The Bottom Line: A daring, high-flying thriller about escape and reinvention that will surely inspire scores of copycats.
Last Call opens as Claire Cook plots her intricate plan to disappear and start a new life. The driving force is abusive husband Rory, who hails from a famous political family and is himself about to launch a senate campaign.
But getting away from Rory won’t be easy, as his staff of assistants and domestic helpers always seem to have eyes on her. Even a late meeting or too-long visit to the gym prompts suspicion. After weaving a splendid plan with the help of an old friend who she meets in the gym sauna, a cruel twist of fate dooms her.
Until she runs into a woman named Eva at the airport. Eva is also looking to make a fresh start. She manipulates Claire into switching airline tickets, thrusting the already-thrilling novel into a breathless second act.
Author Julie Clark deserves mad props for having the guts to set Last Flight in the present day, where it’s almost impossible to disappear without a trace. It would have been so much easier to have set the book anytime before the year 2000, and the sheer level of work that goes into making Last Call believable is an achievement in itself. That’s also what makes it particularly fun.
By the time a massive, seemingly random plot twist in the book’s midsection brings the narrative to the edge of a cliff, any reader with a pulse will already be completely hooked. Only the most hardened readers won’t be fully invested in Claire’s plight. Thanks to great characterization, Clark is sure to inspire scores of copycat novels about women who must take on huge risks to escape the long arm of abusive lovers armed with modern technology.