From the New York Times bestselling author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can change in one night: A flight attendant wakes up in the wrong hotel, in the wrong bed, with a dead man – and no idea what happened.
Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hungover mornings. She’s a binge drinker, her job with the airline making it easy to find adventure, and the occasional blackouts seem to be inevitable. She lives with them, and the accompanying self-loathing. When she awakes in a Dubai hotel room, she tries to piece the previous night back together, counting the minutes until she has to catch her crew shuttle to the airport. She quietly slides out of bed, careful not to aggravate her already pounding head, and looks at the man she spent the night with. She sees his dark hair. His utter stillness. And blood, a slick, still wet pool on the crisp white sheets. Afraid to call the police – she’s a single woman alone in a hotel room far from home – Cassie begins to lie. She lies as she joins the other flight attendants and pilots in the van. She lies on the way to Paris as she works the first class cabin. She lies to the FBI agents in New York who meet her at the gate. Soon it’s too late to come clean-or face the truth about what really happened back in Dubai. Could she have killed him? If not, who did?
Set amid the captivating world of those whose lives unfold at forty thousand feet, The Flight Attendant unveils a spellbinding story of memory, of the giddy pleasures of alcohol and the devastating consequences of addiction, and of murder far from home.
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“Negronis in Rome. Akvavit in Stockholm. Arak in Dubai. Her life was a drinking tour of the world.”
What a sexy and intelligent thriller!!! The author has done his homework and it shows!
“God, it was just like so many of the other times she had woken up naked and hungover in bed with a guy, with only the slightest idea how she had gotten there—except this time the guy was dead.”
This book starts with a bang. Cassie is an experienced flight attendant, who works on international flights and drinks far, far too much. She has blackouts, has sex with strangers and cannot go more than a few days without a drink. But did she kill the sexy businessman she met on a flight to Dubai?
She does not have a full grasp of the previous night’s events and can only recall fleeting moments. She does know one thing for sure: she and her date both drank to excess the night before.
“The notion that he, too, was a boozer—at least for one night—caused her to feel a deep, wistful ache in her heart. Everyone who drank the way she did had a reason, she supposed, and she had never pressed him for his. Did he have one? Now she’d never know. Certainly he had never wondered about her own private pain.”
Cassie falls deeper and deeper into deception BUT it soon becomes clear that she did not kill the handsome Alex. But Cassie continues to deceive everyone who cares about her and even herself. She lies about her drinking, her whereabouts the night of the murder and her lies keep spinning out of control.
“She had made her choice—just one more bad choice in a life riddled with them—and there was no turning back.”
This is a very detailed and slow-building thriller. I felt completely immersed in the world of the flight attendants and modern-day international travel. The plot takes Cassie all over the world and the cast of characters is fascinating! Although many would find Cassie to be an unsympathetic character, I actually liked her and understood some of her choices (although I did not always agree with them!)
“Of course, that was the one constant in her life: she drank. Alcohol gave her pleasure and it gave her courage and it gave her comfort. It didn’t precisely give her self-esteem (especially not the next morning), but it gave her the faith that whatever she was, was enough.”
Prepare to be completely taken by surprise with the ending. I was shocked!! (Not easy to do.) All the praise to Chris Bohjalian!! This book is well-researched, sexy, smart and surprising. I can definitely see this as a movie. I thoroughly enjoyed this engaging and often witty thriller. Highly recommend.
(With thanks to the publisher for an advanced review copy.)