REVIEW: Skyjack by KJ Howe (Thea Paris #2)

Series: Thea Paris

Book Number: 2

Read this book for: action thriller, kidnap/hostage negotiations, spy thriller, secret organizations, fast pace

Quick Review: A page-turner that moves at breakneck speed with all the visuals of an action thriller movie, this a perfect light vacation read.


International kidnap expert Thea Paris is escorting two former child soldiers on a plane from an orphanage in Kanzi, Africa, to adoptive parents in London when the Boeing Business Jet is hijacked. As the plane screams toward an unknown destination somewhere in the remote Libyan desert, Thea has to figure out a way to take back control on the jet without endangering the lives of the passengers aboard–especially the two young boys in her care.

Behind the skyjacking is a former nemesis, a sophisticated Sicilian mobster who wants something, or someone, on that plane–possibly even Thea herself. When the dust settles on a tense negotiation, Thea finds herself at the beck and call of a ruthless criminal who will stop at nothing to crush his rivals, even if it means forcing her to break international law. Thea, Rif, and the rest of the Quantum team soon find themselves doing the mafioso’s bidding while racing against the clock to discover his true motives.

Revealing a deadly conspiracy that connects the dark postwar legacy of World War II to the present, this case will bring all parties to an explosive conclusion that will decide the fate of millions across Europe and the Middle East.

SKYJACK is an action thriller, second in the Thea Paris series by KJ Howe. This fast-moving novel has all the hallmarks of a great action film: tense situations, shootouts, special ops, secret organizations and more.

This novel is the second in Howe’s series about Thea Paris, a hostage negotiator, and the security company that she works for. While it is possible to read this novel without having read the first in the series (THE FREEDOM BROKER, which I have not read), I did feel like I missed a fair bit of Thea’s backstory, family history, and context that was probably explained in that novel.

However, backstory is not necessarily that important, as this is almost a pure action thriller. Its blockbuster style features shootouts, dangerous journeys, an international chase, high stakes missions, special ops teams, and more. Howe writes this style very well; it’s sharp, fast-paced and described in a way that doesn’t slow down the narrative for a moment.

Despite the overall speed of the action, Howe does a relatively good job of developing some depth to the plot. Its secret organizations have a disturbingly realistic feel to their objectives, and there are a number of different angles at play. The story never feels too linear, as you get glimpses into the various paths that each of the main actors are taking, and begin to understand or guess at each of their motivations.

Howe has also worked hard to give some depth to the novel’s characters by making them a little more human. Many of the main characters live with a medical condition that affects their day-to-day lives, including main character Thea Paris, who — as well as being a top-tier hostage negotiator and action hero — has a difficult relationship with her family, and has to manage her diabetes as she is on the job. These realistic traits make this novel more interesting than the average action thriller.

If you are looking for a summer blockbuster movie in book form, definitely pick up SKYJACK!

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