Flight attendant Cassie Bowden has a flirtation with the passenger in First Class 2C that continues once they land in Dubai. Nights of heavy drinking and sex are familiar behaviors for her and this night is no different. But the morning after is quite unique when she wakes in his hotel room next to her quite dead lover who’s obviously been murdered. Cassie has no memory of what happened beyond a certain point, even if she had a hand in his death. Her next movements set off a bizarre chain of events built on lie after lie.
Cassie’s one of those characters that you vacillate over whether she’s sympathetic or not. One moment she makes responsible decisions and the next you’re just utterly baffled by her behavior. I’m still waffling over whether I even liked her. And therein lies the real heart of this story. Because behind the intrigue, mystery and suspense surrounding the murder is this very flawed person who has a serious drinking problem and is high functioning despite her alcohol consumption. She’s basically a decent person, in her late 30s who doesn’t seem to have one meaningful relationship or anyone who truly cares about her but that seems to be her lifestyle choice. It was difficult to predict her next moves, which made the story more interesting. Though we learn fairly early what happened in that hotel room in Dubai, we don’t know why and that heightened the intrigue.
I liked this story a lot and felt that Cassie was as much the point of the story as was the murder and mystery. There were some twists and stunning surprises that had me go back and reread passages to better absorb the outcome, which is a good thing for me. This is my first book by the author and I like his writing style…sparse but with the right amount of details, well paced and with interesting and complex characters. The use of multiple narrators made the consumption easier, especially as they were well suited for the characters, especially Cassie’s voice. I’m still thinking about this story.
(I received an advance copy from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review)