Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Expats by Chris Pavone

In the style of John LeCarre and Robert Ludlum comes this first spy novel by Chris Pavone.  The Expats refers to Dexter and Julie Moore, Americans who have moved to Luxembourg on business.  However, these are no ordinary Americans (Kate being an ex-CIA agent and Dexter a cyber thief) and they are not there on ordinary business.  Kate lives the life of an expat wife and mother and spends her time sipping coffee with other expats, one of whom is an FBI agent investigating her husband.  Of course the Moores haven't revealed their secret lives to each other, and the reader embarks on a convoluted journey of discovery throughout the locales of Europe.  The narrative begins and ends on the "day of discovery", and events of that day are interspersed throughout the rest of the story that starts two years prior.  Eventually the reader gives up thinking that anything revealed is the whole truth, until the final confrontation in yet another European cafe.  I enjoyed the premise of a wife and mother being a CIA operative, but I also felt manipulated by the text.  Ultimately the book is a good read, and the ending is understandable, but I'm not sure if it would be considered a "great spy novel."


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