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The Expats: A Novel | [Chris Pavone]

The Expats: A Novel

Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage... and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew. She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done - playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry....
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Publisher's Summary

The international thriller that Patricia Cornwell says is “bristling with suspense” about an American abroad who finds herself in complex web of intrigue.

Can We Ever Escape Our Secrets?

Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage... and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.

She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done - playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.

Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.

Stylish and sophisticated, fiercely intelligent and expertly crafted, The Expats proves Chris Pavone to be a writer of tremendous talent.

©2012 Chris Pavone (P)2012 Random House Audio

What the Critics Say

“A stunningly assured first novel.... An intricate, suspenseful plot that is only resolved in the final pages. The juxtaposition of marital deceptions and espionage is brilliantly employed.... A must for espionage fans.” (Booklist)

“Brilliant, insanely clever, and delectably readable, this debut thriller breaks the espionage genre bounds with its American-as-apple-pie heroine... Pavone displays the best characteristics of the form and will earn a faithful and yearning readership.” (Library Journal)

“Fans of John le Carre and Robert Ludlum will welcome [this] meticulously plotted, psychologically complex spy thriller.... The sheer amount of bombshell plot twists are nothing short of extraordinary, but it’s Pavone’s portrayal of Kate and her quest to find meaning in her charade of an existence that makes this book such a powerful read.” (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (469 )
5 star
 (116)
4 star
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Overall
3.7 (392 )
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Story
3.9 (390 )
5 star
 (126)
4 star
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3 star
 (80)
2 star
 (11)
1 star
 (16)
Performance
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  •  
    cindy Greenville, NC, United States 03-18-13
    cindy Greenville, NC, United States 03-18-13 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
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    4
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Choppy"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    Maybe it was listening to this book vs. reading it. But I listened to it at 2x to get though it as quick as possible. I read this for my book club so felt I had to finish it. Maybe it needs to be read so you can figure out which time period she is talking about!


    What do you think your next listen will be?

    Something I pick and not chosen by my book club.


    How could the performance have been better?

    Maybe more of a pause when switching to a different time period.


    What character would you cut from The Expats?

    All of them!


    Any additional comments?

    I really did not enjoy this book at all, I did not like the ending either.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Friday Ramstein Air Base, Germany 07-02-12
    S. Friday Ramstein Air Base, Germany 07-02-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
    ratings
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    49
    23
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    0
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    "Kept me finding excuses to keep listening!"

    Oh my goodness, this was a great spy story! There were so many twists and turns and I kept reconsidering who was good and who was bad in the story. The narration was quite good to keep all the characters believable. The plot.....ex-CIA, the FBI, a secretive husband, cyber theft, banking (sort of).....it had it all. I highly recommend this one!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Fiona Mississauga, ON, Canada 05-28-12
    Fiona Mississauga, ON, Canada 05-28-12 Member Since 2009

    I LOVE Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    220
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, a bit choppy"

    The style of this story is that it switches from timeframe to timeframe, from a listener's perspective it is very difficult to keep straight what is happening 'now' v.s. past v.s. future. the story is very interesting, but the jumping around in time is difficult to follow.
    I finished the story, but had to rewind A LOT.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    will woodstock, GA, United States 05-25-12
    will woodstock, GA, United States 05-25-12 Member Since 2011

    I love a good story and being able to broaden my literary horizons especially while I do my day to day mundane functions.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    38
    ratings
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    33
    15
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    3
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    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Flashback Failures"

    I read reviews of this book and thought it would be worth a credit. I tend to listen to books in the car to make my commute more tolerable, in this case it made it more stressful. This book constantly jumps from the present to the past. It happens so often and with such poor description you often find yourself trying to figure out when what your currently listening to takes place in the novel. There is no warning and no description to help you clarify its poorly put together. The plot is decent but I would not recommend this as a listen unless you pick it up for a good sale price since its definitely not worth a credit.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Port Ludlow WA 98365 03-16-12
    Bill Port Ludlow WA 98365 03-16-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    8
    ratings
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    101
    12
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    0
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    Story
    "Great Book but hard to follow"
    If you could sum up The Expats in three words, what would they be?

    Intracate Story


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Expats?

    The final scene where all is pretty much revealed


    Which character – as performed by Mozhan Marno – was your favorite?

    Kate was very well done. I really connected with her.


    Any additional comments?

    This was a great book but the flittling back and forth in time made it difficult to listen to. The reader did a good job of catching the mood but it might be a book that is better read than heard.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Molly Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-15-12
    Molly Las Vegas, NV, United States 03-15-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    33
    ratings
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    151
    17
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    Story
    "Great, entertaining thriller"
    What made the experience of listening to The Expats the most enjoyable?

    The writing and the narration was great. Pavone's attention to detail and great dialogue, as well as the back and forth between the past, present, and future, kept me hooked till the end.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The dialogue and the heroine, Kate. The details about expat life were fabulous...I have lived abroad for most of my adult life and, while it is not as exciting as in the book, I definitely noticed things I could relate to.

    The plot was also well thought out and crafted.


    Which character – as performed by Mozhan Marno – was your favorite?

    Kate was my favorite.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

    Too many secrets.


    Any additional comments?

    I was not crazy about the ending. The build up was so great, and I loved the final confrontation...not sure how it should have ended, but I was a bit disappointed in the way it did. That is the only reason I am giving it a four instead of five stars.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Gail El Cajon, CA, United States 04-08-12
    Gail El Cajon, CA, United States 04-08-12 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    245
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    Story
    "A Spy story... Really?"

    I really tired to like this story but it was too disconnected for me and I love a good spy novel. The characters seems very shallow and the ending was predicable and blah! The narration wasn't bad. Don't waste your full credit on this book... wait till it's on sale if you have read the other reviews that seem more favorable.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Firebolt 11-06-14
    Firebolt 11-06-14 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    7
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    22
    5
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    0
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    "A Remarkably Creative Story"
    Any additional comments?

    This was a great story, and the narration was good, but it was sometimes hard to follow because the author jumped back and forth in time, and because it all took place in a relatively small area in Europe, I wasn't always sure what time period we were in. Aside from that, the author is extremely creative and wove a story that was hard to stop listening to! It could have just been "operator error" because there were times it really took some concentration to follow the storyline.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Victoria Barrett 07-08-14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I didn't enjoy The Expats"
    Would you try another book from Chris Pavone and/or Mozhan Marno?

    I bought this book because I read a very positive review in Smithsonian and it fits my preferences for "spy" stories. I find it extremely slow with annoying, not clever, juxtaposition of timeframes. The reading is flat and I find it monotonous. I'm 30% in and I don't think I can stand to listen through to the end.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Boredom.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    PerryMartinBookReviews 06-07-14 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    100
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    3
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    "Great First Novel Fun Listen"

    The Expats by Chris Pavone Narrated by Mozhan Marno is a great Audiobook available @Audible_com. This is a New York Times Best Seller and Edgar Award Winning book.

    Kate Moore is a mother with two young sons and a career in Washington DC as a policy position writer and a husband who works in Information Technology (IT). Kate's husband continued to perfect his craft of a Information Security as his friends and classmates created start ups and made and lost fortunes.

    When Kate's husband comes home saying he got the job he had been waiting for-his big payday-there was one catch, Kate and the boys would have to move to Luxenburg.

    Kate has one month to quit her job and pack the family up while her husband travels back and forth making arrangements with his new company. Kate is becoming an Expat and a stay at home mom, with no more money worries and Europe to explore.

    This all would sound great if Kate wasn't secretly a CIA agent. She quits the Agency to move with her husband who never suspects anything. You can take the girl out of the CIA but you can't take the CIA out of the girl.

    Does Kate see trouble and intrigue because of her training or is something rotten in Luxenburg. Suspense fills this entire book from start to finish. The listener will want to keep on listening to follow what happens next. 

    No Spoilers here, listen to "The Expats" today!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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