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Review: The Expats

October 13, 2016


When Kate’s husband Dexter is offered a job in Luxembourg she figures it’s the perfect time to quit her job at the CIA – a job she’s kept secret from everyone, including her husband.  In Luxembourg, Kate quickly falls into the life of an expat wife – dropping the kids off at school and then meeting for coffee or tennis lessons – but, after her thrilling job at the agency, she finds it dull, dull, dull.

When a new American couple shows up in Luxembourg, Julie quickly tries to befriend Kate.  Sensing that Julie and her husband are not who they appear to be, Kate uses her spy background to delve into their past and discovers everyone, including Dexter, is hiding something big.

THE EXPATS by Chris Pavone is a fast-paced spy story that started out with a bang for me.  I found Kate’s past fascinating and wondered how she managed to keep it from her husband.  I was fascinated with her life as an expat as well, since it was very different than the expat lifestyle I’ve lived.  But, something happened part way through the book and it became a little a little too far fetched for me and, in the end, I ended up liking, but not loving it.  I think it would hold more appeal to those who enjoy spy thrillers.

I listened to the audio of THE EXPATS and followed along with the book in print.  The audio is very capably read by Mozhan Marno and her narration probably kept me invested in the book longer than I normally would have been.

I won this book from A Bookish Way of Life. I am an Indiebound Affiliate.

22 Comments leave one →
  1. October 13, 2016 6:15 am

    This sounds like an exciting book!

  2. October 13, 2016 6:50 am

    I don’t think I have ever read a spy novel. Oh, wait. Maybe some of the earlier Ken Follett books, such as The Eye of the Needle and Lie Down with Lions. It’s been years/decades, though!

  3. Sarah's Book Shelves permalink
    October 13, 2016 7:33 am

    This one has been on my TBR list forever. Did you read The Accident and, if so, how does it compare? I did love The Accident!

  4. bookingmama permalink
    October 13, 2016 7:38 am

    When you told me you were reading this, I just assumed it was a different book. I know my dad likes this author.

  5. October 13, 2016 8:55 am

    Jim and I both just finished this and we loved it. I don’t know if you remember Spy vs. Spy in Mad Magazine, but it reminded both of us of that!

  6. October 13, 2016 9:37 am

    I read it 3.5 years ago for book club and gave it a 3/4. So I definitely liked it but didn’t love it. I don’t specifically remember issues with far-fetched-ness. But there was obviously some reason(s) why I didn’t rate it higher.

  7. October 13, 2016 9:58 am

    I really enjoyed this one. I was never into spy thrillers, but this one got me started on that genre. Such a good read. I’m glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  8. October 13, 2016 10:24 am

    It sounds good to me! Maybe something happens a bit far-fetched but that happens a lot in books that I read 🙂 so it wouldn’t hold me back, necessarily. Thanks for a good review.

  9. October 13, 2016 10:40 am

    From the cover, I thought I had already read this one but I don’t think I have.

  10. October 13, 2016 11:15 am

    I liked, not loved it, too. It’s probably a good thing that your expat life was not this crazy!

  11. October 13, 2016 12:11 pm

    The label “expats” always draws me in, since my eldest has basically lived that life since the mid-1990s. His life is more the artistic one, though, so I’m curious about how the spying world is brought out in the book. Thanks for sharing.

  12. October 13, 2016 3:03 pm

    Sure, maybe

  13. October 13, 2016 3:45 pm

    I enjoyed this one too, although, like you, didn’t love it.

  14. October 13, 2016 4:08 pm

    This sounds exciting.

  15. October 13, 2016 4:35 pm

    I think I’d enjoy the film version, not much for reading this genre but maybe I haven’t read the right book.

  16. Patty permalink
    October 13, 2016 6:56 pm

    It sounds awesome!

  17. October 14, 2016 12:26 am

    Thanks for your honest review, Kathy. It sounds interesting.

  18. October 14, 2016 3:31 am

    Sounds exciting- I may have to give it a listen sometime.

  19. October 14, 2016 8:03 am

    Definitely sounds worth checking out!

  20. October 17, 2016 1:14 am

    Read this sometime ago and liked it.

  21. The Cue Card permalink
    October 25, 2016 4:55 pm

    I agree with your assessment: I read this one back in 2012 and thought it was promising at the beginning but then towards the end it goes completely off the rails. It just became insane. Too bad!

  22. October 26, 2016 10:14 am

    I think I’ve read the spoilers for this one (probably the one you are referring to) and it made me less likely to read it. Good to know I made the right decision 🙂

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