May 24, 2013

Audio Review: The Expats by Chris Pavone

I'd been curious about Chris Pavone's THE EXPACTS since it came out and decided on the audio version because I enjoy listening to spy/crime novels that have many different characters.   Plus, I'd also read many tweets on Twitter that the audio of this book was very well done.

About the Book:
(From the author's website)

Kate Moore is a typical expat mom, newly transplanted from Washington DC to the quiet cobblestoned streets of Luxembourg. Her days are filled with coffee mornings and play-dates, her weekends with trips to Paris and Amsterdam. Kate is also guarding a tremendous, life-defining secret, one that’s becoming unbearable, indefensible. It’s also clear that another expat American couple are not really who they’re claiming to be; plus Kate’s husband is acting suspiciously. While she travels around Europe, looking for answers, she’s increasingly worried that her past is finally catching up with her. As Kate digs, and uncovers the secrets of the people who surround her, she finds herself buried in layers of deceit so thick they threaten her family, her marriage, and her life.

My Thoughts:

I have mixed feelings about this novel. As I mentioned, I'd had my eye on this book for quite some time and was ready to sink my teeth into a good spy/crime thriller. The first thought that came into my head once I started listening was how glad I was to have chosen the audio version because there is no way I could have pronounced all those French words as beautifully and correctly as Mozhan Marno, the narrator. And speaking of Ms. Marno, I felt she did a really great job with her performance.

That said, I have to say that it took me awhile to get into the groove of this story. One reason is that I couldn't get the timeline set in my mind because it jumps back and forth from the present to past so ubruptly that I found myself lost and confused. It took some time to figure out the pattern of this and to keep up with what was happening, what had already happened and try to remember if I was in the present or the past. In a nutshell, I found it very confusing.

The plotline was interesting but there were so many lies being told that after awhile I felt like I was being jerked around and couldn't take anything for face value. Don't get me wrong, I like books that keep me guessing but I felt like nothing was what it seemed, so how could I put any stock in it. After awhile, I grew tired and just wanted to get through it. Twists and turns are good but too much of it can wear the reader out. That's how this reader is anyway. You may feel differently.

The bottom line is I'm glad I read it because it was such a hot topic and at least now I can join in the conversation. Also, I'm very glad I chose the audio version because it enable me to listen while I did chores around the house and allowed me to 'read' without taking away from my other books in the printed format. In my opinion, this is a book that did not live up to all the hype. Chris Pavone was even featured on Face the Nation a few months ago on their annual literary episode and that is what sealed it for me to read this book. If you've read it, please leave a comment and tell me if you felt differently. I'd be very interested to know.

THE EXPATS (Unabridged Audio Version)
Author: Chris Pavone
Publisher: Random House Audio
Published: March 2013
Length: 12 Hrs 27 Min
Recommend:? Hesitantly, to a certain type of reader.


  1. I reviewed a mystery/thriller audio today as well. Maybe the genre doesn't translate to audio well.

  2. This doesn't sound like a book that I would enjoy very much. When it first came out I wondered if I would like it but I do feel our reading choices are very similar so I'm going with the thought of passing this one up.

  3. I had the same trouble you had, but I didn't finish the book.

    Thanks for your thoughts.

    Silver's Reviews


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