The Flight Attendant Book Review

The Flight Attendant Book Review

Title: The Flight Attendant
Author: Chris Bohjalian
Published: March 13, 2018, Doubleday
No. of Pages: 368
Cover Price: $26.95 Hardcover, $12.99 Kindle

Award-winning and New York Times Bestselling author, Chris Bohjalian, has released The Flight Attendant, a thriller. In this novel, Cassie Bowden, who is an alcoholic, wakes up from a alcoholic blackout after meeting up with a passenger and spending the night. The problem is that the passenger is dead - he has had his throat slashed - and Cassie is covered in blood. Rather than reporting the incident as she should have, she showers, wipes the room down, and goes back to the crew hotel. Unfortunately, she is caught on camera and now becomes a suspect in the passenger’s murder. Things get worse, since Cassie continues to drink, and she lies (she admits to being an excellent liar). Unfortunately, she is the subject of social media and her pictures are in the national newspapers. The assassin, a Russian woman named Elena, didn’t kill Cassie because she didn’t think it was necessary, and because she knew Cassie wouldn’t remember anything because of her intoxication. However, Elena’s handlers disagree with her judgment and send her back to murder Cassie.

One thing is certain, Bohjalian does his research. As a flight attendant myself, I was surprised to find that the information, lifestyle, and scenarios ring true; although most real-life flight attendants do not have such loose morals as Cassie Bowden, the little things, like what we do on layovers and how things are referred to on the airplane are right on. Bohjalian is an excellent storyteller, and develops his characters into believable individuals. He skillfully builds palpable suspense, and leaves readers having difficulty putting the book down.

His knowledge of the disease of alcoholism is also right on; sobriety isn’t what those unfamiliar with it believe, and Cassie is a classic alcoholic with the classic excuses and behaviors of someone who hasn’t yet hit rock bottom and isn’t ready to give up everything to become sober.
All told, The Flight Attendant is an excellent, edge-of-your seat novel written by an experienced author who gets his facts right. It is recommended for thriller aficionados who want to be entertained, as well as those who like to learn a little while reading. Of course the book is fiction, but the fictional characters interact with the FBI, Russian intelligence, the airlines, and others in true-to-life situations.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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