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March 13, 2018

Review: The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

by Susan Roberts

(first chapter, first paragraph)
She was aware first of the scent of the hotel shampoo, a Middle Eastern aroma reminiscent of anise, and then - when she opened her eyes - the way the light from the window was different from the light in the rooms in the hotel where the crew usually stayed. Ths morning sun was oozing through one slender line from the ceiling to the floor where the drapes, plush as they were, didn't quite meet and blanching a strip of carpet. She blinked, not against the light but against the thumping spikes of pain behind her eyes. She needed water, but it would take a tsunami to avert the hangover that awaited. She needed Advil, but she feared the red pills that she popped like M&M's at moments like this were distant. They were in the medicine bag in her own hotel room, in her own hotel.

"I'm a very, very good liar. I lie all the time. I lie to other people. I lie to myself."

Chris Bohjalian's new book, The Flight Attendant, is an intricately plotted suspense novel. It's told from dual points of view by two well written female characters.
Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. A free book was provided for an honest review.

The Flight Attendant
March 2018; Doubleday; 978-0385542418
audio, ebook, print (368 pages); suspense
Cassie is a Flight Attendant who drinks until she blacks out and often wakes up in the bed of someone she doesn't know. Elena is an assassin who works for a covert group in Russia. Most of the story is Cassie's and what a story it is. She is a total mess but so well written that the reader is immediately drawn into her story to see where she will lead them. She is often confused, doesn't listen to other people's advice and continues to follow behavior that has gotten her into trouble in the past -- in other words a complex and interesting character to get to know.

As the novel begins, Cassie wakes up in a strange room in Dubai. At first, she wasn't sure where she was or how she had gotten there. She remembers flirting with an American hedge fund manager on her flight and agreeing to have dinner with him. After a lot of alcohol, she went to his room at the hotel but due to the amount of alcohol consumed, things got a bit fuzzy after that. When she rolls over in bed in the morning and finds blood all over, she realizes that he is dead. She doesn't think that she killed him but maybe, just maybe, she did. She puts the DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door, takes a shower and goes back to her hotel where she soon boards a flight back to the US and nervously awaits whatever is going to happen next but she continues to lie - to the other flight attendants on her flight, to the FBI who are waiting at the gate and most importantly to herself.

The Flight Attendant is a wonderful page-turner of a novel. Even though Cassie would be an easy character to dislike as she continues to make the same mistakes over and over, she is written in such a way that I found her to be very sympathetic and I was rooting for a good outcome for her. In my opinion, Chris Bohjalian writes female characters better than any male author and his two main female characters are entirely believable - flaws included. This is another fantastic novel by this talented author.

Buy The Flight Attendant at Amazon

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina when she isn't traveling. She and her husband enjoy traveling, gardening and spending time with their family and friends. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on FacebookGoodreads,  or Twitter
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  1. This does sound like a great story. I'll be adding it to my wishlist. This week I am featuring Deja Moo by Kristen Weiss. Happy reading!

  2. I loved this book! Thanks for sharing...and for visiting my blog.

  3. Hi there!

    I actually had my headphones on as I read this, so I was able to listen - sounds really great. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks for letting me know that you listened to the audio clip. I always wonder if anyone does.

  4. I've never read this author but the intro sounds really good.

  5. Oh this sounds so intriguing! Would definitely want to know what happens next!

  6. I'm so glad to read the first paragraph of this book. I've been hearing good things about it. Now I want to read it. Thanks for sharing it.