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Expats Paperback – 15 Oct 2012

3.8 out of 5 stars 1,245 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber Ome (15 Oct. 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0571279155
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571279159
  • Product Dimensions: 17.9 x 3.7 x 11.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,245 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,130,306 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"Sly. . . . Pavone strengthens this book with a string of head-spinning revelations in its last pages. . . . The tireless scheming of all four principals truly exceeds all sane expectations." --"The New York Times" "Bombshell-a-minute. . . . Pavone creates a fascinating, complicated hero." --"Entertainment Weekly" "A gripping spy drama and an artful study of the sometimes cat-and-mouse game of marriage." --"Family Circle" "Smartly executed. . . . Pavone is full of sharp insights into the parallels between political espionage and marital duplicity. . . . Thoroughly captivating." --"The New York Times Book Review" "Superb. . . . [Pavone] expertly draws readers along with well-timed clues and surprises. . . . An engineering marvel." --"Richmond Times-Dispatch" "Expertly and intricately plotted, with a story spiraling into disaster and a satisfyingly huge amount of double-crossing, "The Expats" certainly doesn't feel like a first novel. This is an impressively assured entry to the thriller scene." --"The Guardian "(London) "Refreshingly original. . . . Part Ludlum in the pacing, part Le Carre in the complexity of story and character, but mostly Chris Pavone. . . . A thriller so good that you wonder what other ideas [Pavone] has up his cloak, right alongside the obligatory dagger." --"The Star-Ledger" "Amazing. . . . Impossible to put down. . . . Pavone invokes memories of the great writers of spy fiction of the past, and he has the chops to be mentioned with the best of them." --Associated Press "A blast. . . . Pavone is spinning a fantastic tale with action that spans the globe." --"Dallas Morning News" "Highly entertaining." --"Mystery Scene" "Thoroughly enjoyable." --"Suspense" Magazine "Hard to put down." --"San Francisco Bay Guardian" "Stunningly assured. . . . An intricate, suspenseful plot that is only resolved in the final pages." --"Booklist" (starred review) "Brilliant, -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

Book Description

The Expats by Chris Pavone is the astonishing international thriller guaranteed to keep you hooked to the very last page. -- Dieser Text bezieht sich auf eine andere Ausgabe: Paperback.

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
From an uncorrected proof copy
The Expats is the impressive debut novel by American author, Chris Pavone. Set mainly in Europe, the action switches between Paris in the present day and Washington DC and Luxembourg two years previously. Kate Moore quit her undercover job with the CIA, a job that was secret even from her husband, Dexter, to move to Luxembourg with him and their young sons, Jake and Ben. There, Dexter's job as a systems security expert for banks could afford them a better income and an enviable lifestyle which included weekends in places like Paris and Amsterdam. As expats, they socialised mainly with other expats, and had soon formed a friendship with Julia and Bill Maclean. But Kate's CIA training leads her to suspect that Julia and Bill are not what they first seem and she begins to wonder: are they are assassins? Are they investigating her for unlawful actions in her CIA career? Or are they after her husband? Which leads her to start wondering if Dexter has been completely truthful with her. As Kate makes certain discoveries in the present day narrative, she flashes back to two years ago, her exit from the CIA and their early months in Luxembourg, and certain events and conversations suddenly become startlingly clear.
This novel has a superbly clever plot full of twists and turns that has the reader guessing to the last line. Without giving away too much of the story, Pavone uses the present day narrative to sow enough seeds of intrigue to keep the reader engrossed in the action two years previous. Interestingly, Pavone writes from Kate's point of view, something he does very competently. As the suspense built, I found myself more and more on the edge of my seat.
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This is not a bad book & the premise is Ok. My main criticism is that the flitting back and forth between Paris and Luxembourg is unnecessary & actually just detracts from the main plot as you have to keep checking where you are in the story - especially if you have to put the book down for more than 2 minutes! Also, I thought that Kate came across as more desperate housewife than CIA stalwart. Overall, I did enjoy the storyline - but it could have been a hell of a lot better.
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I enjoyed reading this story and would have given it 5 stars but I did not appreciate the confusing time-hopping between chapters. I don't think this added anything to the plot and I think a linear approach would have worked well. Having said that, the characters and story line are well drawn and I particularly liked the descriptions of Luxembourg, a city I know well. Excellent value for money.
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I found The Expats unputdownable. Chris Pavone has created a superb portrayal of a successful career woman who follows her husband away from job and career. Kate, though, is ex-CIA, and not just any old CIA employee, but an ex 'wet' operator, who goes through the difficult transition from professional to Mummy that so many of us have gone through - but nothing can take the CIA operative out of this stay-at-home mother. We follow her suspicions and her acute observations throughout the unfolding of the story as the tension increases chapter by chapter, all set in the context of a loving home with husband and two good little kids. And we agonise with her about some of her former activities. Pavone keeps us on the edge of our seats as the story switches back and forth in time, with questions being asked and answers appearing at different times and in various circumstances.

And I liked the ending. This is a book that has stayed with me - the characters and the plot. On thinking back, the characters are consistent and believable, something I can't say about many thrillers. Definitely to be recommended.
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I thought I was in a sort of chick-lit comic genre at first, though the cover suggests quite a grown-up thriller. The narrative technique of fracturing shards of time into present, flashback and flashback-within-a-flashback is no doubt meant to be televisual and exciting. In fact it's tiresome and soon ceases to matter. The tone soon becomes less frothy and there is a good psychological thriller here. The protagonist, Kate, uncovers many layers of deception and the plot begins to twist and turn with real cleverness. You won't care for the characters, but if you get past the first third or so, you will find it riveting (-ish).
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I really want to like this book as I can see it has potential. I have somewhat out of character decided to write a review when I am only 36% through. But I am finding it so irritating I am not sure if I'll finish. I am a pretty intelligent person but I currently seem to be spending at least 1 to 2 pages working out where and what time i am in, every 5 pages.... Luxembourg now, Luxembourg past, Washington now or past, random visits at the weekend to other countries past or Paris now...... I realise it will all become clear at some point and to be honest I think I quite like it. But seeing as I can't read this book in one sitting. I don't really know whare I am each time I start reading. Could be easily solved if the writer seems quite so keen to constantly flit about to maybe say where you are and the date at each change of venue. Maybe it's the kindle formatting and is clearer in the book? Don't know.... Just getting bored.
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