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Flight Dreams: Mark Manning 1 Book Review Summary

Detailed Plot Synopsis of Flight Dreams: Mark Manning 1

Wealthy Chicago widow Helena Carter disappeared six years and nine months ago. In three months, Helena will be declared legally dead and her estate will be divided up amongst the charities listed in her will. Investigative journalist Mark Manning had covered Mrs. Carter's disappearance years ago and was one of the few who still believed that she was alive. He refused to follow the mainstream and make his articles match what every other newspaper was reporting until his editor gave him the ultimatum: either back up his story that Helena Carter was still alive or go find another job. Mark cannot believe that he is being tossed out after years of hard work and popular articles, but he is not going to leave without putting up a fight.

Mark digs up all of his old information about the Helena Carter case and reviews. Then he reinterviews the cast of suspects and begins to find some clues. All of his instincts tell him that Helena left of her own free will and has chosen to remain missing for personal reasons. But why? Mark wishes that he could leave Helena to her new life, wherever it is, but he just can't. His leads will send him to exclusive dog shows, religious cults, televangelists and a host of other wacky characters. Along the way, Mark makes a startling discovery - the reason why he has never been able to commit to a relationship and get married is because he's gay! When Mark's pursuit of the story leads him to Arizona, he meets a friend of a mutual friend and finds himself strongly attracted to architect Neil Waite. But will Neil be able to break down Mark's walls and pursue a relationship with him? Will Mark ruthlessly pursue the truth of Helena Carter regardless of the consequences? And what is up with Mark's strangely erotic dreams about flying naked?

Flight Dreams is the first book in the Mark Manning mystery series and I was not very impressed. The mystery plot had a lot of potential, missing heiress, tons of suspects, a surprise twist to the ending, but it was all presented as a sideline to Mark's personal life and Mark's personal life just wasn't that interesting. I liked Mark as a character at first, but after a while, I kind of lost that because the author takes any and every opportunity to stand up on his soap box about sex, homosexuality, politics, religion, etc. using Mark as his trailer. This led to a lot of long-winded sermons that I just skimmed through as I kept losing interest. On the plus side, the book is well written and the mystery had a lot of potential. I hear that the series gets better as it goes along, so maybe this is a just a rocky start...?
This report prepared by Debbie








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Chapter Analysis of Flight Dreams: Mark Manning 1

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 10%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 20%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 50% Tone of story    -   very upbeat Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Religious overtones?    -   Yes Crime Thriller    -   Yes Crime plotlets:    -   white collar fraud or theft General Crime (including known murderer)    -   Yes

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   journalist Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American

Setting

United States    -   Yes The US:    -   Midwest    -   West Desert?    -   Yes City?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths Explicit sex in book?    -   Yes What kind of sex:    -   descript of kissing    -   touching of anatomy    -   actual description of sex    -   homosexuals doing their thing Amount of dialog    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Michael Craft Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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