the most thrilling blockbuster of the year

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Pub Date 01 Jun 2023 | Archive Date 09 Jun 2023

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Flight attendant turned New York Times bestselling author T. J. Newman - whose first book Falling was an instant international bestseller and the biggest thriller debut of 2021 - returns for her second book, an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a commercial jetliner that crashes into the ocean, and sinks to the bottom with passengers trapped inside, and the extraordinary rescue operation to save them.

Six minutes after takeoff, Flight 1421 crashes into the Pacific Ocean. During the evacuation, an engine explodes and the plane is flooded. Those still alive are forced to close the doors—but it’s too late. The plane sinks to the bottom with twelve passengers trapped inside.

More than two hundred feet below the surface, engineer Will Kent and his eleven-year-old daughter Shannon are waist-deep in water and fighting for their lives.

Their only chance at survival is an elite rescue team on the surface led by professional diver Chris Kent - Shannon’s mother and Will’s soon-to-be ex-wife - who must work together with Will to find a way to save their daughter and rescue the passengers from the sealed airplane, which is now teetering on the edge of an undersea cliff.

There’s not much time.

With devastating emotional power and heart-stopping suspense, Drowning is an unforgettable thriller about a family’s desperate fight to save themselves and the people trapped with them - against impossible odds.

Praise for Drowning:

'Stunning, emotional, and unforgettable. Drowning reads like Apollo 13 underwater' Don Winslow, New York Times bestselling author of City on Fire and The Border

'Drowning is The Poseidon Adventure meets The Martian. It is another can’t-put-down, edge-of-your-seat thriller from T. J. Newman, one of our most exciting new authors' Adrian McKintyNew York Times bestselling author of The Chain and The Island

'Drowning is pure adrenaline and all heart. Gripping, relentless, effortlessly assured, T. J. Newman’s thriller is tense and moving. You’ll be grabbed from page one as the crew and passengers of a downed airliner fight for survival and rescuers race to reach them. Drowning is an incredible ride - strap in, brace, and remember to breathe' Meg Gardiner, #1 New York Times bestselling author

'Drowning is the first terrific thriller of 2023.  Honest. It has at least a dozen legit cliffhangers and a dozen huggable characters you can’t stop rooting for.  T.J. Newman has the goods.  Make that thegreats!' James Patterson


Flight attendant turned New York Times bestselling author T. J. Newman - whose first book Falling was an instant international bestseller and the biggest thriller debut of 2021 - returns for her...

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ISBN 9781398507678
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Featured Reviews

Drowning by TJ Newman is hands down my favorite book of 2023. Make this a movie already! This book was so intense and suspenseful and the imagery is perfectly described that it feels like you can see it happening in front of you. It quite literally brought me to tears on several occasions. You will find yourself cheering, sobbing, biting your nails and holding your breath. The book can only be described as a thrill-ride which doesn't let up. Not one part of this story was slow or felt like filler. I couldn't put it down.

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This was such an intense read, right from the start all the way to the end. It had me on the edge of my seat with my heart in my mouth the whole time. I loved T. J. Newman’s first book Falling, and she’s given us another fantastic read (and another reason not to fly)! She has a way of writing her characters that you feel instantly connected to them, and I was drawn into their struggle to rescue or be rescued. The main viewpoints are from Chris and Will, and we see them fight for survival & how far they would go to save their daughter. I read this in one sitting with tears streaming down my face for the most part - there are a couple of moments where I burst out laughing, and those moments of levity were perfectly placed. This was impossible to put down & I think it’s going to take a wee while for my heart rate to go down.

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I really enjoyed TJ’s last book Falling and was keen to get my hands on her latest offering. This one starts off with a bang and keeps up the pace the whole way. I was so tense and my heart raced for the entire read. I loved the race against the clock and the daring rescue mission. I did enjoy the nod to the Thai Cave rescue from the characters because my mind went to that as the story unfolded.

The story moves forward and back in time as we get to know the characters in the plane and their rescuers. I enjoyed getting to know them all and discovering some surprising connections. It all wraps up with a big finish. I was glad that we got an epilogue a year later for some closure. I would love to see this one as a movie.

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This is the Captain, prepare to ditch.

Shortly after take off, Flight 1421 experienced engine problem and had to ditch into the Pacific Ocean. Some of the passengers were out of the plane and floating in the ocean not knowing the worst yet to come. But, twelve passengers, following Will's advise, an engineer who's on board with her daughter, decided to stay inside the plane and that's when the real emergency begins.

Reading this book will make yourself feel under the water struggling to get into the rescue team. I couldn't breathe and felt traumatised🫣, that's how good TJ Newman described everything vividly, both the survival and the rescue process. It feels like you are experiencing yourself. Lots of exciting scenes and detailed technical information.

This is "a sit down and read until finished" kind of book, so best to read it when you totally have free leisure time. I finished up this book in one sitting up to 2am.

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Imagine being trapped in a plane that ends up sinking in the Pacific Ocean. All exits are sealed shut but the water is slowly seeping in. In order to survive, all hopes are placed on a professional diver, who ends up being the mother of one of the girls trapped inside, to get them out.

OMG I cannot rave enough about this book. For someone who travels often, this scenario would be my nightmare but it was so, so captivating to read. And when I mean read, I mean read without putting down. When I started, I couldn't stop. I needed to know what happened and powered through. Intense and emotional, this thriller will be one I will remember for a long time.

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Drowning is a “call in sick to work so you can keep reading” kind of book, so unless you have an exceptionally understanding boss, it would be prudent to think carefully about when you start reading it.

I gulped this in a sitting, finding it one of those rare books that truly is unputdownable. Newman’s debut Falling had a similar impact (a link to my review of that novel is below), so I wasn’t completely surprised. I was, however, engrossed.

Will and Chris’ marriage has been in trouble for some time. One of the stress points is their daughter Shannon. Will is extremely over protective of her. Chris thinks that they need to recognize that she’s growing up and needs some independence.

That’s one of the reasons Will is on a plane with Shannon. He’s escorting her to a holiday camp, although both Chris and Shannon think she could have safely flown as an independent minor. However, soon all have good reason to be grateful Will is there. The plane crashes, and then sinks. The passengers still inside are alive, but they have a limited time before their air runs out.

And it may be that Chris is the best person to save those passengers, including her estranged husband and their daughter.

This is an absolute powerhouse of a read. I’d call it a roller coaster, except it’s more akin to starting at the top of a very high mountain and then going straight down at speed, screaming all the way. Newman writes in a visually vivid style that has the action playing out on the cinema screen in your head. Indeed, I’m betting this will be a movie before too long. A very simple concept is made mesmerizing with strong characters, a wealth of convincing technical detail, and a very tight deadline.

As with “Falling”, the core idea here is plausible if somewhat far fetched. Newman has been careful to include enough specific technical detail that by the time the passengers are far underwater with limited air, not a single “as if” thought has crossed your mind. You’ll believe it.

This is true too of the things the passengers do to try to help themselves, and the things potential rescuers try. It’s a challenging thing to keep a story moving while still including a fair bit of technical stuff, and Newman manages this very well. There’s not a boring or slow moment.

However, a novel like this really only works if you’re invested in the characters. If you don’t care if everyone drowns, the author has failed. Here again, Newman shows real strengths. Not every character is necessarily appealing, but they’re all strong and vivid. Most importantly, you’ll quickly be emotionally involved with the central trio.

Will is imperfect, but you feel his love for his family and his genuine efforts to keep them safe. Most readers will understand his over-protectiveness, and a lot of parents will see some of themselves in him. Interestingly, although he’s estranged from his wife there’s no bitterness there. They understand each other, even as they struggle to live together, and both prioritise their daughter. I particularly enjoyed this depiction of a relationship where people have real and genuine problems with each other, but don’t have to snipe at every opportunity.

Chris is also a deeply empathetic character. A highly competent person who couldn’t prevent a tragedy earlier in her life, she’s now faced with the chance to avert another tragedy. The stakes are incredibly high for her personally.

Newman also draws every person working to save the passengers into this. As they become invested in the rescue attempt, so does the reader.

This is a novel that whacks you over the head and takes you hostage. No matter how I try to describe objectively what makes this novel great, the over-riding thing is: you’ll care, you’ll be desperate to know what happens, and you’ll resent anyone who tries to interrupt your reading. The plot is simple but the emotions are complex.

I probably don’t have to say this, but I highly recommend this. It’s early, but I’m calling it as one of the best novels of the year.

You may be interested in my review of “Falling” by TJ Newman:

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Flight 1421 out of Hawaii was only six minutes into the flight when one of the engines caught alight and they lost all ability to direct the aircraft anywhere. The vast ocean below them was where they would have to ditch - but rescue would be on its way immediately and the plane would float - wouldn't it?

Will and his eleven year old daughter Shannon were on the flight, along with around two hundred others. As most of the passengers escaped down the rescue ramp, Will could see what was happening and the suddenness of sealing the plane and its nosedive to the ocean floor terrified the twelve people left on board. Resting on the edge of a cliff, two hundred feet below the surface, around four hours of air left in the small area they were clustered in, the expert minds of coast guard, navy, and everyone who knew even the smallest amount, were above, working out how to save these people. Will's wife and Shannon's mother, Chris Kent, had a plan but would the experts allow her to follow through? The danger was intense, the fear visible on everyone's faces. Could Chris and her team rescue the survivors of the plane crash, including her daughter and husband?

I have never read a book which absolutely captivated me, involved me completely from the very first page, and Drowning has done it. Author T.J. Newman took hold of me and didn't let me go until the last page. A heartstopping, enthralling and adrenalin-filled psychological thriller, Drowning is highly recommended. And now I must look for the author's debut, Falling...

With thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for my digital ARC to read in exchange for an honest review.

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Though I wasn't surprised as I absolutely LOVED Falling by the same author.

Drowning is an incredibly intense, fast paced suspense thriller that grabs the reader from the very first line (as Falling did). This rollercoaster of a book had my heart in my throat the whole way through. So so good! There is also an emotional element to this story, which I liked very much.

T. J. Newman, you are my new favourite author. Bring on the next one!!

A big thank you to NetGalley and Simon and Schuster for an ARC of Drowning to read and review.

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Drowning throws readers right into the action from the very first sentence and holds thesuspense and tension through to the last page. The story is gripping and emotionally intense, author T.J. Newman ramping up the danger for Will Kent and his fellow trapped passengers and crew as the story progresses. This book is a real page-turner that I could not put down. My thanks to Simon & Schuster for the opportunity to read and review it.

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Wow. This is a book you won't be able to put down once you start reading!! This intense suspense/Thriller is a must read for all. I enjoyed learning new technical words and the ending was fantastic. It honestly felt like I was right there with the characters going through what they were going through.

Thankyou to Netgalley and T.J. New.am for my advanced copy of Drowning.

I am off to read Falling by the same author now.

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OMG just when you think nothing can top the author's previous novel, along comes one that is even more suspenseful and captivating. That is the story with Drowning!

Imagine you have just taken off on a flight and within minutes the plane crashes into the ocean. This is what happens. The flight attendants know all the procedures but have thankfully never had to implement them until now. Just when it looks like the majority of passengers will be able to be saved through life rafts etc. one engine blows up and the surrounding water is on fire with dire consequences to those outside the plane. This also causes what is left of the plane to sink with a handful of passengers still inside.

This was such a great read! Just when you think things are turning for the better, T J Newman throws in another desperate situation time after time. I could literally see the plot in my head while I was reading this book, I hope to goodness that the rights to this one have also been acquired as they have with Falling, it would make a fantastic movie!

If you enjoy page turning, edge of your seat reads then this is the one for you, don't walk, run to your nearest bookseller or library and read it, you won't be sorry!

Many thanks go to Simon & Schuster and Net Galley for the copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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This is a very intense tale of a disastrous air crash and the nail biting attempts to rescue any survivors. Flight 1421 from Honolulu to San Francisco with 99 passengers and 6 crew on board six minutes after take-off. With the plane floating on the ocean, most of the passengers manage to escape. But as the plane takes on water, it sinks, dropping onto a rocky platform fifty five meters below with twelve people left on board, surviving in a large pocket of air estimated to only last a few hours. With the clock ticking will the rescue services be able to hatch a plan to get them out in time.

The plot switches between the frantic efforts of those above to rescue the passengers and the efforts of the passengers still trapped inside to survive. There are both heartbreaking tales of loss as well as selfless acts of courage and resilience. We'll get to know each of the nine passengers and three crew still alive in the plane with all their strengths and weaknesses. At the centre of the novel is a fractured family grieving for a child they lost. Engineer Will Kent is escorting his 11 year old daughter Shannon to summer camp, while his estranged wife, Chris, whose maritime diving company repairs ships, is working with the coast guard and navy on a desperate rescue plan.

A totally gripping, heart-pounding, action-packed suspense which is going to make a stunning movie. Be prepared for a bumpy ride and don’t forget to breathe!

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Flight 1421 leaves Honolulu bound for the mainland, but within minutes of takeoff the plane becomes unresponsive and crashes into the ocean. As the last of the passengers prepare to exit down the slides, a wall of flame forces them to close the doors to survive - and soon the 12 surviving passengers and crew find themself freefalling into the abyss.

What follows is a breathless, action packed tale of rescue and disaster, interwoven with the personal tragedy of the main characters: Will, Shannon and Chris.

Will, an engineer, was accompanying his 11 year old daughter Shannon to the mainland states. Instead they find themselves at the bottom of the ocean, perched precariously in a rapidly decreasing air pocket. His estranged wife, Chris, is an underwater welder, and is frantically working with Navy crews to find a plan to get her family home again.

This is a fast-paced, gripping read that you can smash through in a night, if you're prepared to stay up until the small hours. It's vividly written - I felt like I was watching the story unfold rather than reading the words on the page - with enough detail to be real without overloading on the jargon. The characters - both the main ones and all of the supporting ones - are "real", well crafted, multidimensional characters who you find yourself caring about (even the asshole one).

And oh my - it was a rollercoaster from opening page to the final line.

This was an excellent read.

~Many thanks to NetGalley for an advance copy in exchange for an honest review~

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