Release date: March 13, 2018
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, already 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?
Chris Bohjalian is one of those authors I’ve been meaning to read for the longest time, I’ve heard nothing but great things about his books and was super excited that I would finally be reading one of his books, this one sounded exactly like the kind of book that I would end up loving and I had heard he was an excellent writer. After finishing and really thinking about this one before I wrote my review I can definitely say that yes, he is a fantastic author but this one really didn’t excite me as much as I had assumed it would.
This started out very strong for me, Cassie is the perfect representation of what I expect in an unlikable narrator, she’s a hot mess and she knows it, she’s unashamedly badly behaved and I liked that she owned her crappy behavior and questionable decision making skills. The premise was also interesting even though I’ve read similar books, but the whole waking up next to a dead body will honestly probably never get old for me. After the initial setup I just got bored though, I’m all for a slow burn but this moved at an extremely sedate pace and I just could not stay focused. It actually took me over a week to read and that’s a super long time for me, I’m a book every day, every two days at the most reader and getting through this one felt like work, never a great sign. It was missing excitement and tension and when things finally seemed to heat up I really didn’t care all that much and then it was just a little too far fetched for me to believe.
Here’s my dilemma; the author can write, there is no question about that and his attention to detail is impeccable, there was a lot of interesting information about flight attendants that made me keep turning pages and I always appreciate a writer who has done their homework. But I’m wondering if his style is always this way, do his books follow a similar pattern? If you’re a fan of his work what’s your favorite book of his? Because I really want to add something else of his to my TBR but if all of his books are similar to this I may have to pass…So help me my fellow bookworms, do I call this a fluke and give him another shot or is it a case of a mismatch between author and reader and move on? I hate when a book/author is super popular and I just feel like I don’t get the hype!
Overall rating: 3/5 (Full disclosure, this would be like a two from me based on plot and pacing but the solid writing made me bump it up, it was that good. Also, I skipped my three word sum up because I am just way too torn to pick three words, sorry!)