Deliveries by Paul Smyth narrates the unfortunate calamity the bush pilots Paul Jackson and Dave McMurray faced one day. The two launched an ill-advised flight during a storm without basic supplies and became stranded. The book is the recipient of the BREW Readers’ Choice Award Thriller Fiction of 2021/2022.
Armed with only a Cessna of questionable quality, Paul Jackson, a seasoned bush pilot, runs his business with his best buddy, Dave McMurray. On a fateful day, the owner of the Spruce Creek Lodge and the neighboring bike park, Jack Ward, asks Paul to deliver some emergency cargo. Upon his insistence, Paul and Dave are compelled to launch an urgent flight without even restocking their supplies or refueling the plane. After all, what can go wrong on such a short flight? However, once they are airborne, Murphy’s law comes into play, and everything goes awry. In the face of violent turbulence, the Cessna can neither land because of faulty runway lights nor can go back due to low fuel level. On top of everything else, Paul hides a devastating secret that should have ended his flying days already. To know what happens to the unfortunate duo, you have to read Deliveries by Paul Smyth.
It would be an understatement to claim that this novel kept me engrossed. Soon after starting reading, I lost myself in the pages and obsessively tore through the book. The plot kept me on the edge of my seat with its tense moments. Smyth’s heavy use of foreshadowing built an ominous environment from the first page. Soon, I had no other options than to wait with bated breath as a series of life-and-death scenarios began to play out. Throughout the novel, Smyth seems to play with the readers’ emotions. Whenever I felt things were improving slightly, a new disaster would again throw everything off-kilter. Not many books can hold the readers captive till the last page, but this novel did exactly that.
In such a plot-centric book, I did not expect much character development. Proving me wrong yet again, Smyth created fully fleshed-out characters. I immediately became invested in Paul and Dave’s story. As they faced countless setbacks and perilous situations, I had to suppress the urge to move to the last page to find out whether they survived or not. I could relate to Paul’s enormous guilt for agreeing to this foolhardy mission and Dave’s remorse for their short-sightedness. On the other hand, I felt justified anger towards Jack Ward, whose careless demands brought forth this huge mishap in the first place. At the same time, my heart went out to Diane, Tess, and Kim, the lost pilots’ family members. It is a testament to Smyth’s ability to bring his characters to life that, along with Diane and Tess, I also prayed for their husbands’ safety. Smyth highlighted the power of friendship and family bonding and showed how both could save us from hopeless circumstances. It was amazing how everyone came together to monitor the rescue operation, setting aside their personal affairs.
Smyth’s vast knowledge as a pilot was evident from the detailed descriptions of the flying manoeuvers and safety protocols. I learned a lot about the modes of communications and the roles of the air traffic controllers. Although the technical nitty-gritty did not make much sense to me, I daresay someone with experience in this field would enjoy the thorough details. However, this did not hinder my reading, as the novel had many elements to keep me engaged. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping read fraught with tension.
- Title: Deliveries
- Author: Paul Smyth
- Genre: Fiction (Action Thriller, Thriller and Suspense Action)
- Publication Date: 4 February 2021 by Tellwell Talent
- ISBN or ASIN: B08W1M9LG1
- Number of Pages: 461 pages
- Minimum Audience Age: 13
(Note: 0=none, 1=a few, 2=considerable, 3=pronounced, 4=excessive)
- Sexual themes: 0
- Religious themes: 0
- Violence, self-harm, etc.: 3
- Crude language, expletives, swearing, etc.: 1
- Other adult themes: 2
- Content: 5
- Writing Style: 5
- Appeal to Target Audience: 5
- Uniqueness: 5
- Editing: 4
- Other factors: 5
- Overall: 5 out of 5 stars
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