Carol's Reviews > The Expats

The Expats by Chris Pavone
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's review
Apr 17, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: mystery
Read from April 16 to 17, 2012

Kate Moore works for the State Department, or at least that what she tells her husband. She and her husband and two young sons live in D.C. with a marriage based on deception. Her husband Dexter is a computer nerd who works on increasing electronic security for banks. One day Dexter tells Kate of a new job he has been offered in Luxembourg working on security for banks in Europe. Kate wanted to quit her job anyway and this move gave her the perfect excuse. Kate's State Department job is just a cover for being a agent for the CIA. So Kate and Dexter start a new life in Europe. Kate becomes a housewife taking care of her sons, cleaning, cooking making play dates and taking the boys to tennis lessons and socializing with all the other expats in Luxembourg. They befriend Julia and Bill from Chicago but Kate immediately suspects that this couple is not what they seem. They keep popping up everywhere Kate and Dexter go. And her husband Dexter is spending less and less time at home and more time at work and traveling. Kate begins to have her doubts about Dexter's work as well. Is he really working for a bank or does he have a mistress. And Julia and Bill who have an apartment across from the Grand Duke's resident, are they assassins or are they after Kate who committed a crime in her past she can not forgive herself for.

At first I wanted to give up on this book thinking it was a spy novel. It is not, nor is it a thriller. It spends a great deal of time showing how boring Kate's life is being a housewife doing housewife chores, cleaning toilets and teaching her boys to pee in the toilet and not just in the general vicinity. And I was bored right there with Kate. But when Kate starts to uncover the truth about this mysterious couple and her husband things finally heat up in this novel so it is worth the read. She wonders how much she can trust her husband and what can she tell him. Can she leave him and if so where will she go. Chris Pavone adds tension by having Kate slowing unfold the layers of deception about the people around her that is shocking. And then making the reader wait for her to confront them with her knowledge and nothing is what it seems about any of the characters.

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