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The Accident

3.59 of 5 stars 3.59  ·  rating details  ·  4,475 ratings  ·  773 reviews
From the author of the New York Times-bestselling and Edgar Award-winning The Expats

As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, d
Hardcover, 381 pages
Published March 11th 2014 by Crown (first published January 1st 2014)
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If I didn’t already know the publishing industry was filled with a bunch of crazy bastards, THE ACCIDENT would have sealed the deal for me. So, of course, I was thrilled with my particular choice. But I digress. What thrilled me to no end were the constant references and insights and foresights into the world of agents and editors and writers that is publishing.

Filled with big dreams and even bigger unfulfilled promises, the odds are stacked against you before you even step up to bat. And since
Apr 02, 2014 Anne rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2014, audio
A lot of chasing and dodging, not to mention a fairly high body count. Standard fair for a thriller. But I enjoyed this book for the very crisp descriptive writing and the dead-on characterizations of upper-crust New Yorkers in the publishing world. Or are they caricatures? Maybe some of both, but brilliant and a little bitchy in a fun way. I became engaged enough with the main characters that I looked forward to seeing what would happen to them in the end. But that didn't happen. There was no ...more
The Accident not Really Accidental

Oh wow! I could fill this review full of every single cliché on the market. The Accident by Chris Pavone is the follow up from his debut The Expats and with this one book you will be completely blown out of the water. This is a brilliant page turning thriller that leaves you on the edge right until the end of the book. The pace is breathless and stunning at the same time which literally drives you and also if you are American who do you really trust?

The Accident
I enjoyed this book, but it's not as good as his first effort, The Expats. My favorite aspects of the first thriller were a nice European milieu and a probing discussion of marriage and espionage, and this lacks both. I also found this female protagonist much less likeable and realistic than Kate: her only characteristics seem to be bitterness and increasing decrepitude, and you wonder if Pavone even likes her.

The novel concerns a book called "The Accident" which is submitted to literary agent
Therin Knite
I rarely ever DNF, but I couldn't get through this one. There were so many problems with this book.

First off, the entire first third of the book jumped around between more characters than I can name, and the chapters were so short that I barely got to spend any time learning about each one before it switched to another. By the time I got back around to the same character again, I'd forgotten half their details. Don't even get me started on how hard it was to keep track of the minor characters. T
This review was originally published to Bookish Ardour.

It’s sad, but true; sometimes I’m going to struggle to enjoy a story. As much as I wanted the opposite I struggled with The Accident. The beginning grabbed me, but by the time the story hit the flow of the first chapter it had begun to slowly lose me.

Being an aspiring author means I’m naturally curious about stories based in the publishing world and the idea of such a mind-blowing, dangerous, manuscript ripping lives apart and involving hard
I guess I had higher hopes for this book. It seems like the author tried to write a book that would probably get made into a movie one day (and ironically, the book is about a sensational manuscript that people want to make into a movie) and it's just so shallow. The book takes place in a day so the author has to spend a lot of time going into the past to explain things you wouldn't understand otherwise. I found this to be boring and took me out of the fast-paced story line so many times it was ...more
Rebecca Foster
(2.5) Not quite as entertaining as Pavone’s previous thriller, The Expats, but enjoyable for its publishing theme. Perfect plane reading, I would say. (“A cross-continental flight provides ample reading time,” it says, in a little metafictional twist, on page 182.) In fact, I started The Accident on a plane ride back in March and then, 230 pages in, inexplicably left it unfinished for months (bonus: an Edelweiss book that didn’t expire!). That’s not to say that it was boring, just that I didn’t ...more
switterbug (Betsey)
I was in the mood for a page-turning sorbet type of novel--a book that was literary, but with mainstream appeal, a story that combines thrilling, suspenseful, and propulsive tension. Pavone's book hits the spot, in ways I wasn't expecting. From the opening pages, there is a filmic cat-and-mouse suspense; a manuscript of a text called The Accident is floating around in New York's publishing world. Ambitious, successful, and quasi-successful editors and publishers, and others who are in a slump, w ...more
Lisa B.
My Thoughts

A book has been written about a powerful media mogul. It is loaded with incriminating stories about the mogul’s past. The manuscript has been given to a literary agent to see if she can get it published. All of the people who want to get it published are driven by a personal need to succeed. Most, for one reason or another, are at the end of their literary careers and want one last blow out of a book. All of the people who don’t want it published have millions of dollars to try and ge
Liz Wilkins
**4.5 stars**

Thank you to the author and publisher for the review copy.

In New York City, Isabel Reed, one of the most respected and powerful literary agents in the city, frantically turns the pages of a manuscript into the early dawn hours. This manuscript – printed out, hand-delivered, totally anonymous – is full of shocking revelations and disturbing truths, things which could compromise national security. Is this what she’s been waiting for her entire career: a book that will help her move o
Spies, politicians, ruthless business people, the CIA

“The Accident” alternates between many characters. Each chapter is told from a different person’s perspective. It’s challenging to keep all the stories sorted out. The transitions are abrupt. About a third of the way through the book begins to flow more easily as the characters and disparate storylines come together. The vague hints start to intriguingly tie together. Even before this the story is intense but it’s hard to see how the disparate
Luanne Ollivier


I read Chris Pavone's debut novel, an Edgar award winner, The Ex-Pats, last year.

The Accident is the title of Pavone's new book.....and it's also the title of the book within the book. Huh?

An unnamed author opens the pages of Pavone's book with the last page of his book..."Because if what you are reading is a finished book, printed and bound and distributed into the world, I am, almost certainly, dead."

This manuscript has the power to ruin - and everyone wants their hands on it - fo
An anonymous manuscript is delivered to literary agent Isabel Reed. It contains an explosive tell all about a well known media mogul. The more people read it, however they acquire it, the more likely they are to end up dead. This novel takes place over the course of one day as Isabel tries to stay one step ahead of CIA operative Hayden Gray, who seeks to destroy the manuscript and all knowledge of it. Meanwhile our anonymous, cancer ridden author is anxiously awaiting for the shoe to drop in hid ...more
Very good. Review to come.
Nancy Steinle gummel
The Accident by Chris Pavone is a first reads win and I'm giving my honest opinion. Isabel receives a manuscript. It's terrific and terrible at the same time. Everyone who reads it is in danger, especially if it's true. It's not a story of book publishing, though it does take you through the steps. It's a book about ambition and how easily it is to go down the wrong tracks. Charles Wolfe of Wolfe Media got his hands dirty through a drunken stage. His friend Dave and his father dug him out. This ...more
This is the second novel by Chris Pavone, whose debut was the immensely successful “The Expats.” Taking place over the course of one day, it begins with publishing agent Isabel Reed finishing reading an anonymous manuscript called “The Accident.” This concerns the life story of a media mogul, Charlie Wolfe, and secrets in his life and career which threaten to expose all kinds of scandals about both him personally, and the government. Isabel’s career is suffering something of a downslide – and, i ...more
Nancy Oakes
hardcover from the publisher, thanks!

The main focus of this novel is a manuscript entitled The Accident, which if published threatens to take down the wide-ranging, worldwide empire of media mogul Charlie Wolfe. The anonymous author has written a tell-all book that exposes a lot of egregious secrets about the rich and powerful, and the manuscript also churns up an incident in Wolfe's past that the author now decides to reveal. Isabel Reed, who receives the manuscript with only an e-mail address
Lou Schuler
I started The Accident with a basic question: How could anyone be audacious enough to set a thriller in the world of publishing? What could be less thrilling than a business filled by people like me, who sit on our asses all day writing and editing?

I almost stopped reading just a few chapters in. Just about every point-of-view character, upon introduction, promptly looks at him- or herself in a mirror so the reader knows exactly what he or she looks like. Wouldn't someone who works in publishin
Andrea Larson
Chris Pavone, author of last year’s hit book The Expats, has done it again. The Accident is a gripping thriller. I received an advance reader's copy from the publisher, and once I picked up the book, I could hardly put it down.

Isabel Reed, a literary agent, receives an anonymous manuscript at her office, and it turns out to be the book that will define her career and even her life. It’s an expose of a powerful media mogul (I kept imagining Rupert Murdoch) that has explosive and dangerous implic
Max Everhart
This is the definition of a page-turner.

The plot: an unauthorized biography of Charlie Wolfe, a billionaire media mogul, lands in the hands of Isabel Reed, a high powered literary agent. This manuscript entitled The Accident unearths some serious crimes perpetrated by Wolfe, and therefore, it's worth killing for. Of course, those backing Wolfe--the CIA, namely--will stop at nothing to destroy the book and anyone who has read it or even knows about its existence. The characters are very well dra
"The Accident" is Chris Pavone's follow up novel to the excellent "The Expats". Unfortunately, this novel is just not as compelling or as enjoyable a read. While the two books share a couple of characters - Kate Moore and Hayden are both characters in The Expats - and a similar universe, the reality is that Kate Moore's inclusion in this novel is so brief and inconsequential, that she merely serves as a stock character, included, along with her "intelligence" boss Hayden solely to tie the two bo ...more
Confusing plot. Entertaining, especially if you like the book world – writers, agents, editors, publishers, the whole industry, including Hollywood and movie rights, but it takes a couple of hundred pages to figure out the characters. Ironically, this book could use a better editor. Weak three stars. Apparently, the author’s first book, “The Expats,” was better. I still may give that one a try.
Review also found at

I received this ARC as part of a Goodreads giveaway in exchange for an honest review. The expected publication is March 2014.

This was an intricately woven story about the lengths a powerful person will take to stop the release of a harmful tell all book for reaching the public that takes place over the course of one day. The story was divided in to three sections; morning, afternoon and evening.

I struggled a little bit with the morning
Lori L (She Treads Softly)
The Accident by Chris Pavone follows one explosive day after a inflammatory and disturbing unauthorized biography of global media mogul Charlie Wolfe is dropped off at literary agent Isabel Reed's office. The author of the expose' is anonymous, but Isabel thinks she knows the identity of the person. In the meantime deadly forces come into play to try and stop anyone from reading the material. Hayden Gray (and Kate from The Expats makes an appearance too) is being paid very well to make sure the ...more
As a book lover, the peek on publishing industry's inner working is an added bonus in reading this book. However, it was the fate of the manuscript - 'bone of contention' - that kept me reading. I hate to put it this way but it was like watching a fetus ready to be born but scared to come out because of all the sharp-clawed grasping hands just waiting to bleed him out. Come to think of it, this people wanting to own the manuscript for their own gains are like vampires fighting over one artery. ( ...more
C.M. Keller
A dangerous manuscript, a literary agent, the CIA, Zurich, and Copenhagen. The perfect set-up for a thriller—crack for readers. And it only got better once I started the book.

At the beginning, I was concerned with the plethora of characters and viewpoints, which often turns a novel into a confusion of characters where you have to turn back to earlier chapters to remember who is who. But Chris Pavone does a great job of making each character memorable enough to keep straight.
It is the choices of
ARC/Spy book: This book just came out last year so no spoilers here.

This author writes in the style of Dan Brown or Justin Cronin where each character introduced to the reader gets his or her background laid out for the reader. The character may be a major part of the book or may be minor & dead on the next page. The problem is that style is best done by Dan Brown and he’s also good at red herrings. The red herrings in this book were, “Okay, I get it”, not, “Oh crap, I did not see that comi
Bonnie Brody
The Accident is an riveting thriller. It all takes place during one fateful day and is centered in the world of book publishing. Isabel Reed, a literary agent, has come into possession of a manuscript that she knows will be notorious. It will make her rich beyond her dreams. The manuscript is about the life of a man named Charles Wolfe, and the secrets he's gone to every length to hide during his lifetime. Charles is one of the richest men on earth and has a multinational news corporation. If th ...more
Manchester Military History Society (MMHS)
Chris Pavone has created another great page turning thriller.

This masterful thriller is based in the New York publishing world where literary agent Isabelle Reed receives an anonymous manuscript that threatens to blow the lid on the Wolfe Media empire, however some people are desperate to ensure the story never gets published.

Isabelle is a great, strong female character trying to make sense of the earthquake that this manuscript has made of her world. The action ranges across Europe as well as a
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Kind of a fun story 2 27 May 30, 2014 07:34AM  
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I'm the author of the 2012 espionage thrillers THE EXPATS, which was a New York Times and international bestseller, as well as winner of both an Edgar and an Anthony Award; and 2014's THE ACCIDENT, also a New York Times bestseller. I'm married and the father of twin schoolboys; we live in New York City.
More about Chris Pavone...
The Expats The Wine Log: A Journal and Companion The Accident: Free e-sampler Das Manuskript: Thriller

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“There’s an awful lot of beauty in Europe, but there’s also no shortage of ugly.” 1 likes
“This he thinks is the secret to New York City’s vast productivity: everyone works all the time to avoid facing their loneliness.” 0 likes
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