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The Flight Attendant
Cover of The Flight Attendant
The Flight Attendant
A Novel
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A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLERA USA TODAY BESTSELLER A NATIONAL INDIEBOUND BESTSELLER From the author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can...
A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLERA USA TODAY BESTSELLER A NATIONAL INDIEBOUND BESTSELLER From the author of The Guest Room, a powerful story about the ways an entire life can...
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  • A NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER
    A WALL STREET JOURNAL BESTSELLER
    A USA TODAY BESTSELLER
    A NATIONAL INDIEBOUND BESTSELLER
    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.

Excerpts-

  • From the cover

    1


    She was aware first of the scent of the hotel shampoo, a Middle Eastern aroma reminiscent of anise, and then—when she opened her eyes—the way the light from the window was different from the light in the rooms in the hotel where the crew usually stayed. The morning sun was oozing through one slender line from the ceiling to the floor where the drapes, plush as they were, didn't quite meet and blanching a strip of carpet. She blinked, not against the light but against the thumping spikes of pain behind her eyes. She needed water, but it would take a tsunami to avert the hangover that awaited. She needed Advil, but she feared the red pills that she popped like M&M's at moments like this were distant. They were in the medicine bag in her own hotel room. In her own hotel.

    And this definitely wasn't her hotel. It was his. Had she come back here? Apparently she had. She was sure she had left. She thought she had returned to the airline's considerably more modest accommodations. At least that had been her plan. After all, she had a plane to catch this morning.

    Her mind slowly began to tackle the questions she would need to answer when she rolled over, the principal one being the most prosaic: what time was it? It seemed that the clock was on his side of the bed, because it wasn't on hers. On her nightstand was the phone and a china tray with date and sugar cookies and three perfectly cubed Turkish delight candies, each skewered with a toothpick-sized silver spear. Time mattered, because she had to be in the lobby of the correct hotel—her hotel—with the rest of the crew by eleven fifteen, to climb with them all into the shuttle to the airport and then the flight to Paris. Everything else, including how she was going to find the courage inside her to swing her legs over the side of the bed and sit up—a task that, given how she felt, would demand the fearlessness of an Olympic gymnast—was secondary. She breathed in slowly and deeply through her nose, the noise a soft whistle, this time inhaling a smell more pronounced than the anise: sex. Yes, the room was rich with the unmistakable scent of a luxury hotel shampoo, but she could also smell herself and she could smell him, the evidential secretions from the night before. He was still there, an absolutely silent sleeper, and she would see him once she rolled over. Once she sat up.

    God, if only she'd brought him back to her room. But at dinner he had slipped her a room key, telling her he would be back by nine and to please be waiting for him there. She had. His room was a suite. It was massive, impeccably decorated and bigger than her apartment in Manhattan. The coffee table in the living room was inlaid with mother-of-pearl, the wood polished to the point that it reflected the light like a full moon. There was a bottle of Scotch in the bar—this was a real bar, not a minibar or campus fridge with a couple cans of Coke Zero on the lone shelf—that might cost more than the monthly maintenance on her apartment back in New York.

    She closed her eyes against the shame, the disgust. She tried to remind herself that this was just who she was—how she was—and to ratchet down at least a little bit the self-loathing. Hadn't they had fun last night? Of course they had. At least she presumed they had. When she had first opened her eyes, she had hoped for a moment that she had only been passed-out drunk, but no, it was clear that she had been blackout drunk. Again. The difference was not semantics. She experienced both. Passed-out drunk was more humiliating when it happened: she was the woman with her face half buried in the throw...

About the Author-

  • CHRIS BOHJALIAN is the author of nineteen books, including Close Your Eyes, Hold Hands; The Sandcastle Girls; Skeletons at the Feast; The Double Bind; and Midwives. His novel Midwives was a number one New York Times bestseller and a selection of Oprah's Book Club. His work has been translated into more than thirty languages, and three of his novels have become movies (Secrets of Eden, Midwives, and Past the Bleachers). He lives in Vermont with his wife and daughter. Visit him at www.chrisbohjalian.com or on Facebook.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 2018
    Blackout drunk Cassie Bowden is used to waking up in strangers’ beds, but what she discovers one morning in a sumptuous Dubai hotel suite is instantly sobering—blood-soaked sheets and the dead body of the handsome American hedge fund manager she met on her flight over. Even worse for Cassie, the assassin who executed him already regrets sparing the passed-out flight attendant. It’s a killer set-up, and Bohjalian (The Sleepwalker) initially maximizes the dual plot lines: Cassie, flying on primal survival instinct, tries to stonewall investigators, testing the truth of the maxim that God looks out for fools and drunkards; hit woman Elena methodically closes in for the kill. Bohjalian’s less successful in avoiding clichés or in making an espionage subplot plausible. Then, with about 50 pages to go it’s as though the bell has rung for the final lap, with the author unceremoniously detonating a plot bombshell that triggers the frenetic, exciting, but not especially convincing sprint to the finish. Bohjalian’s fans will still have fun. Agent: Jane Gelfman, Gelfman Schneider/ICM Partners

  • AudioFile Magazine Erin Spencer is the main narrator for this psychological thriller focusing on an alcoholic flight attendant, Cassie Bowden, who makes poor choices in life. After her latest one-night stand, she gets pulled unknowingly into a world of espionage. Spencer does an admirable job with Cassie's character, while Grace Experience narrates scenes involving a woman on Cassie's trail. Mark Deakins brings gravitas to his limited but effective reading of FBI transcripts. It's not clear why Experience is used here as a second narrator, as Spencer could have handled the load herself. Despite a rushed ending, the interesting plot moves effectively, with Spencer transitioning smoothly between the characters in Cassie's world--family, friends, colleagues, her lawyer, and others. M.B. � AudioFile 2018, Portland, Maine

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