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4 Star IHIBRP Book Review: “Survivors of Flight 387” by Richard McStay

Gut-Wrenchingly Dangerous!

At first glance, this survivors’ story about a plane crash at sea appears to start out like most survivors’ stories about plane crashes at sea—Jetliner crashes miles from nowhere … Two survivors (male and female) fight to keep from drowning … Sharks circle … A storm rages … A raft of haphazardly lashed-together debris—forming an emergency floatation device for two—slowly rips apart … There is no rescue in sight … Oh, no! But in the days that follow the crash, as we find ourselves drifting along the ocean current with our two main protagonists (Mechanic Richard Buchanan, recently released from prison and headed to a new life and job in China, and the much younger, beautiful, and talented, but sometimes demanding Plastic Surgeon, Dr. Susan Ryan), the reader is curiously kept attuned to their desperate plight.

There’s a certain fascination with McStay’s characters that compels readers to give this story a chance, and it’s a good thing because, just when you think the good doctor and the street-savvy mechanic are doomed to spend their lives lost and alone—which sometimes seems like a pleasant alternative to these two would-be lovers, the real action begins as they discover an abandoned WWII Japanese outpost and consider the possibility that there might just be another soul inhabiting their lost island. This is when the pace significantly picks up for our two characters and the circumstances that follow can only be described as gut-wrenchingly dangerous, for just when everything seems to be going as well as can be expected for our two protagonists, McStay brilliantly throws the reader off-balance with more than a few life-and-death situations.

The sometimes content and oft-times contentious relationship between Buchanan and the doctor is an examination of how two people, completely split apart by age, temperament, education, skill-set, and lifestyle, learn to band together to help each other live through yet another jaw-dropping situation. Over and over again, the author keeps the reader on edge, guessing as to how the doctor and her beau will survive the trials and tribulations of their meager existence to escape certain death and—if the Fates allow—the sandy shores of their isolated, uncharted island. I’m pleased to say that I found the story unpredictable but moving. The plot line was interesting and the characters were very well-developed, with complete back-stories and acquaintances of their own. If you are looking for a quick-paced, white-knuckle ride that can be devoured in the span of a few hours, McStay has just the novel for you!

Find “Survivors of Fight 387” on at


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