Book Review: The Last Flight by Julie Clark

The Last Flight
by
Julie Clark

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Claire Cook wants out of her marriage to Rory Cook, a wealthy and influential Senate hopeful. After ten years, she’s tired of her endless obligations to the Cook Family Foundation, but mostly she’s had it with Rory’s hot temper and increasingly violent abuse. She plans an elaborate escape, with help from her friend, Petra, whose family is in the Russian mob. But a last-minute change in her work itinerary (orchestrated by her controlling husband) has her headed to Puerto Rico instead of Detroit. That’s bad, because Claire’s new identity, plus a lot of cash, are waiting for her at the Detroit hotel’s reception desk, where Rory is now headed instead.

At the airport, she meets Eva, who coincidentally, although headed back to her home in California, is desperate to escape her past. The two women trade plane tickets and identities and head to new gates. In a tragic development, the plane to Puerto Rico crashes, with no survivors. It’s possible, however, that Eva did not board the flight. Meanwhile, Claire lands in in San Francisco and, with nowhere else to go and only a few hundred dollars, heads to Eva’s house to start a new life.

This clever premise of this debut thriller caught my interest right away and I was eager to learn more about Eva and why she wanted to flee her life. In alternating chapters, Clark fills in the details of Eva’s past, with a lead-up to meeting Claire at the airport. In the other chapters, readers see how Claire manages at Eva’s house in Berkeley, a close walk from campus.

Readers get to know both women and learn of their intense need for friendship and belonging. Claire’s mother and sister died in a car crash and Eva, whose mother was a drug addict, grew up in an orphanage and various foster homes. Eva has led a secretive and solitary life and Claire, with no one to turn to, has suffered abuse in silence.

The tension in the story is driven by the dangerous life Eva longed to escape from as well as an emerging whistle-blower from Rory’s past, a threat to his campaign. In addition, as investigators piece together the events of the crash, Rory suspects Claire was not on the plane. Several unforeseen twists help explain the coincidence of Claire’s and Eva’s meeting as well as important relationships in Eva’s life.

It all comes together at the end, with a surprise explanation in the story’s epilogue.

I enjoyed reading this fast-paced thriller, although I recommend it with the standard suspension of disbelief as well as a willingness to accept that all males are evil. It would have been nice if a couple of the men in these women’s lives were decent people. A few plot holes and unresolved issues also left me a little unsatisfied. But, The Last Flight was a fun read and an nice escape and I would be interested in reading more by Julie Clark.

Thanks for visiting – come back soon!

21 thoughts on “Book Review: The Last Flight by Julie Clark

  1. The book cover looks very compelling, but the 3 1/2 stars you gave it are not convincing enough for me. (With precious time for reading, your opinion counts heaps, Barbara!)

    1. Hi Marian – what a nice comment – even though I have it 3.5, I’d say it was entertaining and a nice escape from the real world. It was also very easy to read! Thank you for reading and commenting. What are you reading right now?

    1. Hi Robbie – thank you for reading. I would have given it a 4, but some of the plot holes were disappointing, plus, maybe it’s because I’m the mother of sons, but every male character was evil. I didn’t like that and thought there should have been a better balance of characters. I’d still say it was a fun, escape read.

    1. Hi Noelle – I’m always a bit hesitant to be honest, but I do want to show my reading tastes and opinions. I think thrillers assume you’re going to suspend your disbelief. In a way, that’s what makes them fun to read, for the escape. Also, there are many other genres that ask readers to do the same – fantasy, science fiction, etc. Thank you for visiting and commenting – I hope you are doing well!

    1. Thank you, Pam. Three stars may seem like just an okay book, but I like three star reads too. This was better than that. Thank you for this comment. I think you understand me 🙂

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