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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

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

The jumps in time and place are jarring

Any additional comments?

I bet it comes across better on the page, but I felt the jumps within the story were distracting.

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  • Betsy
  • brooklyn, NY
  • 04-10-12

It took aa long time to get "hooked."

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.

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Good beach 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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  • Nicole
  • surprise, AZ, United States
  • 03-28-12

finally a novel keeps my interest until the end

Would you listen to The Expats again? Why?

Yes, actually i've already begun a second listen. I've rarely listen to a fiction book more than once but this one is that good

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

absolutely. great story, characters are well-developed, lots of plausible twists and turns

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  • Deborah
  • Pleasant Hill, California, United States
  • 03-25-12

How can a farfetched scenerio feel so authentic

What did you love best about The Expats?

I could feel the personal tension of Kate- woman, mom, professional, wife- all tensions I related with. I listened repeatedly it was so good- I heard new nuances each time.

Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

Became preposterous at times, but I still wanted to learn about the next twist.

Have you listened to any of Mozhan Marno’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

No

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

New and welcome twist on the spy genre

Is there anything you would change about this book?

I found the first one-third tedious and almost quit but am glad I stuck with it. Despite organizational problems it all comes together well in the end. Don't expect a female Bourne but rather a reflective perspective on life at the gray area of government-sanctioned intrigue and crime a la le Carre and you'll enjoy this many-layered story.