Mar 14, 2012

Book Review: The Expats by Chris Pavone

Title: The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone
Publisher: Crown Publishing; March 6, 2012
Genre: suspense
Objective rating: 4/5

She knew why she was picking a fight: because she was furious, because the FBI and Interpol were for some reason in her business, because she'd once made a horrible decision that would haunt her forever, and because the one person in the world she'd trusted without reservation was lying to her.

Perhaps his lie was about something benign. And maybe his lying had nothing to do with her anger. (ch. 16)

About the book: Kate Moore quit her job but didn't tell her husband Dexter the real reason why. She had also kept her real job a secret from him for 15 years. When they move to Luxembourg for Dexter's new job with a private bank, Kate has to reinvent herself as a stay at home wife and mom, a job she finds more and more tedious as time goes on.

When another expatriate American couple, Julia and Bill, make their acquaintance and insist on becoming their friends, Kate becomes suspicious of their motives and begins her own investigation of them. She then begins to wonder about her husband Dexter, begins to spy on him, go through his papers, find out new things about him. She feels nothing may be what they seem on the surface. Maybe Dexter has secrets, just as she herself has had for many years.

This is really a story about the two American couples, expatriates, how their relationship develops, how their past seems to catch up with them, how their secrets are gradually revealed to show what and who they really are.

Comments: I can't say more in detail without giving away the plot and spoiling the book for readers. The novel reads like a spy novel but is also a novel about secrets people live with, hiding them even from their loved ones. The book held my interest throughout, although the ending was a little long, the plot unfolding slowly in dialogue, although in a very realistic way.

I enjoyed the descriptions of the European cities that Kate and Dexter and their children visit, the old world atmosphere, the dank weather in winter, and more. I recommend the book for lovers of Europe and lovers of suspense.

I received a complimentary review copy of this book.


Judith / Leeswammes said...

Sounds like a fun book. The combination of people's relationships and spy-novel appeals to me.

You might like The Good Thief's Guide to Amsterdam by Chris Ewan, too. No couples, but a capital city in Europe, a funny story.

Judith / Leeswammes said...

Oh, here's the link to my review of that book:

TheBookGirl said...

I don't usually read much in this genre, but the descriptions of the European cities interests me...I'll have to check this one out further.

stacybuckeye said...

This looks like one I'd like. Suspense with some meat to it :)

Mystica said...

It certainly sounds interesting.

Lisa said...

This sounds like a unique and really interesting story. Thanks for the review and bringing it to my attention!

Staci said...

This one sounds like it could be very the whole spy aspect of it!

Unknown said...

This sounds interesting. Haven't read a good spy type book for awhile. Might keep my eye out for this one.

I Thought You Said This Would Work by Ann Garvin: Sunday Salon

  The title of this book  made me choose it, and I'm not disappointed so far. I Thought You Said This Would Work   by Ann Garvin Publish...