I think the first book I ever read by Chris Bohjalian was The Double Bind. It was back in my stint as a Community Relations Manager at Barnes & Noble. My district manager had read the book and wanted each and every employee in his district to read the book so we could hand sell the snot out of it. And guess what? The book went missing! No one could find our store’s advance reading copy and we were all supposed to read it.
I can’t even remember if we got a new copy. It’s possible that I waited until the book came out and “borrowed” it from the shelves, but either way, it was a remarkable read. At first I wasn’t super into it and it was more violent than I preferred, but in the end, it remains one of the most memorable books I’ve read. I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t read it. Just read it. Take my word for it.
So, time and again I’ve come back to Chris Bohjalian, whenever I hear he has a new one. He doesn’t crank out books like some writers, but has been writing a long time and has amassed about 20 titles I believe. It’s clear from his writing that the really researches each and every character and plot he features in his books. He’s the real deal!
And now that I look at his list of books, I’m realizing I don’t think I’ve read all of them. Which is amazing news. That’s actually pretty exciting to me! Oh the possibilities!
From the Publisher:
Cassandra Bowden is no stranger to hung over 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?
Flight attendant, Cassie Bowden is a hot mess. Really. She’s a drunk, sleeps around and it’s almost shocking when you read the book that she is even able to hold down a job. But even though she’s a complete disaster, I didn’t find her to be unlikable, just stuck in a terrible cycle. For pretty much her whole life since her troubled childhood from what I could tell.
So when she has a one night stand with a rich diplomat in Dubai of all places (evoking buried memories of Sex and the City 2) and wakes up covered in blood with his dead body next to her, it makes total sense that something like that would happen to someone like her. Best case scenario, someone murdered him while she slept off the night before beside him. Worst case? She killed him.
Under the circumstances and in a city like Dubai, Cassie has no choice but to slink away from the scene of the crime despite the fact she knows she will be identified and possibly be the main suspect. From there, the story really takes off.
The story unfolds from two narrators–Cassie and mystery one I can’t reveal if I’m avoiding spoilers. The book itself falls into an International espionage, thriller category, which is new for Bohjalian’s work. But I do think he pulled it off, and with flair! Because it’s all the intrigue of a book like that but the writing and research to back it up. I read this one the week of Christmas and kept having to set it down, but was so happy each time I picked it back up. It’s definitely a page-turner!
If you’re in the mood for a thriller complete with murder and intrigue, or if you are a Chris Bohjalian fan, check this one out. It won’t disappoint. It releases on March 13, 2018.
Thanks to Netgalley and Doubleday Books for an advanced e-galley in exchange for my honest review.