My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Expected Publication Date: March 13, 2018
Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Fiction
A walk of shame was all that she planned, but waking up with a dead body next to her was the last thing that she expected.
An attractive flight attendant. A handsome, rich hedge fund manager. Flirting at 30,000 feet followed by a boozy date night and a one-night stand.
The morning after, Cassie Bowden wakes up in a ritzy Dubai hotel bed with a monster hangover, blood in her hair, and a very dead Alex Sokolov with his throat slashed. What the hell happened?! Cassie struggles to remember the events of the night, but can’t. She recalls a romantic dinner, lots of booze, a female visitor named Miranda– and then nothing.
This is not the first time Cassie has blacked out after a night of binge drinking and cannot remember events from the previous night. Did she kill her one-night stand after she blacked out? She’s not sure.
This story is told in alternating perspectives of Cassie and Elena (AKA Miranda), and the events that unravel after that fateful night.
The settings span across the globe, from Dubai to New York City to Rome, referencing famous landmarks. I enjoyed the traveling.
This story is interesting and suspenseful, and I wanted to devour it in one setting.
I liked so many things about this book:
- The unreliable but likeable flight attendant, Cassie. Cassie has many flaws, but she is human and relatable. She acts out of self-preservation but she is conflicted by her actions. She is tormented by the baggage of growing up with an alcoholic father, her own bad drinking behavior, and feels guilty when she makes bad decisions. She has a lot of self loathing. But you sympathize with her trials and tribulations and can’t help but feel sorry for her. You want her to overcome her challenges and be a better person.
- Elena was also likeable. She is a calculated killer with an ethical perspective. She doesn’t believe in harming innocent people. Her backstory made me identify with her. She has a unique outlook and is a strong and smart character.
- The author’s research into US and international law, which was obviously extensive and reflected within many details of the book.
- The glamourous settings. The reader is taken on a fascinating journey that spans Dubai, New York City, Russia, Rome, Paris. It’s an international thriller with beautiful, vivid descriptions of the cities, landmarks and culture.
- The inside peek into the world of flight attendants, who literally live out of their suitcases for most of their careers. Here is a great article on 14 facts that airline workers know: http://www.businessinsider.com/what-most-passengers-dont-know-2017-9?r=UK&IR=T/. Interesting!
- The FBI reports sprinkled throughout the book which share a different perspective and add substance to the plot.
- The ending had many surprise twists and I enjoyed it. The ending also gives closure to many open storylines and it was a satisfying conclusion.
The last Chris Bohjalian book that I read was The Guest Room which I didn’t really like. This book has so much more substance, more developed characters, more research and facts and I loved it so much more than The Guest Room. It’s almost like this book was written by a completely different author.
The book has a fabulous plot, and is fast paced in the beginning and end with a steady pace throughout. It’s an engaging read and I enjoyed it.
Thank you, NetGalley, Chris Bohjalian, and Doubleday Books for the opportunity to preview this book.