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Book review: The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian

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Posted on March 19, 2018 |
By Becky Dayton



Flight Attendant web.jpg

(Doubleday)

When you’re a novelist living in rural Vermont who writes a New York Times bestseller every year, you fly a lot. When you fly a lot, you come to wonder about the lives of the women and men in all those galleys and cockpits. And when you’re Chris Bohjalian, your curiosity is intense and enthusiastic, its findings subject to, shall we say, dramatic enhancement.

Take, for example, the titular flight attendant at the center of Bohjalian’s newest novel. Cassandra Bowen awakens, head throbbing, shame rising even before her gruesome discovery, beside a nearly decapitated corpse in a swank Dubai hotel suite. The last she can remember is drinking expensive vodka with the handsome, young financier who’d been seated in 2C and his friend Miranda. He is now very dead, Cassandra can’t imagine she did it, and there’s no sign of the other woman. Action ensues, of course: the FBI interrogates, a Russian oligarch plots, and assassins lurk. It’s exciting and suspenseful and hugely entertaining. “The Flight Attendant” is rich with detail gleaned from years of observation and inquiry, but its real power is as a page-turner. I loved it.

 — Reviewed by Becky Dayton of The Vermont Book Shop in Middlebury

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