eBook review copy; 320 pages
The Last Flight by Julie Clark is a highly recommended novel of suspense.
Claire Cook is married to a powerful man whose family is part of a
political dynasty. From the outside she is living a life of wealth and
privilege, but away from the public view her husband is a controlling
man with a violent temper. She has the bruises, physical and mental, to
prove his abuse. He or his staff control her every move. Claire has been
working for months on a plan to escape and the end is in sight when her
husband suddenly changes her agenda. She is now going to meet with a
humanitarian group in Puerto Rico. Sitting at the airport waiting to
board her flight, she knows this change means he will now discover her escape plan and make her pay for it.
Eva James meets Claire at an airport bar at JFK before their flights. Eva tells Claire that she is mourning her late husband and heading home to Berkeley, California. Neither woman wants to board her flight and they make the last minute decision to switch tickets. They both feel this will give them lead time in starting over in a new life. Unknown to Claire, Eva had her own secrets from which she needed to escape so switching identities will help both women. When the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes that she can start a new life and assume Eva's identity.
The story alternates between the point-of-view of both Claire and Eva. After the Puerto Rico flight, Eva's story starts 6 months before the ticket swap and explains why she really wants to escape to a new life. Claire's narrative follows her as she assumes Eva's identity and tries to start her new life. Both narratives are equally compelling and interesting and both women are well-developed, complicated, realistic characters. You will be invested in the story of both women and they will capture your empathy as you follow their separate stories and timelines.
There are twists and surprises along the way that I don't want to
spoil. There were a few parts that required me to suspend any disbelief,
but it was worth it. What you need to know is that the writing is
excellent, the tension is palpable, and the pace is fast - all of which
point to a high recommendation to read The Last Flight.
Disclosure: My review copy was courtesy of Sourcebooks.