Wednesday 21 February 2024

Death Flight by Sarah Sultoon BLOG TOUR #DeathFlight @SultoonSarah @OrendaBooks #JonnyMurphyFiles #Argentina #BookReview


Cub reporter Jonny Murphy is in Buenos Aires interviewing families of victims of Argentina's Dirty War, when a headless torso has washed up on a city beach, thrusting him into a shocking investigation…

Argentina. 1998. Human remains are found on a beach on the outskirts of Buenos Aires – a gruesome echo of when the tide brought home dozens of mutilated bodies thrown from planes during Argentina's Dirty War. Flights of death, with passengers known as the Disappeared.

International Tribune reporter Jonny Murphy is in Buenos Aires interviewing families of the missing, desperate to keep their memory alive, when the corpse turns up. His investigations with his companion, freelance photographer Paloma Glenn, have barely started when Argentina's simmering financial crisis explodes around them.

As the fabric of society starts to disintegrate and Argentine cities burn around them, Jonny and Paloma are suddenly thrust centre stage, fighting to secure both their jobs and their livelihoods.

But Jonny is also fighting something else, an echo from his own past that he'll never shake, and as it catches up with him and Paloma, he must make choices that will endanger everything he knows…

Death Flight by Sarah Sultoon is published on 29 February 2024 by Orenda Books and is the second in the Jonny Murphy Files series. My thanks to the publisher who sent my copy for review as part of this Blog Tour. 

This is the fourth book by Sarah Sultoon that I've read and it is safe to say that I am a huge fan. Death Flight features reporter Jonny Murphy - he made his first appearance in the author's previous novel, Dirt.

Sultoon draws on her own extensive experience as a journalist who has been all over the world when creating Jonny and the situations that he finds himself in. There are very few journalists as main characters in crime fiction and I find these stories really refreshing and a different take on the genre. What I also love about these novels is how much I learn about the world, the history of the countries in which they are set and also current issues that affect them. 

Death Flight is set in Agentina in 1998, it is fifteen years after the horrific 'Dirty War' that devastated the country, where prisoners were taken on flights and dropped into the ocean. The perpetrators thought they'd be lost forever, but the sea often washed bodies ashore. The people responsible for these acts still walk free, protected by the Government, never punished or held to account. 

Jonny and his photographer colleague Palmoa are in Argentina to cover the financial crisis that has brought the country to its knees. Jonny had a tip off that the headless, handless corpse of a woman has recently washed ashore. However, despite the horror of this event, there's no reports of it in the media. Jonny's suspicions are roused and he is sure that there's a story to be found there. Whilst he and Paloma do continue to try to cover the financial crisis, he begins to ask questions that soon find both of them in danger. 

Jonny is a complex character, still scarred by his experiences in Northern Israel a couple of years ago where he discovered more about himself and his family than he could ever have expected. Paloma also carries a weight on her shoulders, one that won't be fully revealed until the end of the story. These are two perfectly drawn characters, both intent on finding the story, but both with their own vulnerabilities which makes them so human, so relatable and so realistic. 

As the story progresses, the dangers increase and it is clear that there are people who would like Jonny to keep his nose out, and are prepared to stop at nothing to ensure that he is quietened. There's a sense of mystery about Jonny and Paloma's relationship too, colleagues but also friends, but a feeling of whether we can quite trust this friendship, and whether we are aware of everything. 

It's a fascinating, thrilling crime thriller, set in a country that has so much history, so much corruption and so much still happening. The sense of place is incredibly well done and as the plot evolves, the tension increases, culminating in an ending that left me breathless. 

Sophisticated and stunning, Death Flight is an incredible story. Highly recommended. 

Sarah Sultoon is a journalist and writer, whose work as an international news executive
at CNN has taken her all over the world, from the seats of power in both Westminster and Washington to the frontlines of Iraq and Afghanistan. 
She has extensive experience in conflict zones, winning three Peabody awards for her work on the war in Syria, an Emmy for her contribution to the coverage of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, and a number of Royal Television Society gongs. 
When not reading or writing she can usually be found somewhere outside, either running, swimming or throwing a ball for her three children and dog ... 

Her debut thriller The Source is currently in production with Lime Pictures, and was a Capital Crime Book Club pick and a number one bestseller on Kindle. 
The Shot (2022) and Dirt (2023) followed, with multiple award longlistings, including the CWA Daggers. 
Sarah currently works for Channel 4 News and lives in London.

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