The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalain

banner-1563649__340This novel is a complex international thriller. Suspenseful and intelligent!

“I awoke beside a dead man. I may have gotten away with murder.” It is not the first time Cassie has blacked out after a night of untamed drinking. Cassie wakes up in a dense fog. This place is not her hotel. She is in someone’s room in another hotel. And she is in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Brace for Impact.

Cassie, a flight attendant, has just discovered that her Russian hedge fund date from row 2C is lying in a pool of his blood. She remembers another person in the room hours prior, Miranda. They all drank together. But now Cassie is not sure what happened. What did she do in her nebulous state? She tries to cover all her footsteps and fingerprints leaving no trace behind. But there is Miranda. But also Meghan, another attendant, who remembers Cassie’s flirtation with Alex during the flight.

The Flight Attendant has a suspenseful and intricate plot. Told in alternating points of view, Cassie, and Elena (Miranda) both tell their sides after the scene which makes the narrative intriguing. Cassie’s uncanny ability to lie coupled with her paranoia makes us suspect that she may be an unreliable storyteller. I love Cassie’s thought process after Dubai, the pondering of each detail with the precision of a mastermind. After all, she can only rely on herself to determine what happened and what is to follow. Elena is a well-respected paid assassin and can cover the truth with a twenty-two. Her father taught her everything he knew from his former KGB days. Each of these characters carries a multi dimensional personality with a unique backstory and family members with quirks and personal behaviors. The author did not skimp out on the details which made the characters believable and relatable. Oddly enough, you sympathize with conflicting characters, which is an engaging twist. As the story unfolds, we learn more about who Alex Sokolov is and why he is dead. What is Miranda’s involvement. And why the FBI is questioning Cassie.
The author did his research on several levels. With an international murder setting, the legal details of foreign and domestic law and protocols of the FBI are precise. The setting of Dubai boasts with Arabian pride, with grand hotels and the souk markets with omnipotent smells of spice. The author also had specific details of the role of an airline attendant, flight routes, the in-between arrangement, flight bidding and also of the preferred color of lipstick, red. The intricacies of the plot and narrative felt remarkably complete and created authenticity.

My only complaint about the novel is that the character building and the reminiscence created a time lag between the action of the plot. But it may be a reflection of my need for fast-moving plots.

The story moves at a metronomic pace creating a hunger in the reader. And then there is intermittent turbulence to make you gasp and the undeniable debacle at the conclusion that will leave you reaching for oxygen. The Flight Attendant is a great story that engaged the reader on many levels. I highly recommend The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian.

Thank you, NetGalley, Chris Bohjalain, and Doubleday Books for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.



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