Sunday, March 18, 2012

Review: The Expats by Chris Cavone

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Crown (Mar 6 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307956350
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307956354

Book Description

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. 

About The Author From Everyday Ebook

“Everyday eBook.” If there’s one novel in the world that should appear on a website with this name, it’s my debut, The Expats. Ridiculous claim? Bear me out:

It’s four years ago. My wife comes home one night and asks, “What would you think of living in Luxembourg?” Like you, I never, ever considered living there; I wasn’t entirely sure where — or what — Luxembourg was. But this was a good time for me, and for our family, to pick up and move. So we did.

And so there I was, no longer a book editor and a ghostwriter in New York City, but a stay-at-home dad in a tiny city in Western Europe, tending to our four-year-old twins, keeping house, trying to get by in French. Cooking and cleaning, shopping and driving, tidying and washing, every day.

Meanwhile, every day my wife went to an office early in the morning, and came home late, late at night. Basically all her colleagues worked on the West Coast, nine hours behind Central European Time. Which meant that her meetings and conference calls started in the evening, and often lasted past midnight. Other days, she was in England or Germany, France or Italy.

Sometimes, so was I. We traveled a lot, because that’s what you do if you’re an expat; that’s one of the reasons to be an expat. We were in Rome when Barack Obama was elected. We spent a Thanksgiving in Amsterdam. One Christmas driving through Bavaria, another skiing in the French Alps. Weekends in London and Paris. I’d sometimes go to Paris by myself – it was an easy two-hour train ride – to get a break from the everyday grind, to walk around a big city, ride a subway, feel the energy of a world capital.

Then we’d come home to little old Luxembourg, and return to our routines, which for me included writing. After school drop-off, I’d go to a café with my laptop, chronicling the everyday life I was living, and the people who surrounded me. Eventually, to make it more exciting, I added a spy (or two). Then a chunk of stolen money. And before long my novel had turned into a full-blown espionage thriller.

But when I was halfway through working on this manuscript, our expat adventure suddenly ended. My wife had come to Europe in the first place with a very specific mandate, a mission that was nearly accomplished. Her job would soon get progressively less interesting, would become more about maintaining relationships than making deals, more about follow-up than innovation. Her everyday life would get less engaging. So she took a new job in New York, at the same outfit she’d quit a year and a half earlier. And we moved home.

So: back to my claim at the top, about the perfect marriage of The Expats and Everyday eBook. Because the thing that my wife spent a year and a half doing abroad was: working for Amazon. And her job at Amazon was to launch the Kindle in Europe. Which is to say that every day, eBooks were her life; eBooks were the reason we lived in Luxembourg, the reason I wrote a novel set there. The Expats would not exist without eBooks.

This story was originally published here: 

My Review

I read a small blurb about this book in Entertainment Weekly and decided that this is a book I wanted to read.  Then I read the blurb above and I wanted to read it even more.

I love the main character Kate Moore.  Ex-CIA now full time mother doing what she thought she wanted to do, be a full time mother only to discover that it is not as fulfilling as she thought it would be.  Or was it?  Since the author took this part of his novel from his real life you really feel that you know what it is like to live the life of an expat in Europe.  I love that it is set in interesting!

This book is an espionage thriller without the political overtones that can sometimes drag these books down.  I loved all the twists and turns that keep the reader constantly guessing. Another main theme in this novel is, how well do really know each other...even the person we are married to?  The amount of deception in this novel is incredible.  The surprises never stopped coming in this excellent exciting read.

So this is the debut novel of Mr. Pavone and I cannot wait to see what he writes next.  I highly recommend this incredibly enjoyable read.  Outstanding!

1 comment:

  1. New follower, found you from Alison's blog.

    I really want to read this one also. I read my first Espionage book this year and it was thrilling, Department Thirteen by James Turner.

    My blog if interested