Wichita native’s third novel, ‘Zero Separation,’ a high-flying thriller

04/14/2013 7:47 AM

08/08/2014 10:16 AM

“Zero Separation” by Philip Donlay (Oceanview Publishing, 312 pages, $25.95)

If you’ve grown up in Wichita, it’s almost second nature to have developed an interest in aviation. But Philip Donlay was more than interested.

By the time he was a senior at North High School, he had earned his private pilot’s license. He had also read every book he could find on airplanes.

When he came across the works of Ernest Gann, a pilot, novelist and sailor best known for “Island in the Sky” and “Blaze of Noon” (which were made into movies), Donlay hit upon his role model.

“Zero Separation” is his third thriller that incorporates aviation as one of its primary elements. In this volume, a man suspected of stealing an executive jet is being pursued by the FBI. The real criminal, however, is a terrorist.

The book has been praised for its realistic characters, fast pacing and technical details. One reviewer called it “the literary equivalent of a skydiving free fall.”

Donlay will be at Watermark Books & Cafe on Saturday to read from and sign copies of “Zero Separation.”

A fourth novel, titled “Deadly Echoes,” is scheduled for a spring 2014 release.

Arlice Davenport

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