Chasing the Wind
Roxy Loewen, an appealing, Derringer-packing protégée of Amelia Earhart, gets back up no matter how many times she’s knocked down. She bluffs her way through the pages of C.C. Humphreys’ newest novel, daring you to give up on her and get some sleep. The story begins in Curtiss Field Aerodrome, Long Island, in 1929, with Roxy on the run from the heartless businessman who has just harried her bankrupt father to his death. She barely escapes, crosswind, in her beloved, bright red aircraft. The action then goes to British Somaliland, where she and her communist lover, Jocco, are again on the run, this time from the Italian fascists—and then it’s on to Madrid and then the Berlin Olympics, where the couple intend to steal a masterpiece out from under the nose of Hermann Göring and the rest of Hitler’s Nazi thugs.
Humphreys continually turns up the suspense, with this reader frantically turning pages, all the while thinking how there was just no way the action could turn out well. The author has done his homework: The aviation rings as vividly true as does 1936 Berlin, with lovely details like how the release of 5,000 doves over the crowds, synchronized with a cannon shot, led to the frightened birds letting loose on the masses below.
Obviously, I’m not going to give the plot away, but it’s fair to reveal that the last few paragraphs are some of the best in the book. They hint at a bang-up sequel. Long live Roxy! A great escapist read, for the summer or any other time when you need to fly away.