Rebecca Ascher-Walsh
July 18, 2003 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Due Preparations for the Plague

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
Janette Turner Hospital
genre
Fiction

We gave it a B

In 1987, Muslim militants hijack a flight from Paris to New York City. Their one act of contrition, before torching the plane, is allowing the children to disembark. More than a decade later, two of the affected kids are trying to figure out what exactly happened on board, and, more pressingly, why someone seems intent on killing them, too. Hospital’s a snazzy portraitist and an elegant writer — her recounting of several victims’ final hours is brilliantly brutal — but her plotting and structure suffer by comparison. The result: unanswered questions, poetically asked.

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