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
“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)
Great story. Incredible writer. This is a character(s) driven story more than action. Unusual plot and written from a amoral point of view. Really liked it. Look forward to more from writer.
My one criticism is that the story keeps going back and forth over a 2 or 3 year period. In the written form of the book these delineations are probably separated by spacing between paragraphs. This creates a problem when it is being read because you have no idea sometimes or at first if the story has shifted to a different period in time. Wish there was a way to let the listener know this so we are not left guessing or lost sometimes.
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!
Something I pick and not chosen by my book club.
Maybe more of a pause when switching to a different time period.
All of them!
I really did not enjoy this book at all, I did not like the ending either.
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!
I LOVE Audible
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.
I love a good story and being able to broaden my literary horizons especially while I do my day to day mundane functions.
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.
The final scene where all is pretty much revealed
Kate was very well done. I really connected with her.
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.
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.
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.
Kate was my favorite.
Too many secrets.
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.
Avid reader. Even more avid listener. I enjoy thrillers, sci-fi, fantasy, non-fiction .... just about everything.
I would change two things:
1. The author's obvious disdain for housewives. The main character's hatred of being a wife and mom is so obvious and cliched that it's nearly painful to listen to.
2. The interminable lists. Every other chapter is full of almost a bulleted list of descriptors. For example:
Kate stands in the French doors of the sitting room; rugs piled upon rugs, wedding cake moldings, shelves filled with books and bowls, vases with cut flowers, ornate frames for small oil paintings, distressed gilt-edged mirrors .... and on and on and on and on. It's almost too much to handle. This would probably be easier in a printed book that you could skip over the endless, list-style descriptions of nearly EVERYTHING, but in an audiobook, it's very hard to get through.
I really enjoyed the Travelers, but this one was a bit difficult to get through. I will very carefully consider various reviews before I listen to another.
Her narration was great, female voices were excellent; but like many male narrators that butcher female voices, she butchered the male voices.
No. This one was quite enough.
This book was a huge disappointment, especially after reading the rave reviews. I only listened to the whole thing because I got it for a roadtrip; otherwise, I wouldn't have wasted my time.
The book is slow. So slow, that 4 hours in, I still didn't know what the point was.
There's no character development. You don't feel or empathize with any of them.
My main problem, though, was the storyline. The book jumps around from place to place and different times, no transitions. One minute, she's sitting at a table having dinner in Paris. The next, she's sitting in an office in DC talking to her boss, in the future. Back in Paris, Luxemborg, St Tropez, Amsterdam, flipping cities and timelines.
This is terrible combined with the narration; there was no distinguishing of time and place, no audible pauses. It's difficult to tell when she's doing dialogue or Cate's inner monologue.
More on the places - they spend the book living in beautiful, picturesque European cities. There is no description of that; the narrator merely namedrops the names of neighborhoods, restaurants, museums without painting a picture of where these characters are at.
Finally, the ending is terrible. One of those books where the last 30 minutes, the main character sits down and explains everything that happened.
This book is no mystery, it's not a thriller, it's about very boring and shallow white people committing very boring white collar crime.
Don't waste your time.
Fun plot, great characters, and many plot twists. I hated to put this book down. My bookclub will have a great time discussing this book.
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