Author: Chris Pavone
Publisher: Crown Publishers
Summary: When Dexter Moore tells his wife of an opportunity to redesign a bank’s electronic security system in Luxemburg, Kate has mixed emotions on moving to a foreign country. After all, she's been a CIA agent in Washington DC for the past 15 years and her life has been exciting and totally unpredictable. Besides that, her computer geek husband doesn't have a clue what Kate does for a living.
Dexter's new position will be lucrative enough that Kate can now be the stay-at-home mom she has often dreamed about. The Moore's pack up their belongings, their 4 and 5 year old sons, and begin their new lives as expats.
It isn’t long before Kate becomes bored with the role of housewife and mother. She tries to play the part, even joins the Luxemburg Women’s Club, but living life on the edge and is much different than the hum-drum luncheons and spending time with other expat wives. It's just not enough for Kate Moore. The real plot begins when Kate becomes obsessed with her husband. Why is he gone so much? Why is he so elusive about what it is he does? And who is this expat couple Bill and Julia Maclean that seem to ‘show up’ wherever Kate and Dexter are?
Something is wrong. Dexter is lying about what he does and Kate is bound and determined to use her CIA experience to find out the truth; no matter the risk or how the Maclean’s try to deter her.
Opinion: There is little doubt that Mr. Pavone is a writer. A master of description, Pavone’s plot becomes lost in translation with vivid, long-winded descriptions of people, places and things that camouflage what I would describe as an ‘okay’ plot. The Expats cannot be regarded as espionage fiction as there are no related international consequences to Kate’s discoveries. It’s all about Kate and Dexter Moore with the Maclean’s playing the mysterious side-kicks.
I found the characters to have no real connection to each other which makes it difficult for readers to connect to them. Who is Kate? I kept hoping I’d find out. Does she like flowers – does she like sex – does she enjoy murdering people? All I know is that Kate is afraid the past will catch up to her.
I want thrills when I read a thriller. Somebody has to die, maybe a bloody massacre, someone looking over a shoulder waiting to catch another character off guard. The Expats is a predictable cat-and-mouse game that never quite spreads its wings.
Recommendation: I would not recommend The Expats for your next read, however I would definitely stay tuned for Pavone’s second book.
Rating: 3 stars
The Expats on Amazon