DAVID SHEA WRITES ON FLIGHT IN FEBRUARY
Febrary is not Philip Kraske's first book but it ranks among his best
efforts. Having read some of his manuscripts over the past quarter
century (he started young!), I would say Flight in February
demonstrates the maturity of a diligent, first-class wordsmith. This
struck me when I got five chapters in and heard how "the rusty caster
giggled and heckled" at poor Reilly, whose only response to his gray
officious surroundings is a sneer and a Playboy magazine! The book
abounds with tremendous details, every word chosen with care but
provided with seemingly effortless writing. Canadian author John Marlin
once said "to be a good novelist you have to love people." Kraske shows
genuine affection for his characters. I worked as a police reporter in
the Midwest and found the author's depiction of law enforcement
officials in these environs rang true. The dialogue drives the story
along with precision and, at times, humor and wit. These are truly
I won't compare Philip Kraske to Jonathan Franzen or Paul Auster, but I am sure others will, given the breadth and ambition of this work. Sue Grafton's punchy prose came to mind in some passages of Flight.
Just one question haunts me. Why February in Minnesota? I am far from that frozen wasteland now but I recall it as being pretty darn chilly! Although the author assures us in the final credits (his acknowledgements, p 433 in the first edition) this work is not going to inspire more prison breaks, he sure made me wonder at the things humans can get up to, even in the dead of winter.
But the best recommendation I could give Flight in February is that it is a great read. As another reviewer has stated, once you are caught up in this thriller, you won't be able to put it down.
~ David Shea
U.S. journalist and commentator
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