The Flight Attendant

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 27 Mar 2018

Member Reviews

This was a very slow read : I had to make myself pick it up. I found the depiction of the main character to be bothersome: a male engaging in the same type of behavior would not have garnered the kind of negative attention and shaming that Cassie did. Then again, I was extremely frustrated with Cassie's self-defeating behavior, always making the worst decision, never considering consequences, digging herself a deeper and deeper hole at every turn. On top of that, I never connected with her, so I couldn't muster any real empathy (unusual for me). Ultimately, I didn't care what happened to her. I finished mostly because I wanted to know what really happened. 
This is my first book by this author, but I've heard a lot of good things about him. Honestly, I expected more. It felt like half the book was repeating everything that was wrong with Cassie and her choices (ad nauseam), leaving very little room for the meaty plot I expected.
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Cassie is an binge-drinking flight attendant prone to blackouts and one-night stands, so when she wakes up in a Dubai hotel room that isn’t hers, in bed with a passenger she was flirting with on an international flight, it’s just another day in her transcontinental, party-girl life. But while trying to quietly get out of bed without waking him, she finds she is covered in blood…but it’s not hers.

The man next to her is dead, his throat slit.

With little memory of the night before, she’s fuzzy about what happened—and isn’t entirely certain she didn’t kill him—but rather than alert the authorities, she quickly returns to her hotel and the rest of the crew for their flight out to their next destination. When Cassie eventually returns home to New York, she is interviewed by investigators, and continues to make one bad decision after another, all the while, trying to piece together spotty memories of what happened that night. She remembers a woman stopping by the hotel room to discuss business with her colleague about a meeting that was to take place the following day, and the three of them had drinks together, but doesn’t remember any behavior that would’ve resulted in murder.

This was a gripping, page-turning thriller, right up until the too-pat ending that didn’t fit at all with the rest of the book, but it’s still a worthy read, and I’ll definitely be looking into some of Bohjalian’s other novels. 3.5 stars

NetGalley and Doubleday Books kindly provided me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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Flight attendant, Cassandra Bowden awakens after a night where she blacked out in Dubai to find the man she spent the night with is dead. She flees the hotel room and returns to her hotel to get on a flight to Paris. Cassie does not remember what happened the prior evening and is not 100% sure she didn't kill the man. She is pretty sure she didn't as she does stupid things when she drinks, but has never done dangerous things previously.

A murder investigation is in the forefront and Cassie is doing everything she can to cover her tracks. Being questioned by the FBI, Cassie finally admits she knows the murdered man and had a one night stand with him.

In Bohjalian's normal vain, nothing is what it seems and the twists keep coming right until the very end.
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I was given a digital copy of this from Netgalley for review. I enjoyed this one. It kept me interested and was a pretty quick read. Well written, and contains both a compelling plot and an interesting protagonist.  I like books that can deliver both.
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This book was absolutely thrilling without haunting my dreams. It’s an intriguing premise - a flight attendant wakes up from a drunken night next to a murdered man. Did she do it? The plot was woven perfectly so that even though every page wasn’t riveting, I always wanted to keep going. Wondering if I had already figured it out myself (I hadn’t). Highly recommend!! This book sets itself apart from other in the genre because it isn’t too gorey or confusing but is absolutely intriguing from beginning to end!
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This book had an amazing first couple of chapters that just set up the rest of the novel. I mean, you're thrown right into the middle of the action as Cassandra wakes up next to a dead body - yes, a dead body.

Cassandra is a flight attendant (and barely functional alcoholic) who wakes up one morning in Dubai and discovers that the guy she slept with the night before has been slaughtered beside her. She makes a quick decision to cover her presence up and leave him there. Then, things begin to pick up as authorities investigate the death of the American hedge fund manager and Cassandra finds herself navigating the inquiry.

I'm not usually one for international crime-type novels, but this one was great, largely in part due to the characters themselves. Cassandra is fascinating and seems to want to do better, but she's struggling. So are others. I don't want to give away too much.

There's quite a web that gets weaved in this one and it's really suspenseful and thrilling - with all the split-second decisions being made, anything can go wrong or right at any point.

It would have been a five-star read, if not for the ending. It felt a little rushed and some stuff came out of nowhere. But I loved the majority.

Fans of suspense and crime stories will really enjoy this one.
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I received this book as an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

I thought the Flight Attendant was an okay read, my main complaint was that I just didn’t like the main character. I know she has a drinking problem and that isn’t really what bothered me about her, it was just her personality throughout the book I just wasn’t rooting for her. I thought the idea of the story was interesting and there was a couple twists I didn’t see coming and then there were a couple I eventually figured out, but it still took a bit to figure it out. At first the chapters switching between characters was somewhat confusing, but eventually figured it out once I got going. I liked that when the FBI did an interview the chapter was the interview log, that was just something different that you don’t see in books.

I thought the writing was well done, there were no grammar mistakes and the story had good detail, but not too much that you get bored with it. The story flowed nicely and was a good pace it kept you guessing what the outcome was going to be and how everything was going to play out in the end. Especially with all the lies that Cassandra tells throughout the whole thing. You didn’t have much information on the supporting characters, but you still knew the part they played and it worked.

I liked the ending, it was well done and you still got a couple of surprises at the end. As I was reading it I was thinking this would be a movie that would come out now a days, so I kept imagining what would happen in the movie as I watched it. I thought overall it was alright, just wasn't my favorite. I think there could have been more done to just strengthen it overall.
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Cassie Bowden is a flight attendant known to flirt and known to drink.  Commonly known to end up blackout drunk and wake up next to a strange man in a strange city.  But this time, she wakes up next to a strange dead man in a strange city.   Did she murder him while she was blackout drunk or did someone else murder him and spare her? 

YIKES! This book was so intense and the last few chapters things went by so quickly yet tied everything up well.  I have already told several people to start reading this book immediately (if not sooner) so that I can finally have someone to talk to about this book!  I had hoped for one surprise.  I had not expected there to be so many! It does get a bit redundant on Cassie's routine (alcohol, men, alcohol, men) and a bit long-winded on Elena's background, however, it is all important in building up to the climax of the novel.  The Flight Attendant is very well written and I wish I could go back in time so I could read this book fresh again.  I would recommend this book for adult readers who enjoy fast-paced thrillers.

For those who may be triggered/offended:  there were sexually explicit scenarios, mild foul language, heavy alcohol abuse, childhood trauma, graphic violence, murder and rape. 

Please note: An electronic copy of this book was generously provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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I’ve been a fan of Chris Bohjalian since Midwives was published in 1998. While I may‘ve missed some of his books in the interim, I’m thrilled to have read The Flight Attendant so soon after its release. That I received the ARC prior to release and only just read it is entirely my fault.

Bohjalian creates a story that spans just a few days, but includes multiple continents and plenty of intrigue. The titular flight attendant is Cassie Bowden, who’s been working for the airlines since just after high school. She lives a simple life for the most part. In between flying and binge drinking, she has few lasting relationships. Unless you count the shelter cats she visits regularly, and her sister’s family.

So when Cassie wakes up in Dubai next to the dead body of one of her passengers—and the previous night’s drunken fling—she has no one to turn to. In her mixed up, hungover state Cassie attempts to manage the situation. But all she manages to do is tell lie after lie and thoroughly confuse herself.

Bohjalian effectively walks the fine line between making Cassie likable and portraying her as a disaster. She is indeed both, and very humanly so. For every time I face palmed, there was a moment when Cassie seemed endearing. Faced with a horrible situation, I’d wager that she does no better or worse than many of us would do.

I love to watch a character’s fundamental self undergo a change as a result of events in a novel. The Flight Attendant gave me that in spades. Cassie is affected to her core by the events of the story. No matter how she could’ve changed, there’s no question she’ll never be the same person who landed that day in Dubai.

Before long, Bohjalian gives the reader infinitely more information than poor Cassie has. We learn about the forces of global espionage at play. But the information comes in bits and pieces, with the points of view and timelines shifting unexpectedly. As a result, the story moves like a airplane suddenly flying without an engine. Just when I thought I’d figured out all the twists, the airplane dropped unexpectedly and one more twist was revealed.

My Conclusions:
This is a strong thriller, with a likably flawed main character. The pace moves forward evenly, and plot twists abound. I’m a fan!

Acknowledgements:
Many thanks to the author, NetGalley, and Doubleday Books for the digital ARC in exchange for this honest review.

Special Feature:
My college friend, Carla, was the flight attendant who served as a research resource for the author. She was kind enough to let me interview her about the experience via email, which follows my review on  TheBibliophage.com.
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Chris Bohjalian’s The Flight Attendant is a slow burn that has a bit of everything. We peek behind the proverbial curtain of the lives of those who fly the friendly skies, there is Russian espionage (could anything be more on-brand these days?), and the sad routine of a young woman drowning herself in drink day after day serves as both the premise of the book and as a warning. That said, for a book filled with so much, as a “whodunit” mystery, I was left wanting a little more. 
*Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
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This was a really good story, interesting characters and a solid plot. The ending was super satisfying, which isn't always the case with thrillers so that was also appreciated. It is however slow, and if you pick it up wanting a fast read you will likely be disappointed. Those who enjoy character driven mysteries will love this book.
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A decent, fast-paced thriller, with a black-out drunk, wreck of a female flight attendant as the main character. This is the summary description, in a nutshell, on the back of the book. What I didn't expect, however, was all the crazy double-agent-international-spy stuff. I see from others' reviews, this was just fine and dandy, but for me it was a bit too out there for me. There was a lot of stuff you had to just believe to move forward with the story, and the whole Russian-spy story line didn't feel very believable to me. I would have rather had a straight forward mystery, with the requisite twists and turns, minus spies. Not into spies. On the whole, I read it all, so the book did it's job in keeping me engaged. The alternating viewpoints and frequent travel probably helped that. But adding in a Law-and-Order feel, with spies, with international travel and liaisons, with drunk-all-the-time Cassie, it all was a bit much.
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There are a lot of lessons to learn from this book. One be careful how much you drink and second do not lie. Next it might not be the smartest to run away from a crime scene though I did understand why Cassandra made that decision. It was funny and annoying at the same time, the amount of bad decisions Cassandra was making. There was not much time to recover from one of her stupid decisions before she made another. I could totally relate to her lawyer and did like how she reacted to all the stupid things Cassandra did.
Still it is easy to feel for Cassie. Just trying to imagine waking up next to a dead person and not having an idea what happened. I found it interesting that she actually considered she would have done it. Her fear of being in a country where the voice of a woman is not heard, trying to decide what to do and getting all nervous was contagious.
There is another story in this book. That of Elena. A secret agent in service of the KGB. Being in the situation she was in and what that did to her was really interesting to read. Her anger was palpable and working. I enjoyed that part of the story touching developments in the secret service. It always adds something creepy to a story.
The revelations at the end felt a bit rushed. The one moment I was still in a hotel in Rome tying up the loose ends. Next it is two years later and there are still things happening. I honestly did not care much about that part of the story.
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The first half of this book was so slow it just was too hard to care about it when I got to part 2. I felt like a lot of things were repeated constantly. Like she drinks, she drank, she used to drink, did you count her drinks, oh by the way she drank. I felt like I was not trusted enough to remember things over the course of a page let alone a chapter. It had a lot of potential just fell a bit short for me.
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Through my association as a book blogger with NetGalley, I have the opportunity to read books by authors that I wouldn't ordinarily come into contact with.  Today's post is exactly one of those books by one of those authors - The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian.

Cassandra became a flight attendant to run away from her past. She exists on alcohol, drunken exploits, and one night stands. On this flight, Cassie has the first-class cabin to Dubai, and she's interested in the passenger in 2c.  Passenger 2c (aka Alex) is clearly also interested in Cassie it seems, and a rendezvous ensues upon landing.  He invites Cassie back to his suite at a swanky joint much more appealing to her than the airline hotel she is scheduled to go to. 

Because Cassie loves to drink - possibly a drinking habit - so when she hooks up, she also blacks out.  That would usually translate to a rough "morning after" for Cassie since she would have to fly back to her own hotel - no pun intended - get dressed in her uniform, and dash to the airport for her return flight to JFK, except what happens next.  She awakens the next morning next to Alex who is lying beside her and dead with his throat sliced. At this very moment, Cassie must decide whether she is going to call the police and risk prison in a foreign country, or just run as fast as she can away from this man's suite and pretend she was never there.

Cassie can't remember, thanks to blacking out, whether or not she killed Alex or if someone else could have entered the room. She tries to retrace her memories from the night before and remembers a "mystery woman" named Miranda shared a drink with Cassie and Alex the night before.  Was Miranda involved, or was it someone else entirely?

The suspense in this story builds very slowly as the storyline builds for readers. The ending was not what I suspected, I didn't expect it, and I was shocked when it was revealed.  I felt like the rug was pulled right out from under me on this one! This was my first read from this Chris Bohjalian, I'm pretty sure it will not be my last as I want to go back and read some of his other books too!

I received an advanced readers digital copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. I was not required to provide a positive review, but I did because the book was great!! Thank you NetGalley!
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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.
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This, to me, was like two books mashed into one. It started off real great; a rather harmless romp that turned deadly with the lead the suspect for a rich hedge fund manager’s murder. Assassination, Russian spies, terrorists, great elements that could have made this book heart-in-your-throat thrilling and unputdownable.

But the author deviated from all that deliciousness and instead focused on Cassandra Bowden’s irredeemable characteristics. Three quarters of the book is all about Cassie’s obsession with alcohol & incessant whining. BORINNNGG!! 

This could’ve been a great thriller of CB kept up with the assassination & Russian ties, and put the pressure on Cassie as a suspect/target. She tried towards the end but by then it’s too late to pull that part of the plot tight not to mention she added a plot twist that was ok but did nothing to the development of the story.
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Never miss a book by Chris Bohjalian!  In this book Cassie is a flight attendant to drinks to much and parties too hard.  When her drinking and sexual escapades catch up to her, they catch up big!  She wakes next to a dead man, a man who was a passenger on her last flight to Dubai.  Her first thought it not to alert authorities but to get the hell out, because she's not really sure if she did anything wrong.  In a dark tale of drunken behavior and trying to make sense of her life this book follows Cassie as she continues to lie, and yet try to unravel what really happened.  Love the suspense this book gave me.  Grab it up!!
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I gave this a good try, I really did. I kept hoping it would get better and it just never did [for me]. I have read so many good reviews of this book and was really looking forward to it and it just isn't happening for me. 100 pages in and I have to DNF.  What was supposed to be a thriller and grab you from the very first sentence, felt tepid and I had no sympathy or love-lost for the MC. To me, it almost fees like she deserves what is going on because of her destructive behavior. I am very disappointed.
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Chris Bohjalian’s The Flight Attendant is a wonderful example of what a thriller should be. I was captivated by the story, particularly the hot mess that is Cassie, from the very beginning. I couldn’t see how she would get herself out of the mess she was in, and was compelled to keep reading in order to find out.

The best part about this novel, though, is that the ending completely surprised me. As the pieces all started to fall into place, they didn’t go together the way I expected, keeping this from being a run of the mill mystery that any armchair detective could solve halfway through. Bohjalian did an excellent job of parceling our bits of information that kept me engaged all the way to the end. 

This is a fantastic story for anyone who likes smart thrillers and spy novels.

Thanks to NetGalley for the complimentary copy of the book.
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