[[ read online ]] The ExpatsAuthor Chris Pavone – Sharkmotorcyclehelmets.co.uk

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 caf with my laptop, chronicling the everyday life I was living, and the people who surrounded me Eventually, to make it 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 about maintaining relationships than making deals, 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 And her job at 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 WARNING THIS REVIEW INCLUDES SEVERAL SPOILERS Having myself lived in Brussels for a few years with my family as expats, I ll give Mr Pavone credit for nailing those portions of the story I really enjoyed his highlighting many of the joys, surprises, annoyances and other telling details of living as a foreigner in northern Europe, which according to the book s jacket the author himself did However, while he does well with those sections written from experience, he is much less successful in those areas where he isn t an expert particulary I assume being a spy, and here follow several SPOILERS, so be forewarned His heroine Kate comes across as a moody, lonely, insecure and generally unhappy mother housewife living in Luxembourg, which is fine but then in flashback and there are LOTS of flashbacks, so that a number of chapters have to start with the word TODAY, just so the reader knows what s going on she s a super spy Jane Bond, a cold blooded CIA assassin Aside from all this jumping around in time being a major distraction at least it was listening to the book on tape , I believe this whole CIA background is really unnecessary, as I think the author could have told the same story with Kate just being a very clever and capable woman trying to understand her husband, rather than having this cliched back story Plus again SPOILER , what are the odds of a CIA assassin marrying an international master banking thief, with neither one knowing anything about the other s secret life On top of all this, while Kate may have been a good spy back in the day, she s frankly just terrible at it now Early on she grants her highly suspicious new friend unattended access to both her car and laptop and sure enough, her friend who turns out to be FBI apparently they train their agents better than the CIA does puts a GPS tracker in the car and a keystroke logger on the computer, thereby being able to follow Kate the Spy s every move Further, Kate is frequently described as nervous, panicky, etc., over the slightest thing certainly not the sangfroid I d expect from a former professional hitwoman She gets in her car without noticing someone hiding in the back seat she runs in panic when she thinks she s being followed and then turns around and wallops an innocent neighbor the list goes on and on, but you get the point.As such, this is not a spy story as it is marketed it is basically a crime story I m even reluctant to call it a mystery where one of the main characters is or was and, as noted, unncessarily at that a spy.Mr Pavone is a reasonably good writer with a strong voice, and I hope he continues to write this is his first book But as they say, write what you know and unless there s to his personal background than what appears on the dust jacket, I think this is where he got into trouble in The Expats. Should you be honest with your spouse Is your spouse being honest with you Are you SUREOkay, she said I ll bite WHY would we move to Luxembourg To make lots of money, and travel around Europe all the time And there it was, the full, unrestrained smile Just like we always dreamed The open look of a man who harbored no secrets, and didn t admit the possibility that other people did This was what Katherine valued above all else in her husband.Everyone has secrets It s just that some people s secrets are bigger than other people s Kate Moore is a CIA agent Her trusting husband Dexter doesn t know a thing about it she s been lying to him for a decade while dating him, marrying him, and raising up their two sons She will reboot herself Relaunch She will become, at last, a woman who is not constantly lying to her husband about what she really does, and who she really is.But she s tired of her job And just at that instant, Dexter comes home and tells her that he has a great opportunity to make money in Luxembourg She seizes the moment, retires from the CIA, and travels with her family to Luxembourg Kate was still getting used to the idea of strolling around a foreign city with absolutely no concern that someone might, for any variety of reasons, want to kill her.Immediately Kate is plunged into a completely different life Instead of sneaking around with a gun, under the cover of a secret identity she s playing Legos and wiping snotty noses all day Instead of coming home and telling her husband about her day at work while he tells her about his, she s anxious for him to come home so he can share the burden of taking care of the kids But he s working later and later and he s home less and less She s becoming and frustrated with the life she thought she d always wanted What do you DO with children, all the time In Washington, she d had charge of the kids on weekends preschools and the nanny had borne the brunt of the day to day child care responsibilities She d wanted time with the kids, then.But now Now it was every day after school, every evening, every night, every morning, and all weekend long How was anyone supposed to amuse them, without spending her life lying on the floor, playing with Lego Without the kids killing each other, or making an unbearable mess, or driving her crazy Now that she had what she d wanted, she was having her doubts Which had been her worst fear about this whole thing.But it s understandable why Dexter isn t around much He s settling in the new job, he has to take business trips to meet with clients Or is something sinister going on Suddenly, Kate sees intrigue and conspiracy everywhere Is her husband hiding something from her Or is she just missing her former life as a secret agent Kate was increasingly convinced that she was never going to be a happy stay at home mom If there was such a thing.This is an amazing, gripping thriller by Chris Pavone It s very well written, with Pavone getting right into the heart and mind of Kate Moore As Kate is piecing things together, so is the reader It s exciting.Kate is a strong character and an agent who knows how to take care of herself It s very exciting to be in the mind of a woman who knows how to lie, tail, shoot, fight, and kill but on the outside looks like a sweet, rich, American housewife The only problems I had with Kate s character were the following 1 There s two REALLY obvious times that she s being manipulated and she doesn t see it This really brought me out of the mindset of oh she s such a cool and efficient spy I mean, they were obvious I wish Pavone had been clever so that Kate would have seemed competent It was a pair of glaring mistakes.2 Pavone writes Kate as really attracted to this guy Bill And I had a huge problem with that I just don t buy it at all Here s some descriptions of BillOne whose entire being was suffused with confidence, flowing up from some deep well that originated Lord knows where maybe he d been spectacularly good at some sport, or he had a photographic memory, or was impressively well endowed and oozing out into a sleekness, a fluidity, as if all his gears were well oiled, perpetually lubricated and running efficiently, manifested in smooth physical movements and playful smiles and undeniably animal sexuality This man didn t run his hand through his hair, or adjust his shirt collar, or dart his eyes around the room, or run his mouth meaninglessly he didn t fidget in any way Here s anotherBut Bill was still wearing a small smug smile, the supremely confident look of one of those guys who s competent at everything, at skiing and tennis and auto repairs and finish carpentry, at communicating in languages he doesn t speak, at tipping porters and bribing cops, at foreplay and oral sexKate felt a chink in her armor, in her lifelong struggle against men like Bill slick men, manipulative men, dangerous men I m sorry, this slick Rick type of guy has NO appeal to me And Chris Pavone is trying to say that Kate is attracted to him even thinking about cheating on her husband with him Ludicrous She s seen the man cheat on his wife practically right in front of his wife And she strongly suspects that he s not who he says he is I know Chris Pavone is a male, but this is just not feasible Kate s a basically good person Not only does she love her husband and kids, but and this is important she and her husband ARE STILL HAVING GREAT SEX No woman, at least no sane woman, would ever cheat on their husband, the father of their children, who she still has amazing sex with with a shady, smooth talking, duplicitous, suspicious man I DON T CARE I don t care about his animal magnetism or how good at flirting he is or how she thinks he d be really good in bed This would NEVER happen with a woman who has even an ounce of self esteem or good sense And ESPECIALLY not a woman trained to be an intellectual, rational, cool headed agent So I didn t buy Kate s Should I sleep with him, or not line of thinking AT ALL, and it just brought me out of the story every time in cropped up.ETA My views on this may be skewed because a Bill is so repulsive to me and b she s a fucking CIA agent who should know better but I guess I shouldn t say no woman ever would sleep with this asshole Some women find slimebags extremely attractive I guess.There are some main themes that are dealt with in this novel They are, in no particular order 1 Working mom vs stay at home mom.Kate s boys are preschool and kindergarten age She works full time at the CIA She thinks that all she wants is to be a stay at home mom But when her wish is granted and she s confronted with the reality of entertaining and caring for toddlers day in and day out, she realizes it isn t as fun or as fulfilling as she d imagined I won t tell you what eventually happens, but I feel like Pavone is definitely coming down on the side of you should work, for your own sanity and the sanity of the kids side of this age old argument She used to be a person who did things Not just run of the mill things Illegally crossing international borders Eluding police Hiring assassins, for God s sake Now she was folding laundry Could her life really have become this 2 Honesty between spouses Do you owe it to your spouse to be honest with him her In what circumstances is it okay to keep secrets If you suspect your spouse is keeping secrets, is it okay to spy snoop on him her When you find out that your spouse has been hiding something from you, do you forgive him her Or is the relationship irrevocably broken These are wonderful questions and I felt like the book did an amazing and realistic job of the characters working through the twisted labyrinth of answers.3 What makes someone a good person If someone commits a horrifying act, does that negate all the good things s he s done in his her life What act, if any, is enough to negate the good in a person s life Which acts are unforgiveable and why These kind of moral questions are probed delicately in this book and I think the author does a stupendous job of tackling a sensitive subject Kudos to Pavone on this.Tl dr I thought Kate was a great, multi layered character Pavone did a solid job of writing her The book was gripping and thrilling and kept me guessing I love reading about female spies This was giving me the same thrills as Sweet Tooth, but Pavone didn t fuck up the ending like Ian McEwan did, so I liked this novel a lot better Pavone s insights on everyday life are astonishing in their simplicity and truth, and I think the book was very well written I recommend it.P.S RE READ 11 12 2015This book is what Gone Girl and Hausfrau WISH they could be.Pavone is a talented and skilled writer who crafts his chapters excellently.Here s Pavone s take on pecking, which I very much agree withIt s a slow day, Dexter said, leaning down to peck her on the lips Kate had long struggled with the pointlessness of the perfunctory peck, but she could never bring herself to tell Dexter to cut it out She knew she d have a hard time articulating her antipathy, and was afraid she d come off as unloving, despite her admittedly contrarian opinion that it was the perfunctory peck itself that was unloving So she didn t say anything, and pecked right back.Also, the book is genuinely funny Pavone is a witty writer, I was laughing out loud than once.Chris Pavone also writes an amazingly believable woman character here This is what I m talking about when I say that men CAN write real and believable females.EXCELLENT BOOK, and the rare one that I would recommend to ANYONE Male, female, young, old, gay, straight, white, Latino, black, Asian, people who like mysteries, people who hate mysteries, ANYONE Very pleasing and well put together book.However, I still can t bring myself to give this five stars as I am still reeling from Kate a CIA agent missing two very important and obvious clues that this reader who is about as far from a CIA agent as one could get noticed right away In case you re wondering, I m talking about view spoiler Julia bugging Kate s car and computer hide spoiler Presumably the main purpose of a thriller is to provide thrills unfortunately, this one does not I have no earthly idea why John Grisham s blurb compares it to the early works of Ken Follett, Frederick Forsyth, and Robert Ludlum because not only is it not in the same league, it s not in the same sport Christopher Reich s blurb makes the claim that the book is a jet fueled story that rockets from one corner of the globe to another This is curious characterization of a book where the action almost entirely takes place in Luxembourg, France, and Switzerland, with the occasional flashback to Washington, D.C and New York and occasional weekend trip to various other European cities And it is anything but jet fueled, quite the opposite it is slow and plodding to a deadly degree.The story concerns a middle class married couple Kate and Dexter with two kids who move to Luxembourg as a result of a job opportunity for the husband This gives Kate the opportunity to quit her work as a CIA agent and settle into a new life as an expat housewife without ever having to reveal her secret professional life to Dexter Of course, it goes without saying that Dexter harbors a secret or two himself shades of that tepid Brangelina movie Mr and Mrs Smith Their story flips back and forth between the present, and two years previously In the present, they are living in France and Kate runs into a friend from Luxembourg who is not really a friend, but some kind of agent sent to track her and Dexter down The two years ago sections are the bulk of the book, and detail the family s move to Europe, and the gradual revelations of truth that eventually tie into the present It s a clunky narrative method, with the two timelines cut and pasted back and forth in a vain attempt to create some kind of narrative tension.Unfortunately, most readers will have a reasonably good idea of Dexter s revelation is going to be, so we re left waiting, and waiting, and waitingfor Kate to catch up Meanwhile, we roll around in Kate s head as she struggles to figure out her new life and her husband s odd job There are some nice moments when we see Kate struggling with her deception, and trying to convince herself to tell Dexter about herself and what she knows about him But even that is just a typical portrayal of a marital deception writ large There are a few scenes here and there that unfold quite nicely, for example, a gathering of ex pat mothers having coffee and babbling about nothing, or Kate s acquisition of a gun from a Scottish pimp in a brief trip to Amsterdam.However it s not until the very end of the book that the deceptions start to fall away and the action picks up, and Kate and Dexter confront the other s secret side, and have to work together Only then can a very elaborate David Mamet like con artist plot start to unfold This is all reasonably nifty, but even here, the two timelines create a narrative choppiness that slows the pace down In the end, the whole enterprise felt rather thin and artificial, which left me thinking that this might be the kind of book that is actually better as a slick Hollywood film I wouldn t be surprised if we get the chance to find out in about three years. I was excited to read this book given all the good press which it had received And I had not read a top notch spy novel in quite some time By the time I finished this book, however, I concluded that I had read a good spy novel but not a very compelling one First of all, the story was written through the eyes of Kat or Kate , a former CIA agent who quits her career and moves to Luxembourg with her husband and two small children She then begins to discover that her husband is not entirely what he seems which is also the case with many of the other people she encounters along the way It s a unique premise and there is much to like about the story, but as much as the author tries, the main character does not seem genuine to me And for me, if the protagonist doesn t ring true, then the rest follows suit None of the characters are developed all that well, and as a result, if when something really good or really bad happens, you re not particularly moved Second, the ending is a let down After investing so much time and energy into reading an interesting but somewhat convoluted plot, to just wrap it all up into a neat and tidy bundle at the very end is a bit of an affront. How can there be so much difference of opinion about the same book Simple it s all in what you see in it If you re looking for a spy thriller, you re going to be a bit disappointed Yes, this is about covert ops and cyber crime, but that s almost incidental What the story is really about is secrets What do you do when you have secrets How do you act How do you feel How long do you keep them How do you reveal them What if you know someone s secret but have to act as if you don t And most of all, is it ever all right to keep secrets from your spouse Unlike some people, I liked the main character, although I did find it hard to reconcile her being married with children with being an assassin I can t judge how accurate the spy details were, but the parts about living in a different culture being an expat seemed entirely believable I did find it hard to keep straight what city the action was taking place in and when exactly things were supposed to have happened But overall I found these to be minor annoyances since the book wasn t really about solving a mystery as much as it was about one woman trying to make sense of her life. I received this book as a Firstreads novel and I m so glad I was given the opportunity to read it As an Expat myself, I was especially intrigued by the parallels I could draw with the author having myself spent 2 years in the Netherlands The descriptions of Amsterdam and the Dutch were spot on Down to the minutest detailit was neat to read that the author s first impressions of the canals, the cobblestoned streets, the parking proceduresequalled ours To quote a paragraph from the book The canals of Amsterdam shimmered in the cold night, the water forming a rippling blanket of pinpoints of light, reflections from the streetlamps, restaurants, bars, houses All the houses blinds were undrawn, curtains open, people sitting in their living and dining rooms, reading the newspaper or drinking a glass of wine, family gathered around the dinner table, children watching television, all if it on display to neighbors, to strangers, to the world BRAVO I couldn t have described it better myself Not to mention, when our friends ask us about what was noteworthy about living in the Netherlands we usually reply, It s like living in the land of 6 ft blond haired, blue eyed giants who all own and ride a bike, smoke fags, and never draw their bay window curtains in the eveningsit was like living in a fish bowl I swear, we were the only ones who drew our curtains once dusk came in the evening Right off, the author begins to weave a story that will slowly unravel as it is being knit We are introduced to Kate and Dexter who are preparing to make a transfer to Luxembourg due to Dexter s employer Little do we know at that time of the double lives both Kate and Dexter are livingand the secrets they each are hiding from each other As the story unfolds, look outyou just might slide off your seat WONDERFUL suspense, mystery and intrigue that will leave your brain thinking about the WHO dun it s and the WHO S involved.and STILLthe ending will leave you gasping in surprise I thought I had it all figured out until the very last pages and then.Oh MY GOSH I loved to read about Kate s difficulty adjusting to the routines of living in a new country and being the Expat The language difference, the difficulty finding and then relying on new friends who on any normal day you wouldn t EVER hang out with, the day to day monotony of finding your way around a new city and culture, having a husband working long and torturous hours while YOU are spending hours alone handling the household affairs including the moving and unpacking and decorating and putting together of the IKEA furniture that replaces the rentals you have while waiting for your shipment to arrive.then the moving and unpacking and decorating and putting together all of your stuff from the shipment All of this ALONEwhile at the same time discovering you really are handy with the screwdriver and that book of directions for the bureau you just built is your badge of honor for the day PHEW Now, lets add 2 rambunctious boys to that busy mother and you have Katewho like most of us Expat wives and mothers, now newly joined the club pulls on the bootstraps of her new life and struggles to make sense of her SELF, her MARRIAGE, her LIFE in another country Add to that impossible mix the fact that Kate is an ex CIA operative with a past that still haunts herand you have one exciting, riveting, thriller of a story which will not disappoint you in the ending. Wow, this book was amazing Kate Moore has worked in the CIA for close to fifteen years, but somehow managed to keep the whole thing a secret from her husband After he suggests a move overseas, she decides it s time to quit and devote her time to raising their young children, but strange things begin happening and Kate isn t sure who or what she can trust.This is a must read for anyone who loves spy thrillers, and especially anyone who loves twists and turns and lies and questions of real or not real in marriage This one kept the twists coming all the way to the end, and the setting in Europe, with the main characters jumping all over the place and each city so beautifully described, was a real treat to read Very authentic CIA writing Please excuse typos name misspellings Entered on screen reader. This book is a perfect example of why I do not put any stock into the endorsements on the book jacket from other authors The book jacket for this novel has glowing quotes from John Grisham and Patricia Cornwell among others After reading this book I am convinced that these quotes are just paid for endorsements without the author really reading this book because this book was horrible It was boring, the writing was pedestrian, the characters were one dimensional, and there was zero suspense There was an abundance of descriptions about Europe but this was not a travelog this was supposed to be a suspense thriller I did not care what happened to any of the characters in this book I just wanted it to be over On top of how much I disliked this book, after 160 pages or so I had determined that if I read about Legos yep I said it LegoS not Lego or the husband scratching the palm of the wife s hand as their secret signal to indicate they were going to have sex later one time I was going to throw this book across the room, and sure enough the author just couldn t resist and threw these overused in the case of his obsession with the proper plural form of the word Lego and trite in the case of the passe palm scratching devices in again towards the end of the novel The only thing that kept me from following through on my promised toss of this book was that it was midnight and my husband was asleep beside me This was an absolutely disappointing read and a complete waste of time The only positive thing I can say is that this book has reinforced my belief in not trusting those endorsements 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 AnewShe 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 Play Dates And Coffee Mornings, Daily Cooking And Unending Laundry Meanwhile, Her Husband Works Incessantly, Doing 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 BoredThen Another American Couple Arrives Kate Soon Becomes Suspicious That These People Are Not Who They Claim To Be, And 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 A Complex Web Of Intrigue Where No One Is Who They Claim To Be, And The Most Profound Deceptions Lurk Beneath The Most Normal Looking Of Relationships And A Mind Boggling Long Play Con Threatens Her Family, Her Marriage, And Her Life


About the Author: Chris Pavone

CHRIS PAVONE is author of three national bestselling thrillers THE EXPATS, which won both the Edgar and Anthony awards, was translated into 20 languages, and is being developed by CBS Films THE ACCIDENT, another New York Times bestseller and most recently THE TRAVELERS, an IndieNext bestseller that has been optioned by DreamWorks Chris grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Cornell University, an