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The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

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.



Praise for The Flight Attendant:

“A turbulent behind-the-scenes look at the lives of cabin crew members and a pitiless profile of a woman destined for a psychological crash landing… Cassie is a hot, frighteningly believable mess, as endangered by alcoholism as by espionage.” — Passport Magazine

“Flight attendant Cassie Bowden: a self-destructive alcoholic who favors one-night stands, a gifted liar, a petty thief. But she’s also someone we can relate to: a soul damaged during childhood, terribly alone, and desperate for love… Readers who enjoyed the imperfect heroine in Paula Hawkins’s The Girl on the Train and the anxiety-ridden paranoia of Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment will be hooked by this murder mystery.” — Library Journal

“Bohjalian is an unfaltering storyteller who crosses genres with fluidity, from historical fiction to literary thrillers…a read-in-one-sitting escapade that is as intellectually satisfying as it is emotionally entertaining.”— Booklist

“[Bohjalian’s] 20th novel…combines popular tropes with a serious examination of social issues. Binge-drinking flight attendant Cassandra Bowden wakes up with another bad hangover in a Dubai hotel room and finds the man she spent the night with lying dead beside her… What really happened? And what are the consequences of addiction, deception, and denial? Fans are lining up.” — Barbara Hoffert, Library Journal


“..don’t have a plan,” she answered. “I wish I did, but I don’t.” The truth was, she had been living almost hour to hour since she had woken up in Dubai and found Alex …..dead. First she just wanted to get away from the corpse and the likelihood of prison and reach Charles de Gaulle. Then she just wanted to land in America. Then she just wanted to find a lawyer. Then she just wanted to survive the FBI. Then. Then. Then . . .”

Chris Bohjalian has written with many interesting topics and cast of characters and this little adventure of a flight attendant is embroiled with something we are coming across in the world news.
A flight attendant that travels from one country to another, stays overnight from one hotel to another, and any of thousands at work in same instance one may meet others in their stay, before their return flight maybe, may even dine, or may sleep with another, one who may be a stranger they encounter or someone they love and known for years, this main character, Cassandra, she had never met Alex before, but he was to change her life she would awaken to a world tops turvy from a night bender of drink and passion with minus one man.
The flight attendant story has you tied in and reading on to the need to know of why and how. I found it an interesting read, the locations added some intrigue and sense of place to the tale. A jigsaw and chess game playing out before you and surely they will all fit together by close of the tale and it serves up an entertaining read. A slowed paced intriguing international tale with a narrative not in a break neck pace thriller format but more seductive modest literary thriller that flowed with the ease and lucidity, no entrapment of sentences but of people.
His name was Alex and maybe that is all that should be said for the reader now, because mention of the rest could give rise to his family name and nationality and then theories will flow.
Flight attendant, hedge fund manager, murder, blackout, FBI, assassin, Dubai, New York, Rome, maybe you sense where its heading? But who is what and how will it all unfold and end ?


“….her behavior when she was drinking, when she had drowned all reason in tequila or gin, was legendary.”

“Elena nodded. She’d seen plenty of pictures of Dubai before arriving and watched hours of video. She’d had a window seat on her flight, and though she hadn’t been able to glimpse those massive manmade harbors that were shaped like palms as the plane descended, on their final approach she’d enjoyed the Blade Runner-esque skyscrapers. Even this hotel bar was a series of futuristic black columns, glass obelisks, and chandeliers that fell from the ceiling like slender icicles. The barstools were the highest she’d ever seen in her life. Dubai was a vertical world between the flatness of sand and the flatness of sea, a cutting-edge outpost just across the Persian Gulf from Iran. It was utterly different from Gaziantep, the Turkish city where she’d spent most of the last month stalking her prey. Parts of that city still felt like B-roll footage from a movie set in the Middle East during the First World War. She half expected to see Peter O’Toole in his Lawrence of Arabia garb in the souk.”

“They were climbing, airborne, and they were leaving Dubai.
They were, once more, leaving behind the indoor ski resort, the massive, manmade marinas in the shape of palm trees you could see from space, and the skyline with its towering, futuristic needles. The vending machines that sold gold. They were soaring over the endless rows of oil wells and oil rigs—from the sky, they looked like industrious black ants chained in place to the ground—and then the desert, endless, flat, and unfurling in waves and ripples and hillocks to the western horizon.”