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Showing 1-10 of 252 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 522 reviews
on May 19, 2016
An author’s second novel is all too frequently a disappointment. This one was.

Chris Pavone gained widespread attention with his first novel, The Expats, which won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and became an international bestseller. I liked it a lot when I read it last year. My review is here.

The Accident resembles The Expats in several important ways: in the clever use of flashbacks to break up the chronological account, in the intelligent characters operating at the upper reaches of American society, and in the colorful locales where the action takes place. Unfortunately, the jumbled chronology was confusing, and the story became predictable after awhile. This is a thriller that didn’t quite thrill.

A wealthy media mogul, rogue spies, and the publishing industry

The conceit around which The Accident is built is that somebody anonymous (known as “the author”) has written a devastating expose of an American media mogul. The book hangs on the author’s account of an accident in which the now-famous man was involved as a college student. As we learn fairly quickly, the media mogul has also engaged in questionable and probably illegal activities in Europe in collusion with a rogue CIA agent. When the book’s manuscript turns up, without warning, on the desk of a top-level New York literary agent, the action begins at a rapid pace. The story follows the course of the manuscript as copies change hands from coast to coast — and further “accidents” befall those who read it. Enough said.

About the author

Chris Pavone has written three novels and one nonfiction book. The Accident is the second of his novels. Pavone is a veteran of the publishing industry, which hogs center stage in the book.
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on April 17, 2016
Chris Pavone knows how to keep readers turning the page...or swiping their tablets until the wee hours of the morning. However you read these days, it is well worth your time and dollars to purchase The Accident and Pavone's other spy thrillers. He is at the top of the genre at the moment. Not only is there action from page one, he also has crafted really well thoughtout sentences that you will want to reread for their spot-on observations of some of the little things in life. The Accident is not only action-packed, but it also develops relationships between the characters, sometimes in surprising twists, in a way that has you routing for them to survive--even the bad guys...or who you think might be the bad guy.

I have really loved all Pavone's books and enjoy the fact that some of my favorite characters cross over from one story to the next.

I can't wait until his next one is released. He has created a new fan of spy novels in me.

Victoria Allman
Author of: SEAsoned: A Chef's Journey with Her Captain
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on May 3, 2014
I have a good vocabulary and a masters degree. Yet I had to look up the definition of many ten dollar words. Yes, the meanings could be guessed at using contextual cues. But why were they needed? The story had lots of twists and turns but timeline move back and forth over 25 years and multiple characters it became disconcerting. Though the book was nicely rich in details, non of the characters had a chance to develop into likable people.

This wasnt a bad book but one I had expected to be better.

The characters were not likable.
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on March 27, 2014
This seems to be a popular book but the premise is silly as is the execution. I guess the author had never heard of making a digital copy of a manuscript. Too much detail and filler. Do we really need to know so much about minor characters before they're killed off. Every novel of this genre needs at least one clever individual; here alas we have none.
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Author Chris Pavone describes a main character in “The Accident” as being more like a fast-food hamburger than a four-star meal.

Seems to me that’s a pretty good way to talk about Pavone’s latest thriller, a somewhat tasty morsel, but without a whole lot of substance, nuance or lasting flavor. Not something you’re going to savor long in your memory.

Day breaks and over the course of what to me is one stupendously contrived 24-hour period, an author-in-hiding in Zurich frets over the manuscript of his tell-all book. His is a book that – if truth wins out – represents a grave threat to world order as well as to some powerful individuals, corporations and governments.

The author-in-hiding was both an insider and participant in a mess of serious double-dealing that he has now chronicled in his manuscript, “The Accident.” But now he’s the apologist, motivated by remorse, but more so by the soul-cleansing redemption that coming clean promises.

In Copenhagen, New York, and other global locales, CIA spooks along with power-brokers working in the media, literary and publishing world are also thinking – obsessing – over the manuscript. These government and publishing predators either hope to cash in on the book’s publication, or are threatened with ruin if “The Accident” makes it to print.

Two camps exist: those who hope to gain if the book is published and those who will kill to prevent its publication. For me, each camp is populated with characters as one-dimensional as cardboard cutouts. All of them are wily, witty and wise but all in the same manner, acting and speaking as if cut from the same cloth; as a result it’s difficult to keep straight who’s talking. There’s a long list of characters. Nearly all the characters are expendable and too often for my taste someone seems to be introduced so he or she can be summarily erased, violently. I lost tab but there’s an extremely high body count. (A fun exercise might be to tally the actual number of corpses. My guess is you’ll be surprised at how many there are.)

The one person we are led to care for most is Isabel Reed, a literary agent who is reading the final pages of “The Accident” as the book begins. You’ll need to stick with the book until the final pages to learn if Isabel is among the survivors and if the manuscript that has already buried so many makes its way into print.

Pavone sets out to take you on a thrill ride. And, okay, the pages did seem to flip rather quickly. But, depending on your tolerance for the implausible, he delivers a book that’s hard to put down or one you’ll be tempted to throw across the room.
In a word: Far-fetched
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on April 22, 2014
Pavone may have written the thriller of the year. At the center of this book is the dangerous intersection of entertainment/gossip news with politics. Reputations and billions of dollars are at stake and the ethical lines become hazy and are then crossed, escalating the lengths to which individuals, corporations and government agencies will go to keep truth from becoming public.

A manuscript, "The Accident," is delivered to the New York office of a literary agent, Isabel Reed. Isabel is one of the few agents who still prefers hard copies of manuscripts rather than reading them on an electronic device. When the manuscript is dropped off with Isabel's assistant, the assistant makes a copy and reads it, tweeting about it and gossiping with friends. When Isabel reads the manuscript over a weekend, she knows it to be "the real thing." Although she recognizes the book's potential to be a best seller, she also knows that grave danger is posed to anyone in possession of the material and believes rushing the manuscript to publication is the best chance to ensure her own safety and that of the anonymous author. Isabel enlists the help of an editor who cannot resist conspiracy theories and who, of course, swears to keep the existence of the manuscript a secret.

Within hours, copies of the manuscript are being leaked and those in possession of the copies are competing to make their own deals. One ambitious aspiring editor spirits a copy to Los Angeles in an attempt to get a movie deal without any real answer as to how she came to have the manuscript in the first place. Rather than the anticipated bidding war, the editor finds quickly that the manuscript is so dangerous that those she hopes to sell it to do not want to admit they have ever seen it, much less buy it.

The author of this manuscript has gone to extreme lengths to remove himself from the action and to keep his location secret, but he also knows he has placed Isabel in a potentially life threatening situation. Isabel is followed, people are murdered, and, of course, we readers do not know what it is about the manuscript that is so damaging (nor to whom) that individuals and organizations would and do kill to keep it from publication.

Pavone builds interest by keeping the reader guessing, first about the manuscript, then about the author, then about those who are desperate to destroy every copy of the manuscript and perhaps even anyone who has seen it. Isabel knows more about the truth in the manuscript than anyone other than the author and it is late in the day before the reader learns exactly why this would be. All in all, it was intricately plotted and, if it seems far fetched that governments, officials and the media conspire, it is not THAT far fetched. A truly great read!
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on April 14, 2014
Not by the book. . .but by my reactions. As with most everyone, I loved the EXPATS so downloaded this the day it was published. I liked the writing. . .guess I'd say I liked the plot but boy is this like walking thru a maze which at the end tells you why you were there. I expected more CIA-type espionage, less of the inside-out format where I had to sit and think as Pavone wrote cryptically - changing periods of time as well as voice. I think he probably had a great flowchart showing the conclusion and then worked backward. If you liked Pavone, this one won't be a bad choice - but I'd have to say - don't expect it to wow you like the EXPATS. It's just entirely odd how he has murders and layers of intrigue within the journey to get a tell-all published. . .

I read that the new Steinhauer book is also convoluted. . .and had planned to read that right away. . .but after
reading the Accident, I am ready for something entirely different. I read one reviewer who said they'd, after EXPATS, they'd put Pavone on the same tier as Michael Connolly and some other "all time favorites". I would have too - but
now I'm not sure.
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on May 31, 2014
The first half of the story was very confusing, with switches in time and characters and no explanation to connect the events. Only in the second half do you begin to connect the dots, and by the end you have a pretty good conspiracy plot with enough twists and surprises to satisfy. The writing was really quite good, so I recommend you push on and enjoy the ride even when you are not sure where you are going. You are in good hands.
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on December 29, 2014
The irony in reading this book is that you are reading a book that you find impossible to put down because it is about a book that is impossible to put down. Every time you think you have it figured out, a new twist reveals itself; hence you need to continue. It is a very good thriller; but also more than that. It addresses moral issues of loyalty - how far should you go, when does the slippery slope start, what are the trade-offs between your own success and safety versus the trust of the people you care about and trust/belief in yourself. Pavone also does a nice job of having you gradually discover the character and integrity of his main persons as they are confronted with moments of truth, when they have to make tough decisions that could alter the course of their lives. All this makes it more than just any thriller. Hence my 5 stars: definitely read it!
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on April 1, 2014
Great start, great in spots, wonderful evocation of the state and mood of the publishing industry, but veers off into too much preposterous-even-for-thrillers stuff, and is way too long. Long page-turners can wear out the turning mechanism (elbow currently would be on ice had I not read it via my Kindle app. Clearly set up for a sequel as well--which, oddly enough, isn't a bad idea. Among the great parts of this book is the central device--the purloined manuscript--and the initial conception for a couple of the main characters. It just gets clumsy, tedious, verisimilitude-free, when it comes to various sexual encounters, personal relationships, and consequence-free murders. Still...I'd buy the next one, I have to admit.
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