The Expats

expatsThe Expats
by Chris Pavone
2013/336 pages
read by Mozhan Marno 12h 27m
rating: B+

Kate Moore has quit her CIA job and is going to Luxembourg with her husband and his rising career in banking and computer security.    She tries to fit in with the other American wives and mothers in Luxembourg,  but her background is not quite the same as theirs – neither are the workings of her brain.

Kate and Dexter do connect with Julia and Bill, another expat couple,  but something feels … different.  And there are other friends, but …  Kate is also the mother of two young boys and that adds its own complications.

Could what Kate dreams up about the other expats be true?   Or is it the product of a mind trained to suspect?  On the other hand,  perhaps she’s the one being “observed” by her ex-employer – her record was not spotless.   And her husband seems to want to travel for mysterious reasons quite a lot.  And then there are the “friends” who suddenly seem quite suspicious.  What is going on???    So the reader is led back and forth,  criss-crossing over the many double-crossing,  deceit laden possibilities – right up to the very last sentence.

The gripping (no other word) narrative uses a story-backstory structure between several situations  which sometimes makes it difficult to follow the chronology,  but paying attention to the tense – past or present – will help to an extent.  Because of this and the complexity of the  plot it’s important to pay attention.

If you enjoy page-turning crime novels this might be right up your alley.  I gave it an A for a rating –  (I use A-F rating for crime novels,  1-10 for anything else.)   – FWIW – I finished listening in one day – it was that good – well, no – it was that intense.  (LOL!)

Chris Pavone 

NY Times (Janet Maslin) 

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