by Andrew Diamond
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Pub Date 01 Jun 2018 | Archive Date 30 Sep 2018
A mysterious woman fleeing an unknown terror boards the wrong plane at San Francisco International and disappears into the heart of the country. Freddy Ferguson, a troubled detective with a violent past, believes she's the only living witness to a crime that has captivated the nation.
Sifting through the wreckage of her past, he begins to understand who she's running from, and why. Now he must track her down before her pursuers can silence her for good.
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"A consummate thriller with some of the best characterization you’ll see all year." --Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
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About the Author
Andrew Diamond's novel Impala won the 24th Annual Writer's Digest Award for genre fiction and the Readers' Favorite Gold Medal for mystery. Amazon.com editors picked it as a best mystery/thriller of the month upon its release in September, 2016, and IndieReader chose it as one of the best indie novels of the year.
Writing from Ferguson's point of view, Author Andrew Diamond's first person, present-tense narration is a breath of fresh air in a genre where the narrative voices are all too homogenous. Not since Thom Jones' The Pugilist At Rest has a writer so eloquently incorporated the physical and mental toll of boxing in a protagonist's life journey. As PIs go, Ferguson is as world weary as you might expect, but much funnier... The Bottom Line: One of the year's best thrillers. --BestThrillers.com
Even though Freddy Ferguson is similar to the legendary personages of Phillip Marlow and Sam Spade, this unforgettable hard-boiled crime fiction is far superior. Freddy's character may be a complicated man who is tough as nails, but he has the distinction of actually caring about others and doesn't find his nerve in the bottom of a bottle. This book is a phenomenal mystery novel with dynamic characters and a gripping and intricate plot. -- Susan Sewell, Readers' Favorite
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 87 members
Standing in line at the airport, waiting to go through security, is boring. Freddy’s eyes wander to the other travelers and settle on a young woman who seems out of place, nervous, stressed and intimidated by the tall man who grips her elbow. He didn’t realize it at that moment, but this scene would replay itself many times over in his mind as he puts together the pieces of the puzzle that surround the woman and the events that follow.
Gate 76 captured my imagination from the very first chapter. It is well written with excellent character development. I grew to love the main character, Detective Freddy Ferguson. Freddy was once an up-and-coming boxer who made some bad choices that ruined his boxing career. It left him with a keen sense of awareness, though, and an ability to read people and see through their outer actions to their inner intentions. It makes him very good at what he does now.
There is a great cast of support people at the precinct and highlights of Freddy’s boxing career and his loving relationship with his son, but the focus of the story is his never-give-up quest to get to the bottom of the mystery.
I received a free advance copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
Gate 76, by Andrew Diamond, is about loss and redemption. The characters are stark, and for the most part – it seems – soulless. But are they? Gate 76 explores the dark side of life with a man who finds no good in the world. He’s seen it all. Lived it all, and he is not impressed. Well-meaning do-gooders who don’t have a clue, really push his hot button.
He most certainly doesn’t see his own goodness, the spark of caring that sets him apart from his brutal upbringing. Ex-boxer Freddy Ferguson has been betrayed too many times by people who should have been looking out for him.
And then he sees a woman in line at an airport, ready to board a plane. She appears to be under duress. He keeps watching. Something isn’t right. It’s her eyes, maybe, wide with fear, yet determined. She’s terrified, he can sense it.
That’s the beginning of a heart-pumping tale involving the bombing of an airplane, political corruption, prostitution, drugs and dirty lawmen.
In his role as a PI, Freddy is tasked with sorting through the passenger list of the downed plane, looking for clues, but he can’t get the woman out of his mind. She wasn’t on the plane that exploded, he knows that, but where did she go? Why was she afraid? Freddy doesn’t believe in much of anything not even justice. He does believe in following his instincts and doing the right thing, even when it may lead to his destruction.
Andrew Diamond’s novel Impala won the 24th Annual Writer’s Digest Award for genre fiction and the Readers’ Favorite Gold Medal for mystery. Amazon.com editors picked it as a best mystery/thriller of the month upon its release in September, 2016, and IndieReader chose it as one of the best indie novels of the year.
About the book
Title: Gate 76
Author: Andrew Diamond
Publisher: Stolen Time Press
Release Date: June 1, 2018
My rating: Thumbs Up x 4
This story begins with a private investigator, Freddy Ferguson, observing an attractive woman being manhandled to board a flight to Hawaii. He watches as she manages to make a switch and board a flight to Chicago. He wonders about what he observed on his flight back home to Washington, D.C., and when he disembarks Freddy hears the news that the Hawaii flight has crashed into the sea with a full passenger list.
The next day, Freddy and his partner, Ed Hartwell, are engaged by the airline’s management to help investigate whether it is an accident or sabotage. A cell phone video shows an explosion in the plane’s midsection just before it plunges into the ocean. Hartwell, a former FBI agent, is tasked to San Francisco to monitor the FBI’s investigation while Freddy is assigned to dig into the backgrounds of the passengers, looking for terrorist connections or violent offenders with records.
While Freddy doesn’t bring his observations of the woman in the San Francisco airport to anyone’s attention he knows there is one passenger who was not on the plane and his “premonition” about her drives his need to find her and who she’s running from.
What unfolds as Freddy begins to track this woman, identified as Anna, is a compelling story of corruption and greed. Andrew Diamond develops characters that pull the reader into the story. A fine balance is struck between following the bombing investigation and discovering the details of Anna’s situation, both of which are subject to Freddy’s sharing pieces of his past. The writing style will remind readers of those “pulp” detective novels from the 50’s. This is a complex and richly conceived novel that deserves to be savored.
Investigator Freddy Ferguson believes in his gut and when he gets that familiar `sinking feeling` as he makes eye contact with a woman at the airport, he watches her. He watches her board one plane, leave that plane, and board a second aircraft. That first plane, the one she didn’t board, gets blown out of the sky, every seat full, they say. But Investigator Ferguson knows that is not so. He knows there was one empty seat on that plane.
When the firm he works for is asked by the airline to investigate the crash, Freddy in convinced it is essential that he track down his mystery woman, that she knows something, that she might be a potential witness, that she might be in danger. And the search is on.
Gate 76 is an excellent and satisfying read. One that instantly captured my interest. It`s a story that concentrates as much on dialogue and character-building as it does on the mystery of who is behind this mass murder, and why. Running through the story is an encapsulated look at Freddy`s troubled path through life and one woman`s fight to stay out of the clutches of those who would harm her. It’s a look at humankind and all its vagaries. It’s about tragedy, and heartache. It’s a book with a protagonist who is not easy to like, and yet manages to gain the trust and respect of diverse individuals ; one who questions his life, the world, and his place in that world. One who likes to go his own way and digs deep to unearth the truth. I ended knowing that I`d like more of Freddy.
There`s lot of characters, a lot of seemingly unrelated threads and events. The plot weaves it way through FBI agents, local cops, the Texas Highway Patrol, politicians, informers, some are good guys, some are not. I like to solve mysteries as I read them. This one, I created and discounted several end-games. I was deep into the story before things started to fall into place . Gate 76 is well written. It`s first person point of view, which is not my favourite writing style, but soon it didn’t matter as I was pulled into this fascinating mystery.
I did find I had to go back from time to time to sort out characters and events and how they all tied into the overall plot. Even so, I have no hesitation in recommending Gate 76 to those who enjoy a good mystery. This was my first novel written by Andrew Diamond. I would definitely read more. I`d give it a solid 4.5.
I received an ARC of Gate 76 from Netgalley in return for an honest review.
First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Andrew Diamond, and Stolen Time Press for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
What at first seems to be an airline disaster thriller soon takes on a life of its own in Andrew Diamond’s latest novel. While waiting to board his flight back to DC, Freddy Ferguson notices another passenger in queue at Gate 76, a flight soon departing San Francisco for Honolulu. This passenger, a fairly attractive blonde, seems distraught and slips out of line at the last minute, rushing to board another plane. As Ferguson lands in DC, the news is full of reports of that Hawaii-bound flight, which blew up soon after takeoff and killed all those on board. Ferguson and the Private Investigation firm for which he works is soon hired by the airline to look into what might have happened. Even with a baggage handler in custody in San Francisco, something does not seem right, especially since Ferguson saw that woman acting oddly. Ruled one of the dead passengers, Ferguson knows this woman, Anna Brook, may hold the clue to better understanding what actually happened and who is to blame. Sifting through all the paperwork and following up on leads sees Ferguson chase down a tangential idea to the heart of Texas, where things take an interesting turn and leave him wondering if he can penetrate the layers of red tape put in place by the Feds. Might there be something more sinister than an act of terror? Ferguson may have bitten off more than he can chew with this case, as he battles his own personal demons from the past. Diamond offers readers an interesting thriller that evolves continuously. Recommended for those who like a little mystery with their high-paced thrillers.
This being my introduction to the world of Andrew Diamond, I was not sure how I would react. The dust jacket blurb had me hooked and the novel began well, developing not only the backstory of Freddy Ferguson’s rough life before becoming a PI, but also some of the more personal aspects to the man’s life that shaped him. Diamond creates a number of interesting characters that could, should he choose, be the foundation of an entire series. The uniqueness of some central characters mesh well and give the reader much to hold their attention, though I will admit that the story does develop in such a way that there are numerous individuals who emerge and whose storylines must be followed, causing a degree of confusion at some points. Working with a mix of short and longer chapters, Diamond pulls the reader into the middle of the story and develops the plot effectively, creating both the slow revelation and the cliffhanger moments in equal measure. I enjoyed Diamond’s varied nature when it came to presenting the narrative and the twists taken to get to the final outcome, leaving the reader to piece the entire case together over the span of the book. These twists keep things engaging and free from a predictable outcome. I’ll surely read another Andrew Diamond novel, given the chance to do so.
Kudos, Mr. Diamond, for this wonderful piece. I hope some of your other pieces are just as exciting and that you’ll consider bringing Freddy Ferguson back for more.
Review by 2shay……….
My Favorite Book This Year!!
If 5 Stars, 5 Thumbs-Up and an A+ don’t adequately express my appreciation for this superb story, nothing else I say can possibly work, but I’ll try.
I don’t think I have ever been more captivated. This author? Wow! It’s easy to see why his first novel won so much praise. Mr. Diamond slowly, slowly let us know about Freddy Ferguson’s past as the private investigator tried to track down the woman who boarded the wrong plane. We learn why and how Freddy has such deep intuition about troubled women. Fascinating!
At the same time, we see Freddy, along with his co-workers, uncover all the clues to why she was running, and from what. This is an extremely well done procedural without ever becoming bogged down in details. It doesn’t take Freddy long to discover that the woman’s name is Anna. It takes a bit longer for him to discover what she was doing and how she had gotten on so much trouble that she needed to run. Anna had made some bad choices. Really bad. In the process of tracking Anna’s past, he uncovers major corruption.
Having said that, the real beauty of this novel is intricate clues and hints of backstory that lead both Freddy and Anna to their own path of personal redemption. That’s what this story meant to me. We all have a past, and a few of us need to find a way to make things right. For some, it’s renewed faith…for others it’s self-sacrifice in the face of danger.
I strongly believe that almost everyone will find something to love in this book. There is violence and some off-page sex as well as discussion of sexual situations. It is all necessary and purposeful, never gratuitous. I hope you love this book as much as I did.
Enjoy! ARC graciously provided by Stolen Time Press and NetGalley for an honest and voluntary review.
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