Adrenaline infused ... The reader cannot look away. It’s wired somewhere deep into our caveman brain — we’re bewitched by calamity. Newman expertly manipulates that impulse while drawing on her own experiences as a flight attendant ... It’s difficult to imagine how the tension in Drowning, which is harrowing throughout, might escalate as the rescue reaches a climax. Determined to save her family, Chris courts death in the darkest reaches of the ocean in a last-ditch effort as the plane teeters on the abyss. The pace is blinding, the suspense electrifying, the human drama impassioned.
Newman’s second thriller, Drowning, serves as proof that the expertise displayed in her first book was no fluke. Her story about a plane that crashes in the Pacific Ocean a mere six minutes after its departure from Hawaii is ruthlessly suspenseful, guaranteed to remain in a reader’s mind long after the last page is turned ... Seemingly every sentence intensifies the dire predicament her characters face ... The passengers’ experiences come to life with visceral intensity ... There are moments when the prose falters — occasionally a sentence is serviceable rather than inspired ... As compelling as Newman’s main characters can be, the side performers are often clichés ... But those are quibbles, and they shouldn’t detract from what Newman has achieved in her second book. The readers who took a chance on her debut will find much of what they loved in this follow-up — brisk storytelling, masterful suspense and the chance to vicariously peer into a nightmarish situation from which heroes emerge.