I've had a couple of longish flights recently, and opportunity for reading.

Life Expectancy is a Dean Koontz novel. I find that his books tend to be a bit cliche and predictable (but still enjoyable), but this one is different. It's not his typical horror novel; you're led through the story from the perspective of Jimmy Tock, born on the night his grandfather died. Before his death, he made 10 predictions about Jimmy, 5 of which are proven in short order and the remaining 5 are billed as terrible dates between his 20th and 30th birthdays. This is a humourous and thrilling story of a baker trying to figure out how best to tackle his fate in the face of some pretty heavy goings-on. While some parts are predictable (but again still enjoyable) there is some chain-yanking, in good humour.

Deception Point by Dan Brown. The first Dan Brown novel I've read; it's a fast paced story that ties some political interests to an important scientific discovery. Exciting, fast-paced and has a healthy dose of science in there too. Apparently, all of the cutting edge special forces gear mentioned in the novel actually exists. I enjoyed this book; not as much as I enjoyed Neal Stephensons Zodiac, but I think it's hard to come close to that one :) I can't really write too much without revealing parts of the plot that take a while to emerge; it was a good read.

Airframe by Michael Crichton. I bought this one to read on my flight back from the Zend Conference. While reading the first chapter or so, I began to wonder if this was a mistake, but quickly found that the point of the novel is not to dwell on an incident but to get to the bottom of it. The story follows Casey Singleton as she works towards this goal while trying to avoid harm from disgruntled employees at the aircraft manufacturing plant and unwanted attention from the press. Crichton does an excellent job of making the characters come to life, dosing you up with inside information about aircraft and aircraft safety along the way. It's easy to convince yourself that you've figured out the ending, but you're almost certainly wrong. It's not a plot twist so much as masterful misdirection; a damned good read that'll generally make you feel safe about flying.

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