Published: March 13 2018
Format: Hardback (Library Copy)
Tags: Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller, Multiple-PoV, Unreliable Narrator
| Synopsis from the Publisher |
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?
Keywords to describe this book: multiple points of view, action-oriented, dark
I enjoyed this book for the most part. The story was intriguing and I was curious to see where it would end. Unlike most mystery/thrillers, you know essentially how the murder happens/who did it from the start. The thriller-aspect comes from wondering if the main character will “get away with it” so to speak. Cassie didn’t commit the murder, but she fears being blamed and so runs from the scene after attempting to minimize any evidence of her presence might be left behind.
The book unfolds from alternating between her perspective and that of the real killer. Tension ramps up as Cassie becomes the loose end that must be eliminated, so the author draws you along, keeping you wondering if Cassie will survive this ordeal, both alive and her reputation in tact. I enjoyed the dual perspectives in this case. It’s used by the author to really play up the political intrigue that is the subplot to the murder plot. This book, using the flight attendant nuance, sets the stage for international intrigue. The story takes you to a variety of locations, including the United Arab Emirates and Italy. I enjoyed the globe trotting and it added another level of interest to the story.
One thing I don’t particularly care for is the use of alcohol as the reason for Cassie’s unreliability. Cassie seems just one in a long stream of modern mystery/thriller MCs who is an alcoholic mess. In Cassie’s case, she drinks to excess, often blacks out, and sleeps around (literally around the world), picking up whoever, wherever. It’s this wild and erratic behavior that is the cause of her inability to recall what happened the night of the murder and makes her doubt her own innocence. I feel like Cassie is nothing new. This main character is seen throughout mystery/thrillers and it feels a little cliched and overused. Do women have to be totally failures in order to warrant being the center of a murder/crime? Is that the only way authors can establish unreliability? I am highly skeptical of this. It feels lazy and it’s being overdone.
The writing, still, is good and the characters are mostly well developed and feel like real people. Great attention is paid to the details of being a flight attendant and creating a realistic backdrop for this mystery to unfold in.
All in all, I think this book is decent. I enjoyed the mystery and the settings, and the fact that it centers on a flight attendant. However, I am not digging the alcoholic, mess of an adult female narrator that seems to be the main choice for MCs in mystery/thriller books.
My rating: Definitely Worth the Read
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