Review: Mile High by Rebecca Chance

Monday 10 August 2015
Title: Mile High
Author: Rebecca Chance
Publisher: Pan
Publication Date: 13th August 2015
Pages: 400
ISBN: 9781447282846
Source: Review Copy
Rating: 3.5/5
Purchase: Amazon
First class is about to get dangerous...

Pure Air's new LuxeLiner is flying from London to LA - its inaugural journey - with a first-class cabin packed with A List celebrities. As the feuding crew compete to impress their famous passengers, the handsome pilot tries to win the attention of a pretty young stewardess.

But one VIP singer is battling something seriously sinister: watching her every step is a very determined stalker, someone who will go to any lengths to get the star to satisfy their desires. At thirty thousand feet there is nowhere to run, and nowhere to hide...

Rebecca Chance is one of my favourite authors and I was extremely excited to read Mile High, especially after reading the blurb because I think to set a book like this on-board a luxurious plane is genius. I am quite a nerd when it comes to planes (and even love airports) and so I loved the opening of this book where we get to witness the 5-star luxury of the airport's lounge before stepping onto Pure Air's new LuxeLiner which really sounds like the most amazing plane in the world and I'd sell a kidney tomorrow for a ticket (well, perhaps not but I want to go on it)!

The LuxeLiner is Pure Air's newest plane, flying the highly sought-after flight London to LA route which will see the plane arrive into LAX at midnight (the best time apparently). For its inaugural flight the first-class cabin is packed with A List celebrities, and a crew who are battling each other to impress the passengers and their boss. One of the VIPs, Catalina, has a very determined stalker, a stalker who has managed to get a ticket for the flight and who is prepared to go to any lengths to get Catalina to satisfy their desires. There's also a murderer aboard the flight. A pilot who seemingly has a sex addiction and a whole host of famous faces that are about to make this a flight nobody will ever forget.

I loved trying to work out who some of the characters were based on, some quite obviously and some quite loosely. For example there's a rather brilliant and hilarious anecdote about what happened to the CEO of a lowcost Irish airline. And Pure Air is just one in a long line of businesses formed under the 'Pure' umbrella and headed up by a larger than life billionaire. I also loved the bitchiness amongst the crew. Rebecca Chance clearly has some sort of insight into the airline world because the whole thing was so incredibly believable. It's obvious that crew are viewed with respect depending on which airline they work for, and how high up in the food chain they are and it doesn't get much higher than working for Pure Air, especially on this flight.

As I said earlier the LuxeLiner sounds amazing and it was so exciting to read a story which was set in such a claustrophobic environment, especially as throughout the story everything is brewing before that finale and you know that until the plane touches the tarmac at LAX there's no way on or off the plane so it can be quite a tense read waiting for everything to play out especially with a really quick time frame which moves the book along nicely, with various trips back in time to learn more about Catalina and her situation and the various other characters that make up the flight. Catalina is a likeable character, one that I very quickly believed in and loved, probably because I love pop stars anyway and Catalina is like an amalgamation of them all.

Doesn't that all sound amazing? And it really was, up to a point. That point being the middle of the novel. It was just a bit flat and when I eventually managed to finish the story I found the ending to be rather lacklustre, and I felt that there were so many missed opportunities with this story. I am of course just a reader not a writer but you know when you feel a story hasn't fulfilled its potential? That's how I felt with Mile High. Perhaps it's because I read so many crime novels but one of the weaker elements was the stalker storyline. Apart from it being glaringly obvious who it was from the beginning, the whole thing culminated in a pantomime-esque finale and I just felt there was scope to make this storyline a bit more tense, gripping and shocking.

Sadly Mile High wasn't the kind of addictive and amazing story I have come to expect from Rebecca Chance. I did enjoy the book, and I do recommend it but for those new to her work I definitely recommend reading her earlier books before this one.

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