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The expats by Chris Pavone

A gripping spy drama and an artful study of the sometimes cat and mouse game of marriage. "The Expats" is a skilful and atmospheric descent into paranoia.

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I often thought I was reading the early works of Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, and Robert Ludlum. Smart, clever suspense, skillfully plotted - The Expats is a lot of fun to read. John Grisham

Bristling with suspense and elegantly crafted, The Expats introduces a compelling and powerful female protagonist you won't soon forget. Patricia Cornwell

Spy stories need to budge over to make space for Kate Moore - mother, wife, expat and ex-CIA operative. I loved her. Rosamund Lupton

Riveting. One of the most accomplished debuts of recent years ... a worthy addition to the literature of espionage and betrayal. John Connolly

One of the best-written spy thrillers I've ever read. Olen Steinhauer.

A jet fuelled story that rockets from one corner of the globe to another, it is never less than a thrill a minute . . . An absolute winner!

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The Expats (fiction)
Chris Pavone (Author)
customer reviews (Yes)
Print List Price: £12.99
Kindle Price: £0.20
includes free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £12.79 (98%)

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Reviews from Amazon:
I found The Expats un put-down-able. 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.

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.
"The Expats" is a skilful and atmospheric descent into paranoia. Kate's journey as her life falls apart is compelling, and the novel becomes impossible to put down. Occasionally debut writer Pavone invokes memories of by the numbers spy thrillers, and the use of a harrowing back story revealed in flashback is predictable and adds little to the plot, but overall this is a welcome addition to the genre. Pavone is no Le Carre, but this is an interesting twist on an old story.


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