Cloud Atlas: Chapter Summary (Chapter 3: Half Lives, The First Luisa Rey Mystery)
1. Rufus Sixsmith is leaning over the balcony of his hotel room, pondering his death. Back inside, the door slams and Rufus starts, thinking it is a gunshot.
2. Luisa Rey hears a clunk from the neighboring balcony. There is a party inside, and she doesn’t want to go back in.
3. Luisa grabs an elevator with Sixsmith. They don’t know each other. There is a power outage and the elevator stops.
4. An hour later, Luisa and Rufus are talking. Luisa’s dad was a journalist, but he died. Luisa wanted to become a journalist, but ended up a gossip writer.
5. They continue talking, this time about Hitchcock and thrillers.
6. Rufus shows Luisa a picture of his niece, Megan. Rufus is a scientist, with no wife or kids. Just as Rufus is about to tell Luisa his secrets, the elevator starts back up.
7. A young boy, Javier Gomez, is leafing through a book. Luisa comes in and reprimands him for sneaking in. Luisa tells him that he can sleep on the sofa
8. The Monday morning meeting is going on at Spyglass magazine. Luisa wants to do a story on Seaboard Incorporated’s plan to set off an atomic bomb.
9. Luisa drives to the island where Seaboard is. She is greeted by a woman named Fay Li who welcomes her to Seaboard.
10. Joe Napier is watching several security televisions overlooking various parts of the party. Listening to the scientist’s talk, he hints that something unpleasant is going to happen and that only Rufus Sixsmith got away.
11. Alberto Grimaldi is giving a speech, saying that safe atomic energy is now a reality. He introduces Lloyd Hooks, and they exchange insults while shaking hands for the press. Lloyd is out to get Seaboard.
12. Luisa slips out into the hallway, looking for Sixsmith. When she finds his office, a young man, Isaac, is going through Sixsmith’s things. Fay comes in and tells Luisa she can’t be wandering around.
13. On the main island, Rufus is trying to call Megan. Rufus reveals Seaboard’s cover up on the faulty atomic reactor. He worked for them, and now they’re trying to keep him quiet. They trace his call, and he gets a warning to leave immediately.
14. Luisa’s boss tells her the article on Seaboard isn’t going to run.
16. Rufus is at the airport, and he sends an envelope to Luisa. The soonest he can travel to England is tomorrow.
16. Luisa is working at her apartment, her mother calls, and it goes to voicemail.
17. Sixsmith is reading old letters from Robert Frobisher. He thinks someone is watching him.
18. Bill Smoke, assassin, enters Rufus’s hotel room and shoots him.
19. Luisa reads about Sixsmith’s “suicide” in the newspaper, and doesn’t believe he killed himself.
20. Luisa goes to the hotel, pretending to be Megan. She gets the letters from Robert.
21. Luisa convinces her manager to do a story on Sixsmith’s murder.
22. Luisa orders a copy of Robert Frobisher’s Cloud Atlas Sextet.
23. Bill Smoke drives by Luisa’s apartments. Luisa is convinced Robert’s letters have unlocked memories in her mind.
24. Hal Brodie, Luisia’s ex, is cleaning his stuff out of her apartment. Luisa has a birthmark identical to Robert’s and keeps having memories of Zedelghem chateau.
25. Luisa travels to a protest against Seaboard, and meets a woman called Hester Van Zandt.
26. Hester knew Rufus and doesn’t believe the suicide story.
27. Security brief at Seaboard. Gramaldi orders Luisa killed if she becomes a threat. They invited her to a party.
28. Isaac Sachs, Seaboard engineer, is at the party. He leaves when he recognizes Luisa. He is being threatened by Seaboard to keep quiet.
29. Gromaldi is at the party. He notices Luisa.
30. Luisa acts the part of ditzy reporter. She talks to Fay, who pulls Isaac into the conversation.
31. Luisa and Isaac end up talking. Isaac admits Rufus wrote a report, and all the scientists were ordered to keep quiet.
32. Next morning, Isaac was supposed to meet Luisa for breakfast. Joe Napier tells her he’s out of town.
33. Napier shows Luisa around Seaboard. He knew Luisa’s father, and is upset she is caught up in all this.
34. Fay is searching Luisa’s room for the report. She doesn’t find it.
35. Fay and Luisa have dinner. Fay offers Luisa information about the report. Luisa takes the offer, sensing a trap.
36. In the middle of the night, Isaac calls Luisa. He’s left something in her car.
37. Napier overhears their conversation. Bill Smoke is on his way to assassinate Luisa.
38. Luisa heads out to her car, the report is there. Napier tries to stop her, but she drives away.
39. As Luisa is driving over the bridge, Bill’s truck sends her car into the ocean.