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Dunmore, Spencer.

London, Heinemann, c1984. 280pp, cloth, $16.95, ISBN 434-21669-0. Distributed by Collins.

Grades 11 and up
Reviewed by Jerry McDonnell

Volume 13 Number 4
1985 July

Airlines are concerned that flight crew personnel are in the best of health, both physical and mental, so what is the company to make of a first officer flying 1011s who sees a plane from the 1920s keeping pace with his own craft, and who hears Morse code signals unheard by the rest of the crew. Needless to say, Adam Beale keeps these incidents secret after the first occurrence, but they keep happening, and eventually they are in places other than the cockpit.

Research leads Beale to the story of Mae Nolan who disappeared during an attempt to be the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean. Her plane was identical to Beale's phantom craft. Attempts to talk to her family or acquaintances in various parts of the United States lead to mostly hostile reactions and attempts to get him fired. However, with the help and encouragement of a small-town librarian, Beale persists, and eventually uncovers a surprise ending to the mysterious disappearance.

In the meantime, Adam's wife has left him, and his comfortable life and world are nearly destroyed, while the messages from beyond the grave continue. It is only at the crucial moment that the warning is decoded and a jumbo jet full of passengers is saved.

After the initial incident the story builds slowly but powerfully toward the crisis and it becomes increasingly more difficult to put the book down. This one will certainly hook and intrigue readers from grade 11 up who like a lot of mystery combined with a human story and a great deal of technical authenticity. Recommended.

Jerry McDonnell, F.E. Madill S.S., Wingham, Ont.
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