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The Flight Attendant by Chris Bohjalian takes the unreliable narrator trope and does something completely new and surprising. Cassandra Bowden is a flight attendant and an alcoholic. Blackouts & hook ups with strangers are a normal occurrence in her life, The book starts with Cassie waking up in a hotel room that is not hers, with a man she recognizes from first class on her flight to Dubai the night before. Just one thing...he's dead and she doesn't remember the night before.
This kicks off a twisty plot, full of suspense and enough empathy for you to feel for Cassie while also completely loathing her choices. She lies to the police, the FBI, her sister, her coworkers. And trying to figure out the big question of if she didn't kill this guy, then who did and are they coming for her?
The unreliable narrator has become the new big thing since Gone Girl exploded a few years ago. Inevitably, any book with a reliable narrator is compared to Gone Girl, just like any dystopian with a female main character is compared to The Hunger Games. The Flight Attendant takes this person who is self destructive to the extreme, who has a good heart and good intentions, but inevitably turns back to alcohol and one night stands. It's so easy to take a novel in the genre and just follow the same old touch points, but this book completely surprised me. I was hooked from the beginning and could not wait to see how the plot was resolved. I'm still thinking about it months later.
I read a lot of thrillers (sue me, I'm a true crime nerd so this is right up my alley fiction-wise) and this is one that really stands out in the genre. It goes places I didn't expect and kept me hooked for an entire day (I literally could not put it down). Definitely snag a copy ASAP and thank me later.
*A copy of this book was provided to me for free by the publisher. It did not influence my review. Thank you Doubleday!*