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)
Was disappointed by this book. Written at an 8th grade level. Tedium of domestic life in foreign cities whose descriptions could have been pulled from travel brochures. Unconvincing premise.
Driving to and from work has never been so enjoyable. Traffic jams are welcome...!
The story is good, but a little lacking in substance. The narration equals this as well. You sort of expect a great climax, but my reaction was, 'that's it?'
As 'exciting' as the book.
My husband and I bought this book because we too have been expats and in many ways miss that life. These expats are nothing like us though, which made the story much more interesting than if the book were about my expat life. We certainly enjoyed the book, evidenced by our desire to get in the car to drive somewhere, anywhere, so that we could continue listening.
Like many others have already mentioned, though, the book is confusing. Perhaps this would be one that would be better read than listened to. Often we had to pause the book to ask one another "when" in the story we were. Despite that, it was a good read, and if you don't have time to buy the book and read it in a comfy chair, the audio book is an acceptable alternative.
No to the author, yes to the narrator.
The story spun out of control at the end, and frankly, became rather ridiculous.
I don't listen to books a 2nd time
For me, this was when Kate was walking home and she felt someone following her. She waited for the stalker and then took action with only an umbrella and her skills.
I thought the narrator did a fine job with both male and female voices and I never had to really think about who was talking.
All of my listening is done during my commute...
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I liked the descriptions of Lux and Eurpoe, the weather and the surroundings and all of the minor characters. I liked Kate's comment to "ham, ham, more damn ham'. This made Kate more real to me. I felt like Kate and Dex, and Jake and Ben and even Julia and Bill had become my friends by the end of the book and I did not want to tell them goodbye. I read one review that said the book was boring but I did not think so. I have recommended this book to others.
The story was well-crafted, lots of twists and turns!! Like other reviewers said, you have to pay attention and the flashbacks are a bit hard at first but once you get used to that, it's fine.
Yes, it had many aspects i was not expecting....and i have to admit, was late getting into my office because i was still listening in the car :)
The narrator was easy to listen to, a good performance.
I have listened to over 250 books in the last 10 years. I tend to listen to certain authors and try to read all their books. I listen while exercising and driving which makes the time past enjoyable.
The Expats was a difficult listening in that the time element of the story changes frequently without acknowledging a change in time period, The only time reference was to the present. Maybe in print there is a break in the type to signify a previous time period. To complicate the listening, Mozhan Marno , the narrator voice is not adequate enough to identify characters and the male voice is very false.The story plot is intriguing if you can focus on the right time line, but the ending leave one holding on for more explanation.
Very poor job
I bet it comes across better on the page, but I felt the jumps within the story were distracting.
I no longer live in Worcester. I now live in Brooklyn, NY.
Perhaps if I had the written pages to refer to I would have been able to follow the frequent jumps in time. The story was hard to believe but the author pulled that off in the end.I am hesitant to recommend this book.
The main character was interesting but the plot was a bit silly. While the first half of the book was original, the second half was dull. It was easy to anticipate the plot twists. Still, I listened until the end. If the author writes a second novel with the same main character, I don't think I will download it. This is a good book for the beach but not a stellar book that will leave you thinking about it long after you have finished.
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