The Flight Attendant
By: Chris Bohjalian
Narrator: Erin Spencer, Grace Experience & Mark Deakins
PRHA: Imprint Random House Audio
Genre: Fiction – Thrillers – Suspense
Release Date: March 13, 2018
11 Hours and 30 Minutes
From the 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.http://www.penguinrandomhouseaudio.com/book/550985/the-flight-attendant/
Lately, in Chris Bohjalian’s audio adapted novels you might find a Good Guy (or no good guys), one or more Russian Baddies (not in THE SLEEPWALKER), Lawyers, at least one woman in serious trouble, and the voice of Bohjalian’s actor-daughter, Grace Experience. He explored plane travel and aeronautics in THE NIGHT STRANGERS Chris is kind of responsible for introducing me to the online book community and blogging as I volunteered to help moderate his website forum.
Grace Experience is a trained and talented person in a field where book narration is a good way to make ends meet. She has a sweet voice reflecting the naivete of youth before dreams are laid to rest. She has done a couple of Chris’s books and one for Stephanie Perkins. Erin Spencer, does a great job too, seemingly carrying more of the book than Grace Experience. By the way, I do not remember a male narrator in the story at all.
I read THE GUEST ROOM and THE NIGHT STRANGERS. In this book Bohjalian combines his research from both novels into this one; and it also shows apparent influence from CLOSE YOUR EYES AND HOLD HANDS as described in its blurb on the PRHA website. Perhaps the connection is enhanced by having his daughter as one of the narrators in a position similar to the main character in THE GUEST ROOM.
As the book began my familiarity with Bohjalian’s previous work sent me into a head space where I assumed it would result in the same outcome. And, therefore I started it with a degree of dread – I am not a big fan of “suspense,” which is probably why I stick with genres where the HEA is a guarantee.
That lack of security is why this is literary fiction. And the suspense takes one on a not-so-merry chase, with “sitting on the edge of one’s seat” starting right off and pretty much carrying you through to the rest of the novel. However, I found the ending weak; not what I expected.
Ultimately, this story, and THE GUEST ROOM, deal with how one night can change, and even end, one’s life irrevocably. Sometime the bad decisions we make coincide with the actions of another, and one’s life, despite one’s intentions, is irrevocably destroyed. Or, not destroyed. And, how the little lies that we might tell in any situation can destroy. It also is about personal truth, promiscuity, and substance abuse.
In this instance the role of one of Cassie’s best friend is not really disclosed until the end, andis mixed up with er brother in law. I found that connection and part of the story the most tenuous. Maybe that was Chris’s intention: it doesn’t take a lot to throw the balance and cast suspicion.
This one definitely had me uncomfortable; on the edge of my seat. Ultimately I enjoyed it although I felt Chris was relying on earlier stories, or at least the research he had done for those earlier tales.