Disclaimer: I am giving this book a "Goodreads" two stars; not an "Amazon" two stars. This is a "this was fair" two stars.
Seven passengers, one bodyguard, and three airline crew members are on a private flight from Martha's Vineyard to New York City, when the airplane crashes into the ocean. Somehow two of the people on the airplane survive: an artist named Scott Burroughs, and JJ, the four-year-old son of David Bateman, who runs ALC News, a cable station that appears to be a thinly veiled version of Fox News. Against the odds, Scott is able to swim about ten miles to the shore of Montauk, Long Island, with JJ on his back, rescuing both of them.
Scott immediately becomes part of the 24-hour news cycle, with most reporters wishing to know more about the "hero" story. Going against the grain is one of the talking heads at Bateman's network, Bill Cunningham. Cunningham has recently come under fire for obtaining illegal recordings of various high-profile people's phone conversations, and he is not chastened. Cunningham goes into tinfoil hat mode, insisting that his friend David was most definitely probably murdered as part of an elaborate conspiracy, and who was this Scott guy anyway, and who cares if he saved JJ Bateman's life, even dogs can be trained to save lives. Or maybe it's because Ben Kipling, David Bateman's friend and a fellow passenger on the flight, was about to be indicted for laundering money from "non-friendly" nations.
The narrative moves back and forth in time, filling in the backstories of the various people on the plane, which also include David's wife Maggie; a former preschool teacher; their nine-year-old daughter Rachel (who had been kidnapped at age two, hence the bodyguard); Ben Kipling's wife Sarah; the Israeli bodyguard, Gil Baruch; the pilot James Melody; co-pilot Charles Busch; and flight attendant Emma Lightner.
The plot held my interest, and I wanted to find out why the airplane went down. But once it wrapped up, it seemed the author was rushing. When the book ended, I said out loud, "that's IT?" It felt as though it should have had at least one more chapter.