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The Accident [Hardcover]

Christopher Pavone
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)

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Book Description

11 Mar 2014

From the author of the New York Times-bestselling and Edgar Award-winning The Expats
As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.

Over the course of one long, desperate, increasingly perilous day, these lives collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril.  The rich cast of characters—in publishing and film, politics and espionage—are all forced to confront the consequences of their ambitions, the schisms between their ideal selves and the people they actually became.

The action rockets around Europe and across America, with an intricate web of duplicities stretching back a quarter-century to a dark winding road in upstate New York, where the shocking truth about the accident itself is buried.

Gripping, sophisticated, layered, and impossible to put down, The Accident proves once again that Chris Pavone is a true master of suspense.

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 385 pages
  • Publisher: Crown Publishing Group (NY) (11 Mar 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0385348452
  • ISBN-13: 978-0385348454
  • Product Dimensions: 23.5 x 16.2 x 3.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,038,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Chris Pavone grew up in New York City, and attended Midwood High School in Brooklyn and Cornell University. He worked at a number of publishing houses over nearly two decades, most notably as an editor at Clarkson Potter, where he specialized in cookbooks; in the late nineties, he also wrote a little (and mostly blank) book called The Wine Log. His first novel, The Expats, released in the U.S. and the U.K. in early 2012, was an instant New York Times bestseller, and is being published in fifteen languages on five continents, and developed for film. Chris is married and the father of twin schoolboys, as well as an old cocker spaniel, and they all live in Greenwich Village and the North Fork of Long Island.

Product Description


If you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year. (Stephen King)

Chris Pavone is the new best thing. The Accident proves the promise of The Expats. It is as intelligent and timely as it is relentless and gripping. Pavone is going to be around for a long time and now is the time to jump on the train. (MICHAEL CONNELLY)

Unputdownable ... Pavone [is] a reliable new must-read in the world of thrillers. (The New York Times)

A propulsive A-train of a thrill ride and [a] worthy successor to Pavone's debut, destined to make readers as compelled to turn its pages as Isabel and her colleagues are to publish the manuscript that spawned it. (The Los Angeles Times)

A fast-paced, twisting, smart follow-up to The Expats. Cleverly plotted, filled with surprises, a terrific read. (WILLIAM LANDAY, author of Defending Jacob)

A dizzyingly good follow-up to The Expats. The dark eruption of long-buried secrets, complex betrayals further snagged by sex and greed, and eleventh-hour desperate gambits for reinvention all propel a whirlwind story that will keep you up way past your bedtime. Crafty, stylish, satisfying. (PAULA McLAIN, author of The Paris Wife)

Chris Pavone's debut novel The Expats knocked readers on their ear with its superbly plotted, surprise-packed authority and it's a pleasure to find that its follow-up is every bit as accomplished...It is not just a strong successor to The Expats but a complex and involving novel in its own right. With just two books Chris Pavone has put himself in the upper echelons of the pulse-racing fraternity. (Barry Forshaw Daily Express)

'A breathless tale of a damning biography of a media tycoon - featuring murder and national cover-ups.' (Shortlist)

Brilliantly, the dastardly machinations, the devious ploys, the breathless hounding and the revealing of the truth are sorted out in 24 thrill-packed hours. Awesome. (Jon Wise Sport)

'A serpentine, sharp-edged thriller about a book that could end the career of one of worlds great media moguls.Former publishing editor Pavone piles twist upon twist, double-cross upon double-cross, but the resolution is sinuous and elegant.' (Geoffrey Wansell Daily Mail)

'Chris Pavone's thriller debut, The Expats, promised well. His second, The Accident fulfils that expectation. It's a breathless read.' (Marcel Berlins The Times)

The book-within-a-book format provides the highly engaging vehicle that drives The Accident, a page-turner that shows how writing can be the most dangerous act of all. 'Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?' asked Jean Renoir, the epigraph to this hair-raising follow-up to The Expats, which examines success and failure within the writing world. (Anita Sethi Metro 2014-03-27)

Well written, well thought out and incredibly exciting, this is one to look out for. (Victoria Clark The Lady 2014-03-14)

Tense and stylish. (Liz Smith My Weekly 2014-03-25) --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

Book Description

From the author of the Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller The Expats, comes a riveting time-bomb of a thriller. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Hard work, no fun 16 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a frightfully clever book, too clever by half. I can imagine the author had huge pieces of paper mapping the clever twists and turns as he wrote the text. But there are two major problems: none of the characters grabs the emotions, if they die they die and they do so in droves, so much death it becomes farcical. Secondly, most of us can take a flash back or two as a technique but every few pages and switching between characters' history? Suffice it to say I skipped pages of dull text in case there really was something gripping going on. What a relief to get to the The End. Not a path on Pavone's first book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
This story started well enough setting out a decent plot however, that is where the the disappointment and frustration set in. I have not read a book like this for a long time, abruptly flitting about from character to character and present to past. This for me was very disjointed and did not make for an enjoyable read. It is also very disheartening as the storyline is actually very good with some good twists, but the entertainment is destroyed by the writing style.

Isabel Reed is a literary agent presented with a manuscript from an anonymous author. The author has written a revealing account of the life of a media mogul who appears to have friends who will go to extremes to prevent the publication of the book. Who will win the day and what is the truth is such hard work to find out it does not get my recommendation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars BEWARE OF UNAUTHORIZED BIOGRAPHYS 17 May 2014
By Red Rock Bookworm TOP 1000 REVIEWER
What author Chris Pavone gives us in his new novel "The Accident" is a series of "ones". One day in the lives of a group of inter-related characters , one explosive non-fiction manuscript that threatens the very lives of many of these individuals, and one ruthless media mogul and his assorted cronies bent on keeping the manuscript from ever being published. Unlike Pavone's first novel "The Expats" which dealt primarily with spies, this story is set in the world of publishing with side trips into political maneuvering and dirty dealing performed under the guise of national security.

It appears that the world of publishing is filled with individuals who will do whatever it takes to survive in a cut-throat business. (Ditto for CIA and FBI operatives.) From New York literary agent Isabel Reed and her assistant Alexis to owner/publisher Brad McNally and his editor Jeffrey to subsidiary rights director Camilla Glyndon-Browning, each sees the anonymous submission as a ticket to success, while CIA Copenhagen station chief Hayden Gray is trying desperately to hold on to his own "golden ticket."

Although all the action takes place in one day it does initially take a bit of concentration to keep the cast straight since the author moves back and forth in time via the various characters recollections of old secrets and lies and more recent revelations. No spoilers here but I will say that the end of this book contains an extra layer of complexity that elevates the story from just average to mildly satisfying. 31/2 stars
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The Accident 28 Mar 2014
The Accident follows Chris Pavone’s hugely successful debut novel The Expats, and charts the severe ramifications of an inflammatory manuscript called The Accident. The action begins when Isabel Reed, one of New York’s foremost literary agents comes into possession of the document, which directly threatens Charlie Wolfe, a prominent and powerful media mogul with political aspirations. Its pages detail his involvement in the death of a young woman after a night of drunken antics while Wolfe was a college student. For many years Charlie’s father Preston, a former deputy director of the CIA, has covered up the events of that fateful night, paying off Charlie’s accomplice Dave to the tune of $1 million. However, Dave can remain silent no longer and fakes his own suicide while making sure that The Accident arrives in the hands of Reed.

Not only has Wolfe’s activity resulted in the death of a student, but his secret links to the CIA have been used to ruin many a career during his ascent in the media world. Because of its content, the document puts Isabel Reed into extreme danger too. As more copies of the manuscript start to circulate, those who come into contact with it start to die. Isabel is the sole holder of the book and she embarks on a race against time for the truth to come to light.

Set over a compressed timeline of 24 hours, The Accident reads like an episode of the TV series 24, detailing a dangerous game of cat and mouse that seems tailor-made for a mini-series of its own. No doubt influenced by true life events such as Edward Kennedy’s involvement in the Chappaquiddick incident in 1969, Pavone explores what political and social power affords the more privileged and ambitious members of American society.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Accident 11 Mar 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
This is the second novel by Chris Pavone, whose debut was the immensely successful “The Expats.” Taking place over the course of one day, it begins with publishing agent Isabel Reed finishing reading an anonymous manuscript called “The Accident.” This concerns the life story of a media mogul, Charlie Wolfe, and secrets in his life and career which threaten to expose all kinds of scandals about both him personally, and the government. Isabel’s career is suffering something of a downslide – and, in many ways, this novel has a great deal to say about the state of publishing, as well as being an exciting thriller. She passes the manuscript to her old admirer, Jeff Fielder, an editor who is keen on conspiracy theories and could also do with a huge publishing success.

The manuscript was left at Isabel’s office with her assistant, Alexis. Although, theoretically only a handful of people should know about it, it is soon apparent that Alexis has been less than closed mouthed about what she herself had read before passing it to Isabel. Social media being what it is, Isabel’s competitor, the young and hungry Camilla Glyndon-Browning, is also interested in this wonderful new work, which is causing interest without even being read. However, knowledge – or possession – of the manuscript is putting people in danger. If this is an accurate account of Charlie Wolfe and Wolfe Worldwide Media, then it soon becomes apparent that there are many people who will do anything to stop that account being published.

This book veers between the point of view of Isabel and Jeff, Hayden Gray (and Kate from the Expats) and the author, who, although anonymous, Isabel believes she knows the identity of.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars sophisticated
I bought this having enjoyed The Expats. Chris has an interesting, compelling writing style and provides a fast paced intricate plot.
Published 1 month ago by Ben
5.0 out of 5 stars Great plane read
Great characters, very pacy, intriguing. Some lovely vignettes. Don't question the plot (and its main device) too closely. But who cares about that anyway?
Published 2 months ago by Andy T
5.0 out of 5 stars totally gripping!
Having devoured his first book over a weekend I relished opening this one and was not disappointed. It is a conspiracy/murder/supposedly-CIA thriller which is set in the publishing... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Val Starling
4.0 out of 5 stars Good thriller
A good read, but not quite as gripping as his first book 'The Expats' hence 4 stars not the 5 I'd give The Expats.
Published 2 months ago by Mr. Peter Ryan
3.0 out of 5 stars Hyped up?
I bought this as my wife had been givena brief resume at teh station. It seemed OK but when i read the book, i thought, why did i bother? Read more
Published 3 months ago by Phil
4.0 out of 5 stars (Don't) publish or perish - intriguing combination of the publishing...
The book is an indirect follow-on to the author's first book - The Expats. Some of the characters are carried over (in supporting roles) but reading the preceding book is in no way... Read more
Published 3 months ago by AK
5.0 out of 5 stars Good follow-up
Following the ex-pats, a good balanced book that I could not put down. More depth than a Baldacci and I hope its not his last!
Published 3 months ago by Mr R J Stokes
4.0 out of 5 stars Sharp, smart thriller

I read Chris Pavone's debut novel, an Edgar award winner, The Ex-Pats, last year.

The Accident is the title of Pavone's new book..... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Luanne Ollivier
4.0 out of 5 stars Pavone's The Accident Is Destined For Bestseller Lists And Its Getting...
Pavone's The Accident, the follow-up to his very good first novel, The Expats, has all the makings of a bestseller. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Bobbewig
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