Airframe, a novel by Michael Crichton was a fairly good book that
became very exciting towards the end. It is about the aviation industry and a
fictional company named Norton Aircraft that manufactures planes. There is
only one main character and the plot of the novel is about a secret plan to
destroy the president of Norton. The book gets off to a slow start, but rapidly
builds up pace in the last hundred pages.
The main character of the novel is Casey Singleton. She is a divorced
mother in her mid-forties. She is a vice president of the Quality Assurance
Incident Review Team. Whenever anything goes wrong with a plane that was
made by Norton, the Incident Review Team finds out what the problem was
and fixes it. The whole book is based on her and her actions. If there had to be
two more supporting characters, one would be John Marder. He is the chief
operating officer of Norton Aircraft. In other words, he runs the factory. He
has also been nice to Casey, but he turns out to be a very bad person and sly
guy. The third important character in the novel Airframe is Jennifer Malone.
She is a reporter for a news show called Newsline. From the descriptions in the
book, this show sounds very much like the news program 20/20. She does a news
story on the two latest events of the N-22 aircraft that has had unusual
problems lately. She does not understand what the aviation industry is about
so she has a very bad attitude. As a result, Casey ends up telling her off
towards the end of the book.
The plot of Airframe is a very complex and exciting plot. The book
starts off with a bang with a suspenseful first chapter. An airplane encounters
severe turbulence and many passengers are hurt. Eventually a team at Norton
is put together to find out what the cause of the situation is. The problem puts
Nortons airplane deal with China, for billions of dollars, in serious jeopardy.
The team cannot find any leads, and soon the media catches on to Norton’s
problems. The reporters love a story that is bad and makes the viewers
concerned about airline safety. A lot of people are already concerned about
airline safety. When the media advertises a bad story about manufacturers,
everyone will watch it. Casey finds herself in dangerous situations where
people are following her and watching her. She knows something is wrong and
there is some kind of secret plot. She figures it out in the last fourth of the
novel but she does not tell the reader until she tells Jennifer Malone in the
second chapter until the end. It turns out the whole incident was a pilots error.
The experienced pilot let his own son fly the plane while he went to go get a cup
of coffee. The son did not know what to do, so he almost crashed the plane.
Before Casey Singleton came to the simple answer above, she
investigated many possibilities. One was that the slats on the wing extended
without a command. Another was that the plane had counterfeit parts that
supposedly damaged the plane. She found absolutely nothing. It turns out
that John Marder was supposed to ruin Nortons current president over this
incident. He thought once a critical news story was shown on Newsline, that the
president would be ruined as well as Casey Singleton since she was the one that
handled the interview. He had been cooking up a deal with North Korea to sell
even more planes than Norton was preparing to sell to China. But he must
become president before the deal would go through. Once the Korean sell was
accomplished, Norton stock would sky-rocket which would make John Marder
rich since he owned tons of it. This was all part of his plan but it was all
ruined since the story did not air because it turned out it had been the pilots
fault. Obviously, it was not the manufacturer’s fault. No one wanted to hear
about a young kid killing three people and injuring hundreds. It is plain and
simple: its not good news. Marder was fired once his plot was uncovered and
Casey Singleton took his place.
There were many conflicts in Airframe. So many, you could not dare
counting them all. Some of the main conflicts were between Casey Singleton
and her colleagues. They got into arguments and disagreements all the time