Layover by David Bell

I will admit to being a fickle reader these days. My life has been rather crazy at the last four months or so, more anon on that perhaps, and so my mood seems to change regularly. Sometimes I am reading serious nonfiction, sometimes literary fiction but at other times what I really need is something to entertain and distract me from the chaos seemingly surrounding me. The search for intelligent books that still manage to do this, is always going on.

It was this search which led me to Layover by David Bell. I have not read any of his previous works, but I was intrigued by the hook for Layover when I got an email from a publicist about a blog tour. What hook, you ask? Essentially, constantly traveling businessman meets beautiful stranger in an airport and decides his life is not what he wants it to be and so reckless chases after her. Trouble follows. No seriously, he ends up in a hospital trying to put his scrambled memory back together. The rest of the book is his confession of what happened.

I will confess this is not the type of thriller I typically read. If I read thrillers it is usually the espionage or international intrigue type. And Layover got off to a slow start. But once I got into I actually stayed up into the wee hours of the morning to finish it.

There are two issues/problems as I see it. One is plausibility. Many readers might question whether the seemingly sane lead character, Joshua Fields, would really make the type of asinine decisions he does. And the second, is that the secondary character, Kimberly Givens, is given a lot of time when it didn’t seem to add a great deal to the story. She is a divorced single-mom trying to win a promotion, etc. But how exactly her personal life adds to the overall story I am not sure. Her detective work didn’t really add an element of suspense it just was a vehicle to add details to the plot from a perspective other than Josh’s.

Layover served its purpose in giving me an entertaining distraction but it wasn’t good enough to make me what to seek out more of David Bell’s writing. As always, your mileage may vary depending on how much you enjoy this genre, style, etc.

Kevin Holtsberry
I work in communications and public affairs. I try to squeeze in as much reading as I can while still spending time with my wife and two kids (and cheering on the Pittsburgh Steelers and Michigan Wolverines during football season).


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