Joe Durant used to be a top investigator for the National Transportation Safety Board. (When a cop remarks to him that he was an NTSB legend, Durant says, "We're all legends. Anybody who can work a crash site automatically becomes a legend. It's a nice benefit of the job.") But the job took its toll, and Joe left the profession to work for Boeing as an engineer. This career shift, however, didn't save his marriage his wife walked out and Joe was left to raise his 15-year-old daughter on his own. One year after the split, Joe's wife returns for a visit--but tragically the plane she's taking from Sun Valley to Seattle crashes, killing everyone aboard. Filled with grief and guilt, Durant asks for his old job back, specifically to investigate this crash. As the FBI becomes involved, and fingers point at everyone from Idaho militiamen to warring drug dealers, Thayer never lets his careful prose go beyond the bounds of reason. His focus is always on the thoughts and feelings of Joe Durant--a very fallible but also entirely credible hero for this particular time and place.
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