A nation on the verge of a new era—and a young woman caught between her past and the ever-expanding present

The year is 1972, and the beaches of Los Angeles are the center of the world. Dropping into the embers of the drug and surf scene is Suzy Whitman, who has tossed her newly minted Vassar degree aside to follow her older sister into the open skies and borderless adventures of stewardessing for Grand Pacific Airlines.

In Sela del Mar, California—a hedonistic beach town in the shadow of LAX—Suzy skateboards, suntans, and flies daily and nightly across the country. Motivated by a temporary escape from her past and a new taste for danger and belonging, Suzy falls into a drug-trafficking scheme that clashes perilously with the skyjacking epidemic of the day.

A dazzling debut set in a sun-drenched time and place with an allure that hides their danger, FLY ME marks the arrival of an exciting new voice in fiction.

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A LOS ANGELES TIMES BESTSELLER

Riley has a stylish grasp of setting as the axis of place and time, writing about the era with captivating authority, palpable texture and a sure-footed knack for rebuilding a moment out of its pop detritus. Enthusiasts of ‘70s music and literature will tumble into delightful pockets of nostalgia...Ultimately, Riley’s vividly realized setting and Suzy’s firecracker spirit collide in a surprising whiplash climax.
— THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
ONE OF THE BEST SUMMER BOOKS OF 2017: What a trip this novel is... It’s Riley’s debut novel and it’s the perfect balance of grit and gloss.
— PUBLISHERS WEEKLY
GREAT READS FOR SUMMER: Fascinating, intense, and passionately told, at times reminding us of another coming-of-age story, Emma Cline’s THE GIRLS... You’ll be hard-pressed to put this one down.
— GOOP
A stunning and dangerous ride set in the skies of 1972... Throughout FLY ME, Riley paints a seductive and psychologically intense picture of the times, combining political change, sex, drugs, and a painful coming of age with the idyllic backdrop of a Pacific paradise.
— INTERVIEW MAGAZINE
Come for the intoxicating beach imagery drawn from Daniel Riley’s California upbringing, stay for a moody novel of savvy babes and sunburned intrigue. Think THE GRADUATE, but with drug smuggling.
— GQ
This is an excellent time capsule of ‘70s nostalgia, capturing that devil-may-care beach-culture vibe.
— MARIE CLAIRE
Crackling dialogue, a flesh-and-blood heroine, and Riley nails the era.
— THE SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS
One of the Best Books of Summer
— THE NEW YORK POST, TOWN AND COUNTRY, BOOKISH, GLOMMABLE, POPSUGAR, BOOKISH, GOOP, POPSUGAR, THE TAMPA BAY TIMES
10 Summer Book Club Picks Everyone Will Enjoy
— BUSTLE
Riley has conjured up impeccable West Coast period atmosphere.
— KIRKUS
Suzy Whitman, FLY ME’s central figure, is one of the most compelling and beautifully realized characters I’ve read in many a moon. And she inhabits an era—the seventies—that has much to say to us in these parlous times of ours. This is a dazzling debut by an important new novelist.
— ROBERT OLEN BUTLER, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A GOOD SCENT FROM A STRANGE MOUNTAIN
With thin, wild mercury rhythms and electrifying prose, Daniel Riley’s debut announces the arrival of a masterful novelist, giving flashes of Don DeLillo, Joan Didion, Dana Spiotta, even a glint of Thomas Pynchon. FLY ME does for seventies L.A. what Garth Risk Hallberg did for New York City in the same period. This is one to gulp down, and then savor.
— DANIEL TORDAY, author of THE LAST FLIGHT OF POXL WEST
Daniel Riley writes like he’s skipping stones—with a beautifully light touch, perfect precision, and something that feels a lot like magic.
— GIN PHILLIPS, author of FIERCE KINGDOM and THE WELL AND THE MINE
Standing right on the corner of Don Winslow and Exile on Main Street, Daniel Riley conjures something remarkable—an unerring fusion of contemporary white-knuckle thriller and rawly elegant period piece, set at the moment the Vietnam-era counterculture cracked open wide enough to fly a skyjacked plane through. If scintillating writing and Hitchcockian dread weren’t enough, Riley also gives us Suzy Whitman, a classical heroine thrust by history and circumstance into the dangerous territory of modern autonomy, with uncharted modern consequences. Absolutely first-rate. I loved this book.
— MALCOLM BROOKS, author of PAINTED HORSES
Daniel Riley’s FLY ME conjures the feeling of a long-passed decade in living color, flesh and bone—redolent with risk and possibility. This riveting novel is a window into a world we’ve forgotten we come from.
— MADISON SMARTT BELL, author of ALL SOULS' RISING
In his assured debut novel FLY ME, Daniel Riley uses crackling dialogue and meticulously drawn prose to evoke a sun-bleached 1970s tableau that hums with a raw mix of possibility and danger. The kind you’d want to escape into.
— KAROLINA WACLAWIAK, author of THE INVADERS
FLY ME is a vivid, virtuosic novel. Daniel Riley conjures a place and time as vibrant and compelling as the embattled young woman at the heart of this story.
— SCOTT O'CONNOR, author of HALF WORLD
FLY ME digs under the endless summer sand of Southern California to confirm what every young person suspects: the world is a conspiracy. I cheered as Riley’s heroine, Suzy, broke free from the sinister forces controlling her destiny to chart her own crazy flight plan.
— JEFFREY ROTTER, author of THE ONLY WORDS THAT ARE WORTH REMEMBERING