Sirk TV Book Review: PASSENGER 19 [Oceanview]

passenger19The essence of a kidnapping story is finding the basis by which you care for the characters. If a sense of loss or tension is not created then the progression of the narrative won’t work. In “Passenger 19” [Ward Larsen/Oceanview/386pgs], everything seems to work well on all counts. This is helped by the character of Jammer Davis who, like someone like Dirk Pitt gets his humor right and could distinctly be made eventually into a franchise character on film. The basis of the story in “Passenger 19” is that our man Jammer is an airline crash investigator for the NTSB. When a plane goes mysteriously down in Colombia, he quickly realizes through his friend and sometimes employer at the CIA, that his daughter might be one of the victims. Jammer heads down south of the border but he begins to uncover details, especially being helped both by an unscheduled G3 flights and quick satellite photos, that makes him realize that something is going on behind the scenes. The  structure of the book works well because it operates on the slow build so you realize what Jammer is doing. A lot of it is integrated on the details of the crash with Bogota as the backdrop. It all whittles down with a bit of humor which allows the progression to not become downtrodden. what tends to function best is that the action is punctuated and not without reason. There are also quick blips back to the U.S. for quick story points. This makes the story extremely filmable from an adaptation standpoint. The crux of most of the story lies in a why the plane was actually deliberately crashed in the first place. The reveal of those details actually works pretty well in that it involves a cover up and Secret Service protection. Eventually our hero becomes the focus of trying to be pushed off the investigation but it is his daughter at stake. And while that story point is the most cliche, it also makes the most logical sense. The final integration of some DEA guys to make the circle complete as they take on an isolated Colombian stronghold makes good logical sense and provides an adequate climax. Everybody gets what they want and even among the returning factors, Jammer gets a nice epilogue that solidifies the character. Despite the characterization being in the vein of a Bruce Willis or Wesley Snipes vehicle, it does qualify as good entertainment.

B

By Tim Wassberg

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Posted on January 4, 2016, in Other Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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