Cassie, The Flight Attendant in Chris Bohjalian’s new book, drinks too much. On a Dubai flight, she picks up Alex Sokolov, goes to dinner, has fun sex, and drinks and drinks. She wakes up the next morning, not remembering much, which is a problem because Alex is dead, his throat slit. She is pretty sure she didn’t kill him, but she can’t remember. She remembers liking him, she remembers a colleague of some sort of his came by with a bottle of vodka, but she left. Pretty sure she would not be able to talk her way out of this mess, she cleans up and returns to her hotel, telling no one.

Her flight is met by the FBI and all the flight crew are questioned. People remark she flirted a lot, but there’s no special attention paid to her. However, she soon learns she is not in the clear when CCTV photos of her are posted online. It’s not particularly clear, but she knows sooner or later the connection will be made.

Meanwhile, the killer, a hired assassin is chewed out for leaving a possible witness and ordered to kill her. Casie is thinking her biggest challenge is not being arrested, but really, it’s not being killed. Of course, it would be a little easier to figure this out if she weren’t drunk a good part of the time.

I guess even stupid people deserve to survive hired assassins and not go to jail for crimes they did not do, but I found Cassie to be irritating in the extreme. She knows what her problem is, knows it is ruining her life, but seems to think of it as inevitable. It is as though the word rehab does not exist, has never existed, and never will exist. Self-destructive does not begin to cut it.

The assassin is not credible. I can’t get into all the reasons why she is a terrible assassin and the resolution is ridiculous because of spoilers, but she is and it is. Nonetheless, in spite of glaring flaws, I mostly enjoyed the story. The pace was good. I loved Cassie’s lawyer Ani, the truthteller. I would love a book with Ani as the protagonist. She’s funny and smart. The secondary characters were interesting and not one-dimensional. Rome, New York, and Dubai seemed all like the same place, but that is probably realistic to the hotel life of flight crews.

If you like intrigue and don’t mind that it doesn’t completely make sense, you should enjoy this.

I received an e-galley of The Flight Attendant from the publisher through Edelweiss.

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