Dedicated: The Last Flight by Julie Clark (Review by Valerie Bennett)

3 min read

Rating 4.5/5 Stars

Let’s take off, shall we?

On the outside, Claire Cook has the dream life. She’s married to a handsome, charming, and affluent man in politics. She lives in an elegant Manhattan townhouse complete with round-the-clock staff that tend to her perfectly choreographed life. But hidden behind closed doors, her seemingly loving and perfect husband is abusive and controlling, even going so far as to having her tracked day-in and day-out by his personnel. And as the unsettling death of her husband’s ex lingers in her mind, Claire knows she must escape her marriage and leave behind everything she knows.

Eva, on the other hand, lives a modest and rather solitary life – by design – in Berkeley. After an incident at college, which results in losing her scholarship and needing to dropout, she meets a man who offers her a “safe” and lucrative career in making and selling drugs to the students of her alma mater. With no other options in front of her, Eva slides into a comfortable, yet lonely lifestyle, until things take a frightening turn, leaving her desperate to escape her world.

Both women are alone and trapped. But a chance meeting in an airport bar might offer them the escape they are both in dire need of, when Eva alludes to switching their tickets – and thus, lives. Disappearing in this way was never her plan, but with no other options in front of her and nothing to lose, Claire accepts the impossible choice, assuming Eva’s life and the secrets that come with it.

I appreciated the elements of foreshadowing, yet the consistent questioning and uncertainty I felt throughout, wondering if both of these characters would be able to escape their respective tumultuous circumstances. Between the undercurrent of mystery surrounding Eva throughout the book and Claire’s continued running from her husband, I was eager to keep reading page after page to learn how things would turn out for each of them. I was very pleased the author included an epilogue to answer the “What if,” question that pulsed in my mind throughout the entire book.

I loved that each chapter went back and forth through the perspectives of both Claire and Eva – and that the timelines of each of their stories differed. While the majority of Claire’s story is told over the span of one week, Eva’s story begins six months earlier. Through each, we’re able to learn about their back stories and what brought each of them to the desperate moment of switching boarding passes in the airport – an act that originally seemed unlikely to me until I understood the depths of each woman’s despair.

While I find many suspense novels stay surface level with characters in order to drive the plot forward, I found The Last Flight to be the perfect blend of plot driven and character developing and the dual perspectives added to that combination. The pace was steady with the right moments taut with tension and the element of mystery throughout.

If you’re looking for the next book to keep you up into the night, The Last Flight is the perfect pick.

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