlight on the action. Matson puts you right there with Rattler on the carrier deck, in the cockpit, and in the danger-fraught air over the Persian Gulf. Oh, yes, and there’s a hot tub or two when, on shore leave with his buddy Clipper, he meets Sandy, a sexy Australian flight attendant. But it’s Rattler’s unasked-for rivalry with the skipper that propels the plot. Increment by increment, the tension builds until it finally culminates in an official plan to entrap the errant skipper in the most dangerous mission Rattler has yet to fly. If you like military air action coupled with intrigue and getting to know the internal workings of a hero’s mind, you won’t be able to put this book down. When Rattler finally receives that coveted promotion to Hornet pilot, you’ll revel in his pride for having damn-well earned it. T.R. Matson knows his stuff and shows it in the action novel Treason Flight.

Grant Leishman

Treason Flight by T.R. Matson takes us up close and personal with the dangerous and exciting life aboard a United States aircraft carrier. Jack “Rattler” Owen had dreamed of being a fighter pilot operating off a navy aircraft carrier. He hadn’t quite achieved his goal but was happy to be the best E-2C Hawkeye pilot on the U.S.S. Aircraft Carrier Nimitz. Rattler was going through a tough time personally during their deployment. Not only was he missing his parents back in the U.S., but his wife had just filed papers for divorce. Despite the turmoil, Rattler reveled in his work and the camaraderie of shipboard life. Well liked by all, except for some reason the leader of his actual flight wing, Rattler was born to be a naval pilot. When trouble struck, first with his plane’s hydraulics that failed in flight and resulted in a near disastrous landing on the Nimitz, and then when an operation against terrorists in the Middle East goes spectacularly wrong for Rattler, he starts to wonder if someone may have it in for him. A mysterious email and strange warning notes alert him to the fact that not all is well within his squadron. If Rattler is to survive, he and his co-pilot Clipper must uncover and expose the enemy within.

Treason Flight is an interesting read, if only for the insight it gives us into a life that few can experience and yet many do wonder and dream about. The rarefied air of a U.S.S. aircraft carrier and the courageous men who fly the missions on them has long been the genesis of movies and novels. Author T.R. Matson clearly has an intimate knowledge and understanding of naval life and is able to successfully impart that passion to the reader. The level of technical knowledge and minutiae of the operations is evident at all stages of the narrative. I particularly liked the two main characters who displayed two sides of the same coin. Rattler’s thoughtful, passionate, and level-headed nature, perhaps the opposite of the quintessential “top-gun” persona, was well matched by his “partner in crime’s” more cavalier and fun-loving model, although beneath the surface, Clipper was just as dedicated and patriotic as Rattler in every way. The differing characteristics of so many individuals thrust together on a ship the size of the Nimitz, yet still able to function like a well-oiled machine, was perfectly expounded by this author. An easy, relaxing read with some interesting and surprising plot twists, I found this book an excellent diversion and can highly recommend it.

Vincent Dublado

In the opening moments of Treason Flight, Navy pilot Jack “Rattler” Owen thinks about a bucket of luck and a bucket of skill as he flies over the Persian Gulf in a broken E-2C Hawkeye with a very junior co-pilot and bad weather. Author T. R. Matson’s story follows Rattler’s journey in combat deployment. If you believe that life at sea and separation from family are the worst struggles that a Navy pilot faces, Rattler faces adversaries far worse than the actual enemies in his mandated task. Someone within his chain of command, who is driven by self-interest, is out to sabotage him. Between the multiple malfunctions of his E-2C Hawkeye and an incident involving surface-to-air missiles, numerous issues are beginning to overwhelm him so that he starts to feel paranoid. Someone operating in the same uniform is a traitor, a bad American, someone who purposefully sabotages his plane. Soon, Rattler must make a choice to either play it safe or risk his life and career for the truth.

Treason Flight settles fairly between air and ground scenes, and the simplest way to sum up the plot is to declare Matson’s novel a triumph at exposing corruption within the maritime service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces. Rattler’s navigation of a defective plane is brilliant and the mystery surrounding the sabotage leads you to an eye-opening discovery. The conflicts in this novel are twofold: Rattler struggles against stress and loneliness, and he struggles against someone in his chain of command who has a personal agenda. Most of us are used to reading military fiction that glorifies the bravery of men in uniform. Sure, Matson also writes about it here, but he is similarly unafraid to expose the corrosive evils of corruption that exist within the Navy. A novel like Treason Flight is a great read because this is military intrigue and adventure that ends on a high note.