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book cover of Flight

Flight

(2001)
(The eighth book in the Irene Kelly series)
A novel by

 
 
Awards
Anthony Awards Best Novel (nominee)
The Barnes & Noble Review
Refusing to rest on her laurels after winning an Edgar Award for her seventh novel, the succinctly titled Bones, popular suspense novelist Jan Burke made an effective departure from all her earlier books, all of which featured feisty California journalist Irene Kelly. Flight places Irene in a subordinate role, focusing instead on her husband, veteran homicide detective Frank Harriman.

The story opens with an extended prologue in which Las Piernas homicide investigator Phil Lefebvre, responding to an anonymous phone call, stumbles across the corpses of wealthy industrialist Trent Randolph and his teenage daughter, Amanda. He also discovers Randolph's badly wounded young son, Seth, and saves the boy's life. Lefebvre then mounts an investigation that successfully implicates local crime lord Whitey Dane. Before Dane can be brought to trial, three things happen. Seth Randolph is murdered in his hospital room; virtually all forensic evidence disappears; and Phil Lefebvre flees from the scene in a small private plane. The case against Dane disintegrates, and Lefebvre vanishes without a trace, leaving unanswered questions -- and a shattered reputation -- in his wake.

Ten years later, hikers discover Lefebvre's mummified corpse amid the wreckage of his plane, which had crashed in the San Bernardino Mountains shortly after takeoff. The long-dormant case is reopened, and Frank Harriman begins to reinvestigate. He quickly learns that the downed plane had been sabotaged and comes to believe that Lefebvre -- whose name has become anathema in the Las Piernas Police Department -- may have been a victim, not a murderer-for-hire. Frank's defense of Lefebvre isolates him from his fellow officers and stirs up a proverbial hornet's nest of controversy and residual bitterness. At the same time, his painstaking investigation gradually captures the attention of the Looking Glass Man, a deranged killer who has successfully pursued his own violent agenda for more than a dozen years.

Flight is a gripping, consistently readable novel, but not a perfect one. The prose is occasionally pedestrian and the excessively elaborate plot sometimes strains credibility. The real heart of the novel -- and its primary source of pleasure -- lies in its subtle, cumulatively affecting presentation of two very similar men: Frank Harriman and Phil Lefebvre, decent, intuitive policemen with highly individual standards of ethical behavior. As Harriman follows in a dead man's footsteps, bringing Lefebvre's investigation to a belated -- and satisfying -- conclusion, Flight rises above its generic origins, acquiring an unmistakable emotional power that is all its own. (Bill Sheehan)

Genre: Mystery    Get it on Google Play

Praise for this book

"Will keep you clinging to your armrests from beginning to end." - Sue Grafton


Used availability for Jan Burke's Flight

Hardback Editions

November 2001 : UK Hardback
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Title: Flight
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 0-7090-6978-2 / 978-0-7090-6978-2 (UK edition)
Publisher: Robert Hale Ltd
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


June 2001 : USA Hardback
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Title: Flight
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 1-58724-051-3 / 978-1-58724-051-5 (USA edition)
Publisher: Wheeler Pub Inc
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


March 2001 : USA Hardback
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Title: Flight
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 0-7432-0170-1 / 978-0-7432-0170-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


March 2001 : USA Hardback
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Title: Flight (Irene Kelly Mysteries)
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 0-684-85552-6 / 978-0-684-85552-3 (USA edition)
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

February 2011 : USA Paperback
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Title: Ourselves and the universe: studies in life and religion
Author(s): Jonathan Brierley
ISBN: 1-131-15822-9 / 978-1-131-15822-8 (USA edition)
Publisher: The New York Public Library
Availability: Amazon   


March 2002 : USA Mass Market Paperback
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Title: Flight
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 0-7434-3977-5 / 978-0-7434-3977-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Pocket Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

December 2009 : USA Audio edition
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Title: Flight
Author(s): Jan Burke
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon   


December 2009 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: Flight
Author(s): Jan Burke
Publisher: Recorded Books
Availability: Amazon CA   


2009 : USA Audio Cassette

Title: Flight (Book 8 of An Irene Kelly Mystery)
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 1-4361-9585-3 / 978-1-4361-9585-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: RecordedBooks
Availability: Amazon   


2009 : USA Audio CD
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Title: Flight (Book 8 of An Irene Kelly Mystery)
Author(s): Jan Burke
ISBN: 1-4361-9587-X / 978-1-4361-9587-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: RecordedBooks
Availability: Amazon   


Kindle Editions

April 2003 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
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Title: Flight (Irene Kelly Mysteries Book 8)
Author(s): Jan Burke
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA