Find it at your library!

This book is for those times when you want to shove a story straight into your brain with as little friction as possible. When you want plot coming at you nonstop like dodgeballs at elementary school recess.

Noah Hawley has written for television, which sometimes is code for “can't write anything but dialogue,” but fortunately he's able to keep the fast pace and juggle lots of moving parts without lapsing into monosyllables outside the quotation marks.

I chose not to read much about this book before diving in, because if it's being marketed as the “thriller of the year,” I'd rather go in knowing as little as possible to fully savor the experience. 'Twas a risky choice that almost backfired, since I therefore didn't realize it was about a plane crash and almost took it with me on a recent weekend trip to Chicago. Travelers take note: even if you're not superstitious, this might not be the thing to read at 35,000 feet.

If you're safely on the ground, however, you'll be instantly sucked into the many twisted layers of Hawley's plot. Why did the plane go down? Who were the people on it, really, underneath the sound bites and speculation of the 24-hour news cycle? What reasons might someone have had for wanting one—or several—of them dead?

And finally, how late will you stay up reading to find out the answers?