The Last Flight: A Novel by Julie Clark
English | 2020 | Mystery & Thriller | ePUB | 4.0 MB
Two women. Two Flights. One last chance to disappear.
Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.
A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets — Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.
For fans of Lisa Jewell and Liv Constantine, The Last Flight is the story of two women — both alone, both scared — and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives.
It became our routine, to meet in the sauna every day after our workouts. Petra understood that because of who her family was, we couldn’t be seen talking in public. Even before we knew what I was going to eventually do, we’d been cautious, rarely communicating by phone and never by email. But in the sauna, we resurrected our friendship, rebuilding the trust we used to share, remembering the alliance that had gotten us both through high school.
It didn’t take long for Petra to also see what I was hiding. “You need to leave him, you know,” she’d said one afternoon, several months after we’d first met. She was looking at a bruise on my upper left arm, the remnant of an argument Rory and I’d had two nights earlier. Despite my efforts to hide the evidence—a towel pulled higher around my chest, hung around my neck, or draped across my shoulders—Petra had silently watched the progression of Rory’s rage across my skin. “That’s not the first one of those I’ve seen on you.”
I covered the bruise with my towel, not wanting her pity. “I tried to, once. About five years ago.” I’d believed it was possible to leave my marriage. I’d prepared myself for a fight, knowing it would be messy and expensive, but I’d use his abuse as leverage. Give me what I want and I’ll stay silent about the kind of man you are.
But it hadn’t happened that way at all. “Turns out, the woman I’d confided in, who’d tried to help me, was married to an old fraternity brother of Rory’s. And when Rory showed up, her husband opened the door and let him in, old boy-ing himself right alongside Rory, secret handshake and all. Rory told them I was struggling with depression, working with a psychiatrist, and that maybe it was time for something inpatient.”
“He was going to have you committed?”
“He was letting me know that things could get a lot worse.” I didn’t tell Petra the rest. Like how, when we’d gotten home, he’d shoved me so hard into the marble counter in our kitchen, I’d cracked two ribs. Your selfishness astonishes me. That you’d be willing to destroy all I’ve worked to build—my mother’s legacy—because we argue. All couples argue, Claire. He’d gestured around the room, to the high-end appliances, the expensive countertops, and said, Look around you. What more could you possibly want? No one is going to feel sorry for you. No one will even believe you.
Which was true. People wanted Rory to be who they thought he was—the charismatic son of the progressive and beloved Senator Marjorie Cook. I could never tell anyone what he did to me, because no matter what I’d say or how loudly I’d say it, my words would be buried beneath the love everyone felt for Marjorie Cook’s only child.