“Casey looked at his smooth face, smelled his cologne. The little bastard was enjoying this. And in a moment of fury, of deep outrage, she suddenly saw another possibility. From the beginning, she had tried so hard to do the right thing, to solve the problem of 545. She had been honest, she had been straight, and it had just gotten her into trouble. Or had it? “You have to face facts, here” Richman said. “It’s over. There’s nothing you can do.” She pushed away from the sink.
“Watch me,” she said. And she walked out of the room.
-Michael Crichton, Airframe
Thirty-six years old divorcee; short brown hair; athletic body; mom to 7 year old Amanda; vice-president at Norton Air Craft; resides in Glendale, California.
Where to find her:
Casey is the main character and heroine in Michael Crichton 1996 novel “Airframe” a mystery/thriller involving a flight in which ninety-four passengers are injured, three are killed and the interior cabin virtually destroyed. Casey, who is in charge of quality control and public relations is thrown into the middle of the investigation and tasked with finding out exactly what happened on board TransPacific flight 545.
Why she made the list:
Casey Singleton is a no nonsense Midwest girl, a “straight arrow” as her boss at Norton calls her. She grew up in Detroit, earned a degree in journalism and began her career working for Ford Motors. Eventually she moved to California, trading cars for airplanes. She is smart and tenacious and very good at her job.
The entire novel takes place within a weeks time, a week in which Casey’s seven year old daughter is away with her dad and therefore removed from what becomes a dangerous situation. It is lucky, though, that she has experience dealing with her own child because most of the men she works with behave like children themselves! Apologizes to any male readers but Michael Crichton threw his own gender under the bus when he wrote this one. There are very few likeable male characters in Airframe and amid all the postulating executives and engineers, as well as one naive female TV producer, Casey is the sole voice of reason.
When Casey realizes that she has been set up by people who expect her to do as she is told, she instead figures out a way to do what is right. In the end, she out thinks and out maneuvers the big shots and solves the mystery of flight 545 as well.
I don’t necessarily mean famous literature or famous women, just ladies from some of the many books I have read over the years, who have stayed with me for whatever reason. Some are main characters, some are not. Some are heroines, some are screw-ups and some are very, very naughty but, for me, they were the driving force in the story, the reason I kept reading or came back to read again.
Perhaps, if you haven’t already met these literary ladies, you’ll be inspired to, and if you have, we can compare notes and share opinions. I’d love to hear about your favorite female characters too.