BY ADAM THORPE (Cape £16.99)

Author Adam Thorpe

Flight by Adam Thorpe

Bob Winrush is a ‘freight dog’ - a pilot of cargo planes, ferrying machinery, supplies and even weapons from one usually benighted part of the world to another. But one day, he’s assigned a job that turns out to involve the Taliban, and which even Bob thinks is too dodgy. He scarpers, abandoning his plane and crew, and hiding out in Dubai, where he flies an Emirate prince’s private DC-10 with a sauna in the back.

But Captain Bob can’t escape that dodgy deal - a couple of heavies turn up at his apartment in Dubai and threaten to throw him off his 25th-floor balcony.  He finds himself on the run again, fleeing back to Britain, where he has to cope with the fallout from his ongoing divorce from his ex-stewardess ex-wife.

He gradually discovers more about the arms-and-drugs cargo he refused to fly as, one by one, just about everyone connected with that toxic flight is killed.

It’s a murky plot and, this being a literary author’s version of a thriller, one that’s slightly strange - with a weird deceleration when Bob takes off to hide out in the Hebrides. But Thorpe is an excellent writer and, despite its oddities, that plot stays gripping to the end.

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