Sunday, March 11, 2012

Book Review: "The Expats" by Chris Pavone

Dexter and Kate Moore seem like your typical Washington, D.C. couple—Dexter works in banking (although Kate can't exactly explain what he does) and Kate writes position papers for a think tank. They're raising two small boys, although Dexter isn't home nearly as much as Kate would like him to be. And then one day Dexter gets a can't-refuse job offer in Luxembourg, so Kate quits her job and readies for her family's new adventure.

The thing is, Kate isn't just another expat housewife. She has been keeping some pretty serious secrets from Dexter. And as Dexter gets more and more immersed in his mysterious job, and Kate meets another American couple she doesn't quite trust, she realizes that she's not the only one who has been keeping secrets. But are her suspicions correct? Is it her past that is being investigated, or something else? What will happen, to her marriage, her family, and her life, when all is revealed? Can she solve the mystery that seems to have engulfed their lives before she loses control of the situation?

I found The Expats to be an entertaining read. I like the way Chris Pavone peeled back the layers of Kate's life and she started discovering all of the untruths around her. My main criticism of the book, however, is that it took a long time for the plot to really get going, and the setup—which tended to move from time to time, place to place—was a bit confusing. Kate is a fascinating character—more so than the other main characters—and I wonder if Pavone's somewhat-vague ending leaves the door open to further adventures for the Moores. This is definitely enjoyable, although it left me wanting a bit more.

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