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Pandora's Clock

3.95  ·  Rating details ·  1,185 Ratings  ·  86 Reviews
A plane carrying a supervirus searches for a place to land in this “combination of The Hot Zone and Speed” by a New York Times–bestselling author (USA Today).

On a snowy road in a German forest, Ernest Helms sees a man trying to break into his car. After a scuffle, Helms escapes with only a cut on his hand. Hours later, he collapses aboard a flight from Frankfurt to New Yor
Paperback, 438 pages
Published November 15th 1996 by St. Martin's Paperbacks (first published August 1st 1995)
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Feb 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, thriller
Great thrill ride!

I saw the movie on TV before I read the book and I thoroughly enjoyed it - it literally kept me on the edge of my seat all the way. So, when I stumbled upon the novel in a bookshop, I just had to buy it.

This book really makes you think: what if? There is a passenger on a plane with a contagious virus; no airport wants to let the plane land there, and some fighter plane is trying to shoot the passenger jet down. What to do?

Usually I find books of the type where you have many cha
Nov 04, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016, suspense, mystery
What should have been a routine international airline flight turns into a media event when it's revealed that the passengers of Quantum Flight 66 may have been exposed to a deadly omega virus, similar to Ebola. Professor Helms boards Flight 66 coughing and generally feeling ill. When he suffers an apparent heart attack mid-flight, Captain James Holland, requests an emergency landing in London. To his alarm and confusion, his request is denied. The captain and his copilot soon realize that no cou ...more
Jun 04, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2011, thriller
If you love aviation thrillers, this one is for you. When a sick passenger might be infected by a strain on board a Boenig 747, it causes chaos across the world. With one sick passenger, there's worries about it might be a dread virus, affecting everyone it touches by air. And that causes James Holland, pilot of Quantum 66, concerns, when he's denied to land on other countries from Iceland to Spain. Meanwhile, someone from the CIA has a hatched plan to shoot down the plane, blaming Aqbah, a terr ...more
Linda Munro
Apr 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
This tale takes place mainly on a 757-400 originally flying from Germany to the United States. When the German government realizes that a passenger on that plane may have been exposed to a level four (deadly) pathogen; they will do anything to bring the plane back to their own soil so that the world will not know what they have inadvertently unleasehed. Once that the German government is told exactly what was uleasehed, a deadly pathogen with a 100% infecion rate and an 80% kill rate, they even ...more
Meg McGregor
Sep 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This one is a real page turner! I was up way past my bedtime to read it. Just telling myself, one more chapter, and then I would say, ok - just one more! LOL

A really excellent thriller that primarily takes place on an airplane that may be carrying a level four pathogen that could destroy ninety percent of the American people if it gets out! Terrifying to think about but what a ride!!

By the way, there is a first rate tv mini-series of this book, starring Richard Dean Anderson, who plays Captain J
Nov 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Plane takes off, someone on it has an infectious disease. No one will let the plane land. This stuff is intense. The whole of the book takes place on an airplane, and involves many countries and airspace regulations. If you ever fly on airplanes, and you have a tendency to get worried about stuff like getting trapped in the sky, then don't read this. It's very realistic. Nance is a master aviator, and a very good writer. He will make you believe you should never set foot on a plane again. Just s ...more
Billy Roper
Aug 22, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent thrill-ride, with a satisfying conclusion, written by an obvious aviation expert and commercial pilot. I enjoy books which help me learn in an entertaining fashion, and this one does. Strangely, though I've been to the Hart Senate Office building and the U.S. Capitol, I had no idea there was an underground tram tunnel between them. File that away for when I become First Citizen.

This book also reveals a lot of the internal intrigue between different Federal departments, and within them
Aug 24, 2009 rated it it was ok
I liked the plot and I liked the whole beginning of the book quite a bit. I think this could have been a killer tale if about 200 pages of repetitious material was removed. Sadly, the characters were far too hollow for a book of this length.
Despite my low review, I think Nance has potential and I'm going to assume that this just isn't his best work.
Nov 26, 2009 rated it did not like it
I didn't like it very much.During the first part, the author spent so many pages talking about the disease, and repeats the same story over and over again, it's hard to keep reading. It gets a little bit better after that . He uses the word "nodding" a thousand times, it's very annoying
Jun 27, 2011 rated it really liked it
Good pot boiler aviation thriller by Nance; the first of his novels that I read, and I've enjoyed it each time I've gone back to it.
Aug 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Interesting book as someone put it they figured it would be like Snakes on a Plane and Andromeda Strain...
Andrea Kepner
Jul 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
One of my all-time favorite books. I can read it over and over without getting bored.
Sandy Schmidt
Aug 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing
James Holland is captain of flight 66 leaving Frankfurt for the United States two days before Christmas. On this flight he has a "check captain", sort of like an efficiency expert for pilots, Dick Robb (who has always lived up to his name). A day or two earlier, Ernst Helms was cut when a thief broke his car window in an attempt to steal it. Shortly after boarding, Dr. Helms develops an apparent heart attack and dies. Captain Holland gets clearance from the nearest airport, London, to land. Befo ...more
Vee Quarry
Nov 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My mom recommended I read this book because she watched the tv mini series years ago. I didn’t think I would like it because our favorite genres differ. I was so wrong!

I felt like I was riding a rollercoaster the entire time! Each page was thrilling and kept me wanting more. I felt like I was a passenger on the plane and experiencing all the dangerous excitement firsthand. The author’s description of all the chaos was impeccable.

My favorite part was ending. I suspected a turn in events and I w
Feb 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I couldn't put it down but had to break occasionally -- to breathe. A riveting thriller that follows a bio threat, a seemingly-doomed group aboard an airliner, a shadowy political plot, and a few brave individuals who refused to yield to suspicious government orders and pursuing attackers.

"...what it came down to was an impossible duel between unequal adversaries. Sometimes when the hunted refuses to die, the overconfident hunter loses his life." Or, does he?
D. E.
Jun 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An exciting air adventure. A man in a German forest is accidentally given a lethal virus just before boarding a flight to see he US. After the aircraft is airborne if becomes obvious to the crew and passengers that they have a serious problem. They are denied landing at different facilities. The crew and passengers are own their own. This is an excellent read for the genre.....DEHS
Nov 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A very engaging read. A flight with a sick passenger is denied entry to country after country after word gets out he has been exposed to a virus with a presumed 100% mortality rate within a short time. Now, everyone on the flight has been exposed. Thought provoking.
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: i-own
By half time thought mmmm 3 star, where are we going, nasty flu virus that may wipe out mankind so lets stop the plane to weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee plot to shoot the plane down, missiles and undercover CIA.... The second half of the book took off! pun intended. Nicely done and nicely writte.
Michel Sizaire
Aug 03, 2017 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed the way the story was structured.

Looking forward to reading more of this author's novels.
Lisa Barbour
Feb 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
An aviation thriller. I may never fly again.
David Mccarthy
Jun 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved the book - a page turner. Good characters and intrigue.
Apr 11, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2018
An exciting thriller aboard an airplane. Great twists and turns!

It’s better than some of his other novels. Gets a bit predictable towards the end. I would recommend it for a short quick read.
Bonnie Kuzbyt
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
discovered a new author - John J Nance's books are so good
Jun 06, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2014-read
A man gets on a flight bound for the USA from Germany and the flight attendants realize right away that he is not feeling well. Before they can even exit European air space, the passenger collapses and a doctor is called to help. They perform CPR on him but he is just hanging on to life. Captain James Holland requests the ability to land in England to assist the passenger but is denied because the British government has learned from the Germans that there could be a Level 4 pathogen on board. Th ...more
Dec 07, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have a stack of old audio tape cassette books that I want to whittle down so I popped the first cassette in a cheap player that I had bought. The player buttons broke off when I turned the side over! I was so engaged by John K. Nance’s thriller, Pandora’s Clock that I held the down the metal remainder of the play button to hear the other side. This is the first time that I ever endured pain to listen to an audio book! It was that good. Thank goodness I found out that my old boom box still coul ...more
Marijn Vanbelle
Pandora's klok

James Holland is de captain op Quantum vlucht 66 van Frankfurt naar New York. Een vliegtuig afgeladen met mensen die voor de kerst thuis willen zijn. Een routineklusje. Een hartaanval onder een van de passagiers dwingt James Holland tot een noodlanding op Schiphol. Op het allerlaatste ogenblik wordt de toestemming tot landen ineens ingetrokken. De ene luchthaven na de andere weigert Quantum vlucht 66 toe te laten. James Holland beseft langzaam dat ze een probleem aan boord hebben w
Nov 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
As I was reading this novel I was saying to myself this would make a great movie. Not until after I finished reading it did I learn that it was.

This was the first book I've read by John Nance. It will not be my last.

This novel grabbed from the opening pages and never let up. I cant really that it was a quick or easy read. I read the paperback and the print was fairly small with 40 lines per page. All told it probably worked out to close to 600 pages. However, I'd much rather read 600 in a good n
May 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: action, thriller, medical
Aviation thriller - On a snowy road in a German forest, Prof. Ernest Helms sees a man trying to break into his car. After a scuffle, Helms escapes with his vehicle, unharmed except for a cut on his hand. Hours later, he collapses aboard a flight from Frankfurt to New York. Capt. James Holland radios London to plan an emergency landing to save Helms. And then the nightmare begins. Heathrow denies Holland permission to land because Helms has been stricken with an ultracontagious pathogen that thre ...more
Tom Hooker
Sep 17, 2009 rated it liked it
James Holland is the pilot of a 747 scheduled to fly from Frankfurt to New York. Shortly after take-off, one of the passengers becomes very sick. Holland tries to divert to London, but they won't let him land. Then he tries to go back to Frankfurt, but they won't let him land. Everybody believes his stricken passenger has been infected with a "doomsday" virus that is one hundred percent lethal. The next two days (he does get to land, eventually. We all know a 747 can't stay in the air for 24 hou ...more
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where can one watch the miniseries? 1 6 Jul 11, 2010 09:40AM  
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John J. Nance is an American pilot, aviation safety expert, and author. He served in the USAF during the Vietnam War and also as a Lt. Colonel in Operation Desert Storm.