T.J. Newman

Quick Synopsis

Flight attendant turned New York Times bestselling author T. J. Newman returns with 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.

Publisher’s Synopsis

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.

There’s even less air.

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.

Book Review

Drowning was one of my most anticipated books of the year. I read T.J. Newman’s debut novel, Falling, before it published and loved it. Her sophomore novel did not disappoint.

Drowning is an edge-of-your-seat thriller about a plane full of passengers that crashes shortly after take-off from Honolulu. Initially, the pilots manage a water landing, but during the evacuation, the plane sinks to the bottom of the ocean with passengers still trapped inside.

If someone asked me for a book that epitomizes a thriller, I would hand them one of T.J. Newman’s novels. Drowning is an intense read packed full of excitement and action. While the synopsis informs readers of major plot points, Newman still manages to fill the pages with suspense and even a few twists. Short, punchy chapters help readers to feel the constant urgency and lurking danger.

Drowning surprised me for what it offered beyond suspense and adrenaline. Reading this book was a rollercoaster of emotion. I felt every emotion while reading Drowning, from anger to gratefulness. I even teared up at one point – a feat not easily achieved.

Furthermore, I appreciated Newman’s attention to detail and commitment to verisimilitude. From reading Drowning, it is clear a lot of research went into writing this book and ensuring its accuracy. I never wasted energy or was pulled from the words questioning details. Newman included technical specifics about scuba diving and physics without every slowing down the narrative. While some may find Drowning to unbelievable, I think they will be wrong in doing so. It is apparent that Newman put in the work for the book to be believable and ensure plausibility.

My only real criticism of Drowning is that the character development is uneven. I acknowledge that it is difficult to balance developing characters and keeping a thriller fast-paced and suspenseful. I think Newman did a better than average job. However, there are secondary characters that play a significant part that I mixed up because they were not developed. While I found the primary characters to be pretty solid, I would have still liked to know more about their background and motivations.

Overall, I loved Drowning and highly recommend it. At this point, I will pick up any book Newman writes. Mark your calendars for May 30th to nab your copy of Drowning.


Overall Rating

Rating: 5 out of 5.


Rating: 4.5 out of 5.


Rating: 5 out of 5.

Character Development

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Drowning: The Rescue of Flight 1421



Publication Date
May 30, 2023


Storygraph Rating
4.58 stars

Goodreads Rating
4.48 stars

Buy Now

Note: I received a gifted copy of this book from its publisher, Avid Reader Press. Regardless, I always provide a fair and honest review.

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