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VINE VOICEon March 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
While "THE EXPATS", was labeled as a thriller I didn't find it that way, nor was it suspenseful. For years, Kate has told her husband, Dexter that she worked for the State Department writing papers on our position, while she was actually a spy for the CIA. When she started dating Dexter regularly, she investigated him and found that he was as "normal" as he seemed and prior to their marriage, she had investigated him again and found nothing. Kate keeps her "real" career from her husband and continues to work as an assassin even after the birth of their two sons.

When Dexter is offered an overseas position with a bank making more money than they ever dreamed, he convinces Kate to quit her job so they can move to Luxembourg. The move will make them financially independent, though Dexter will have to work, long hours and travel and they will be able to give their children a continental education and take them all over Europe.

The books has many turns and twists, perhaps too many but I just found the story implausible. The idea that you could maintain this level of deception for years without anyone finding out is ludicrous and then to find out that both parties were lying just made it more so.

It's apparent that Pavone can write and I will read his next work hoping that it will succeed where this one failed. Found it hard to rate this three stars, but two stars was too low.

**Receiving this book through Amazon's Vine Program did not influence my rating or review of this book.**
Story: 2.00 Stars
Writing: 4.25 Stars
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on March 18, 2015
The book is wonderfully exciting and, for the most part, very well written (with the exception of scores of split infinitives). You'd think a Cornell man would know better. Petty criticism aside, the descriptions of New York are spot-on, and the plot keeps the reader guessing until the very last minute.
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on August 12, 2013
Twists and turns and deception galore. Former CIA operative, Kate Moore, moves to Luxembourg with her husband Dexter and things will never be the same. Is her husband really a bank IT consultant or is he a thief? Why is the FBI following Kate and Dexter? From Luxembourg to Andorra, DC to Paris, the unravelled skein of plots and cabals keeps the reader unable to put the book down.
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on August 15, 2015
I randomly picked up The Expats in the library and finished the book in one session. It's not only that good, it's hands down the best novel I've read all year. I love the way the thriller is constructed, with information slowly being unveiled on three distinct timelines, and came away thoroughly impressed with the quality of characterization and how well thought out the plot was. No deus ex machina surprises, smart, strong female and male characters, lifelike description of expat life and its trials and tribulations.
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on March 28, 2014
I wanted to like this, as there were some good ideas and I felt like it could have been good fun, but the promise wasn't realised. The narrative which jumped back and forward in time became annoying and just spun out plot development so it felt for a long time like nothing was happening, no pieces of the mystery were being revealed. To be engaging a story like this has to have little payoffs throughout, and it seemed like I'd reached the end of the book before things started being explained. That meant that 70% of the book was just the narrator being suspicious and noticing odd things. Author seemed to rely too much also on obvious foreshadowing to create suspense "little did she realise the significance of this at the time"; "looking back, everything could have been different if she'd made a different decision at this moment" etc, which once you came to know the full story didn't seem that significant anyway. The plot was a bit far fetched in the end but where it really disappointed the most was in characterisation - the book is narrated by Kate and much of it is just her internal monologue, and yet I had no sense of who she was or what she was like. She never became real for me and I just didn't really care what happened to her, let alone the only 3 other significant characters. Maybe I would recommend this if you were borrowing it from a library and desperate for something to read, but overall it fell flat.
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My idea of a thriller is Graham Green's "The Human Factor" or "Restless" by William Boyd. These novels are subtle, deceptively simple, and absolutely chilling. "The Expats" is busy, busy, busy. By the end there is so much hacking, lying, more hacking, deception, hacking, and blablabla that you lose track because you have ceased to care. How in heaven's name did this book get such great jacket blurbs and great prepub buzz?

Another question: Why is the only line of Spanish in this book misspelled? Why do I see this all the time? It is not Italian. Editors, if you need help with this, contact me. There's no excuse. Jeez.
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on August 8, 2014
I'm puzzled to see so many poor to negative reviews for this novel on this page. I was very impressed with this novel, especially considering it was the debut effort by this author. It reads like the work of a veteran novelist; polished, taut, and assured. The dialogue is believable, as are the characters, and the plot. Speaking of which, Pavone weaves a most clever plot, full of delightful twists and double crossing, and then when you think you've got your head around the whole situation, Pavone throws another wrench into things. The European settings also helped add a bit of interesting atmosphere to the story.

Honestly, this is top notch espionage fare, a novel that should appeal to the voracious readers of this genre. There is so much mediocrity on the shelves nowadays, that I found it refreshing to read a novel as well written and intriguing as this one. I'll be eager to read more books by this author, but I think it will be difficult to top this one. You could rightly call this book "masterful".
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on July 10, 2014
There were so many twists and turns, and was never certain as to who were the good guys and who were the bad guys. Every chapter released a new detail, but you were always wondering "who knew what, when?"
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on February 23, 2014
I read the book in two seating a, because I couldn't wait to find out what was going to happen. Thrilling story with great mysteries. Set in Paris, which I've visited three times, so familiar and memorable.
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on December 11, 2014
Well written, exciting book with good character development and frailties in life faced. Scene descriptions of many international cities are interesting and being an expat, I could identify with many of the scenes and daily life
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