British publisher Rebellion has released the mass market paperback, Loss of Separation, by Conrad Williams.

Description: commercial pilot Paul Roan is in command of a Boeing 777 when it is involved in a near miss. Nerves shot, he resigns and chooses to re-launch his life running a small hotel in a coastal village with his girlfriend, Tamara.

Hit by a speeding car, Roan emerges six months later from a coma to discover the villagers, astonished by his cheating of death, now see him as a talisman and bring him secrets too awful to deal with themselves. He also suffers from terrible dreams of a crippled black airliner and its terrible cargo, which he knows, somehow, is coming for him.

“I get that flying is, statistically, the safest form of transport,” says Conrad, “but it’s such a dramatic, dangerous form of getting from A to B that I can’t relax, no matter how wide the flight attendant’s smile. Mechanical things break down from time to time but when you’re four miles up in the air and the engine blows, there’s no hard shoulder to rely on…

“I wrote Loss of Separation partly as a way to get all that shut-in fear and panic out of me, and to play on a fear that many of us have, but also because I wanted to send Paul, my main character, on a journey from that claustrophobic environment into the wide open spaces of the Suffolk coastline: there’s terror in both extremes and I wanted to drag him right through it.

“The title of the novel is relevant on at least three levels of interaction within the book. It’s a technical term, of course, for a ‘near miss’, but it’s also hardwired into Paul’s change in physicality, and, critically, it’s got something to do with what happens at the end of the story.”

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