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Summary

A deadly crash, a government conspiracy, a lone pilot with one chance to uncover the truth.

Project Guiding Light is NATO's biggest secret. A system to take long-range bombers deep into the Soviet Union, undetected. There's just one problem, and veteran engineer Chris Milford has found it. A lethal flaw that means the aircrew will pay a terrible price. Undermined and belittled by a commanding officer who values loyalty over safety, Milford is forced down a dangerous, subversive path. Even his closest friend, Rob May, the youngest test pilot on the project, has turned his back on him. Until the crash that changes everything.

James Blatch's pause-resisting thriller is set in the 1960s world of secret military projects and an establishment that wants victory over communism at almost any price. 

©2021 James Blatch (P)2021 James Blatch

What listeners say about The Final Flight

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A brilliant listen!

This is superbly crafted story which gripped me from start to finish. It’s moving and compelling and I could not stop listening! I throughly enjoyed it, and can’t fault it. Although I knew nothing about the subject matter, it was presented in such a way that it all made sense and even the technical information was expertly handled!
Narrator is perfect and captures the words beautifully.
I totally recommend this book and hope there is more coming! Listen to this book, you wont regret it!

1 person found this helpful

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  • RH
  • 10-12-21

A Melodrama with a Weak Plot and Poor Characters

The story line itself is plausible, but the resolution was totally unbelievable.

One of the leading characters is meant to be a young RAF test pilot, a man whom should used to making split second decisions, but he comes over as weak and at times borderline stupid, this impression isn't helped by the narrator.

The rest of the military characters are too twenty-first century, to in touch with their emotions, I don't believe that's how society or the post war military were at that time.

I listened to this novel till the end, I'm not sure why...I may see if I can return this.

1 person found this helpful

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Two men counter a cover-up in high places

From the start I was gripped by this story of the twilight world of RAF test flights during the Cold War. The Final Flight vividly captures the period. I found the technical detail intriguing - it never detracted from a fast-moving plot. The rivalries and bonhomie of RAF bases are tellingly portrayed in this novel. Twists in the story move the narrative at a good pace. Having read a hard copy of the book, I was pleased to find that the audio book did not disappoint; in fact, it gave an added dimension to the text.
I full heartedly recommend it.

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Fast paced intriguing story - brilliant narration

Something a bit different to mainstream thriller suspense, set at an English RAF test flight station in the mid 1960’s. It took a while to get into the RAF speak but once into their world it was a truly great story which gripped me from start to finish.

New author, James Blatch really knows his stuff through personal experience of living on RAF bases and through his father, a pilot in the RAF. It is a fascinating insight into the risk and dangers of the world of the test pilot – in particular testing Vulcan bombers. James skilfully flies you through the deep and treacherous valleys of mid and north wales, making you feel as if you are part of the crew on board, experiencing the fear, excitement and adrenaline rush with them.

The story line is extremely well plotted out and delivered and had me shaking my head on several occasions as I just didn’t see some of the twists coming, keeping the tension and curiosity as what would come next right on the edge of the wing tip! James really ramps up the pressure on the protagonists and has you wondering how the hell they will get through the insurmountable challenges.

Intrigue, corruption, political dogma, cutting edge technology (at that time), fast paced action, Secret service involvement – plus more – this book has it all. One of favourite reads in the last 12 months and excuse the old cliché – I can’t wait for his next book – I really mean that.

I said 'reads' but actually listened to the audible book version which was superbly narrated by Matt Addis – who gave me the impression of a modern-day Biggles! With exactly the right tone, accent and character voices for everyone featured in the book.

A top notch first book from this new author!

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 18-01-22

entertaining and a good read

entertaining even if a bit boy's own adventure. suspension of disbelief started to fray at the edges. By 1966 RAF doctor's were not prescribing a dram and cigarette for nerves. The first time I heard a doctor warning me off cigarettes was in the early sixties during an aircrew medical at Biggin Hill

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  • JLB
  • 24-12-21

Fantastic Military/Aviation suspense novel!

Great suspense type thriller novel. As a military/ professional aviator, I found the writing to be mostly spot on as it related to flying. The characters in the book and how they relate in the squadron and military club settings was very realistic. Great story with plenty of tension throughout the book. Extremely well written! The narrator does a phenomenal job of bringing to life "The Final Flight" in the audio version. Looking forward to Red Brunsons story.

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  • Vesta Giles
  • 19-12-21

An excellent military thriller

The Final Flight by James Blatch, narrated by Matt Addis, was an unexpected thrill ride for me. I was expecting a decent military story about the RAF. What I was not expecting was a first-class thriller that had me scrambling for every five minutes of listening I could find. Blatch has placed compelling characters, authentic research, and a believable storyline in an era that is underrepresented in the thriller genre. Set in 1966, the story is so vivid you can feel the heat of a summer’s afternoon, see the military row houses and period vehicles driving by, and feel the vibration of jet planes taking off and landing. Blatch expertly ratchets up the suspense with sequences of twists and turns that I did not see coming.

As an avid audio listener, I’m very picky about the voices I listen to and Matt Addis has been added to the list of readers I will search for more books by. He has an easy-going style that is similar to Simon Vance. His character voices are consistent, and each character has a unique voice that adds to their personality. My only criticism is how he does women’s voices. They sound less clearly defined than the men’s voices, but not to the point where it’s annoying.

Overall, I found this to be an astonishingly good thriller that I would highly recommend.

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  • VA Barnhill - Author
  • 09-12-21

A wonderful story masterfully told.

Balanced is a word that comes to mind when I think of one word to express my experience reading The Final Flight. James Blatch is a skilled and insightful writer who has talent when creating characters that evoke emotion and commitment from his readers.

Once I started the book, I could not put it down. Blatch’s characters come to life through the talented performance of Matt Addis. Addis did not overwhelm the story with his acting. He brought it to life—part of the balance.

The story contains sufficient description and dialogue to confirm for the reader that the author knows his subject matter, without bludgeoning the reader with self aggrandizing minutiae.

I could easily conjure the moments and images portrayed throughout the story.

I hope James Blatch keeps writing