The Flight Attendant-Chris Bohjalian, author; Erin Spencer, Grace Experience, Mark Deakins, narrators. The main character, as the title suggests, is a flight attendant. She is not at all likeable. Cassandra Bowden is largely a drunk and a liar. She sleeps around and makes ridiculous decisions and choices making one wonder how safe it would be to on a plane if she was working the shift. On one of her flights to Dubai, she meets an American and makes plans to see him later on that night, as she often does with the men she meets. They drink, they have sex, and then she says goodbye and flies off again. In this instance, they both drank so much that they passed out. When she awoke, she discovered that she was lying next to a blood covered dead man whose blood had even seeped into her hair. The only thing she remembered, though, besides their heavy drinking, was a mystery woman who called herself Miranda who had brought them a bottle of some very fine liquor, a bottle which wound up smashed on the floor of the room. She had no memory of his murder or the reason for it. She hoped she did not do it! Cassandra was terrified. She didn’t know the laws in Dubai. What would happen to her if she called security to report the murder? What would happen if they discovered it after she left? Would she ever get back to the United States? Could she have killed him? Could she be extradited? Would she be charged with murder? All of these questions went through her head. She seemed to panic and decided to run. After attempting to clean up, wiping down the room and getting rid of any incriminating evidence, she leaves the room, seemingly unaware, apparently, of cameras in the hallways, videos that are recording her movements around the hotel and possibly even in the streets outside. As she runs, she throws out some of her personal belongings to hide evidence but also discovers that she cannot find her lipstick or lip balm with the logo from the airline. Will they be discovered? Although she thinks a lot about her predicament, she doesn’t seem to take her situation that seriously; she continues to sleep around and get drunk. When pictures surface that show it could very well have been her in the hotel with the dead man, although she had been lying and denying it when she was questioned, she realizes that she needs a lawyer. The union provided a lawyer for her, but often she defies her and does not follow her advice, endangering herself and others. Is there a killer out there? Is the killer looking for her? Is she a spy? Was the dead man a spy, a terrorist? All of these questions are plausible, but the story seems less so. As the story moves on, it turns out that the mystery woman who entered the room is Russian. Her real name is not Miranda. She was brought up in luxury, in Russia, by a well connected father, as opposed to Cassandra who was brought up in America by a father who was a drunk, and she was always short of money. The circumstances surrounding both of their upbringings shaped each of them and pointed them in the directions their lives would take. Both women had problems. The male narrator did a fine job, but one of the females so over-emoted and over exaggerated the accents of some foreign expressions that it was often indecipherable. She seemed to be making herself an integral part of the story, rather than an adjunct to it. It was distracting. The ending was unexpected, and also, almost unbelievable as the true identities of several characters was revealed. I usually wait with baited breath for this author to come out with a new book, but this one seemed a bit out of character for him and was a bit of a disappointment. I had to suspend disbelief often as the plot unraveled in implausible directions and often felt contrived. Still, if you are a fan of Bohjalian, you will not hate this book; you just might not love it.
I think a lot of people can relate to going out for drinks and waking up the next morning wondering "What did I do?" or the scary "Where am I?" Cassandra, however, wakes up to a different bed in a different room with a dead body lying beside her. Super creepy, huh?
I really liked how the author put me into the day to day world and the past of Cassie. She is a character that I know a lot of people can relate to and feel for. She is a totally wounded character and just living life day to day, flight to flight, and drink to drink. A lot of the book deals with Cassie's flaws, but it doesn't take away from the overall affect at all. It simply adds to the terror with this huge vice of Cassie's that she doesn't even understand could be fatal to her.
The whole time through this book, the sense of danger is at the back of my mind and my mind is going crazy with scenarios on how this is going to pan out.
An excellent read that I sped through, felt for the character and thoroughly enjoyed.
Thanks to Doubleday Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
I can't tell you how excited I am for these 8 reads. The reviews that are being posted all over the Internet have been great. Some of these books I have been anticipating for over a year. I hope they live up to all the hype and excitement. I have to give a shout out to the books with most beautiful cover designs; The Children of Blood and Bone, The Silent Companions and Sugar Money. Aren't they wonderful?
I had a really good reading month last month. I read eleven books. They were all short quick reads. There were no literary works in that stack so, I got through them pretty quickly. I know some of these books are pretty lofty in size and in content, but if I stay on task and read daily, I should be fine.
The Silent Companion
The Children of Blood and Bone
The Dragon Queen by William Andrews
The Heart's Appeal
The Flight Attendant
The Parking Lot Attendant
One House Over by Mary Monroe
Divas Don't Cry
The Room on Rue Amèlie
There is so much wrong with this book that I was tempted to post some updates last night but I already go to bed angry every night since the U.S. is turning into some weird hellscape so why make you all upset too?
"The Sleepwalker" isn't just a bad book, it's a book that somehow tries very badly to justify having sex with another person against their will. I felt grossed out while reading this book and almost stopped a few times. The lead character (Lianna) needs to have her head examined. There is a lack of character development for Lianna and the secondary characters in this. The writing is not good. Lianna talks like a drunken fortune cookie most of the time. The ending made me roll my eyes. I assume this is Mr. Bohjalian's way to set up the next book in this series (yes it's a series) since we find out one of the character's becomes a flight attendant (the book is called The Flight Attendant) which doesn't even make sense and I refuse to think too hard on this book.
"The Sleepwalker" has 20 year old Lianna having to deal with the aftermath of her mother missing. Lianna's mother, Annalee, goes missing and many fear that she went sleepwalking and is dead somewhere. When Annalee forms a connection to one of the detective's working the case, Gavin, she keeps finding herself attracted to him and decides to investigate what her mother had been up to. This leads to Lianna finding out more about her mother's sleep disorder which is called, "parasomnia" that manifests as 'sleep sex'. No I am serious.
I started Googling last night since I have never heard of it, and based on what I found it's rare and doesn't seem to work the way the author describes it in this book. The stories/excerpts we get about people suffering from this disorder portrays them as rapists. When Lianna gets involved with someone who suffers from this disorder and in every sense of the word is raped, she still finds herself attracted to the person who did it. I just had no words. This whole book was messed up on so many levels.
No one stands out at all and "Lianna's voice" (this is narrated by her) was boring and flat to me. I honestly didn't eve get the sense she gave a damn about her mother, she just wants to keep hanging onto Gavin even after it becomes real clear something may have happened between the two of them.
You don't get a great sense of the town/state the book takes place in at all.
If you never read a book before, you will totally be surprised about who is responsible for Annalee going missing. It was beyond stupid.