When Cassandra Bowden wakes up in Dubai, in a luxury hotel, with a handsome rich man, at first she feels only the mere regret and shame of drinking too much, way too much. But when she realizes that the man is dead, she spirals into panic.
It's not that unusual for her to wake up in a stranger's bed. It's not that unusual for her to wake up with a hangover. It's not even that unusual for her to wake up with no memory of the last night's events. But she's never been violent before. And now this man, Alexander Sokolov, a hedge fund manager, who had been sitting in first class on the flight, has bled out all over the sheets. They had flirted during the flight. She had been the flight attendant who had assisted him the most. They connected, so she decided to meet him for drinks. And drinks had led to dinner, which led to more drinks, which led to his hotel room.
But now he's dead. And she's alone in the room with him, unable to remember if she had been the one to kill him.
Cassie's mind races with her choices. She could call down to the front desk for help. She could call the American embassy. Or she could clean herself up, wipe down her prints from the room, and leave to catch her next flight. It's clear that leaving would be the worst idea, because they'd find her eventually. There were cameras in the lobby. It was only a matter of time before she was caught.
She left anyway.
As the days go by, she waits for the story to get out. She expects the FBI to knock on her door. She expects the police to come for her. She expects the worst, maybe even thinks she deserves the worst for how she's been behaving, for all the drinking and all the men. She lies to her coworkers. She lies to the FBI. She lies to the airline. Each day that goes by, each lie, each photo of her that gets released, she just gets in deeper and deeper.
She needs to figure out what happened, in order to get her life back again. Or maybe even to stay alive . . .
The Flight Attendant is the latest novel from Chris Bohjalian, the best-selling and award-winning writer of such books as The Guest Room, Midwives, and The Night Strangers. And it is fantastic. This is a beautifully constructed story told through the voices of several different characters, and it reads as smoothly as silk. I listened to the audiobook version, and there were three narrators, which just added to the richness of the story. This is a fantastic summer read, full of intrigue and suspense, with a slow burn mystery in the background. Highly recommended!
Galleys for The Flight Attendant were provided by Doubleday Books through NetGalley, with many thanks, but I purchased the audio myself thanks to Audible.