The Paris diversion A novel

Chris Pavone

Book - 2019

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Thrillers (Fiction)
Spy stories
Suspense fiction
New York : Crown [2019]
First edition
Physical Description
373 pages ; 24 cm
Main Author
Chris Pavone (author)
Review by Booklist Reviews

*Starred Review* Pavone delivers another thoroughly immersive, stylish, and intelligent thriller (following The Travelers, 2016). In a move that is sure to please fans of The Expats (2012), he returns here to the lives of Kate and Dexter Moore, now living in Paris after former CIA agent Kate managed to extract her cyberbanker husband from a trap into which he had been lured by two artists of the long con, Julia and Bill. Pavone again unspools a tightly wound plot in which the levels of deception keep multiplying. It starts with a terrorist in front of the Louvre holding a dirty bomb. As the standoff continues, Kate, who is back with the agency in a shady, off-the-books capacity, starts digging into what's going on, hoping to solidify her position with her superiors, and soon discovers that Dexter may be fiddling on the fringes of cybercrime again, out to profit from the downfall of an arrogant financier. And what's with Julia and Bill turning up in Paris, seemingly ready to bury the hatchet? But burying it where? Yes, Pavone keeps us zooming through this book to find the answers to those and many other questions, but, in the middle of that race to the finish line, most readers are likely to find themselves slowing down a bit, savoring the richness of virtually every character who flashes by and especially taking time to contemplate Kate, who just may be the most fascinating, believably human fictional spy to appear since George Smiley shuffled his bedraggled self onto the stage nearly 60 years ago.HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: Like Louise Penny, Pavone is the kind of thriller writer who can cut a wide swath into multiple audiences, from genre fans to more-literary readers. Copyright 2019 Booklist Reviews.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

Back from The Expats, Pavone's Edgar and Anthony Award winner for Best First Novel, former CIA operative Kate Moore is enjoying life in Paris with husband Dexter when a suicide bomber materializes outside the Louvre. Of course, she jumps into the fray with a French agent. Copyright 2018 Library Journal.

Review by Library Journal Reviews

A good thriller isn't so much written as built, and Pavone is one of the genre's most consistently dazzling architects. This follow-up to The Expats and The Travellers finds wife, mother, and spy handler Kate Moore in the middle of a terrorist scare in front of the Louvre. As she digs for answers, she finds that the entire operation might be a cover for another move entirely: an international conglomerate is preparing a big move worth millions, and Kate's cash-strapped financier husband, Dexter, stands to make—or lose—a fortune on the announcement. Feelings of domestic betrayal simmer, and the focus on Kate's role as family caretaker conflicting with her job as a spy offers an excellent hook that elevates this novel above the standard catch-the-bad-guy fray. VERDICT Pavone gives us a fresh, pulsating, and introspective thriller that delivers on its tourist-heavy Parisian setting and expands and connects territory from his previous novels. An ensemble cast with alternating points of view enhances the wheels-within-wheels plot and are sure to please fans of Daniel Silva or Stella Rimington. Absolutely not to be missed. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/18.]—Gregg Winsor, Johnson Cty. Lib., Overland Park, KS Copyright 2019 Library Journal.

Review by Publishers Weekly Reviews

Edgar winner Pavone's sturdy sequel to 2012's The Expats finds Kate and Dexter Moore living in Paris with their young sons. Dexter, a semireformed cybercriminal, now earns his money day trading, and Kate, a former CIA officer, works for an off-book intelligence outfit tasked with making the world "more hospitable" for the U.S. and its interests. Kate hasn't received a new assignment in some time, so when news breaks of bomb threats in multiple locations, and a man in an explosive vest entering the Louvre, she decides to prove her continued relevance by investigating. Meanwhile, Dexter makes a risky investment that hinges on an announcement from his former boss, Hunter Forsyth, regarding the acquisition of a European competitor. Then authorities sequester Hunter for security reasons, jeopardizing both men's plans for profit. Events unfold over a 12-hour period, with details of the terror plot's scope and design emerging through the eyes of its participants. Poorly established stakes and underdeveloped characters lessen the tale's urgency and impact, but Pavone's clever setup and nimble execution buoy the book to an action-packed finish. Fans of latter-day le Carré will be well satisfied. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (May) Copyright 2019 Publishers Weekly.

Review by Publisher Summary 1

Kate Moore from The Expats partners with a French agent to investigate a bombing threat in Paris, a race against time that is complicated by her husband's missing nemesis and a suspicious absence of orders from Langley.

Review by Publisher Summary 2

"American expat Kate Moore drops her kids at the international school, makes her rounds of chores, and meets her husband Dexter at their regular café. Across the Seine, tech CEO Hunter Forsyth stands on his balcony, wondering why his police escort just departed, and frustrated that his cell service has cut out. And on the nearby rue de Rivoli, Mahmoud Khalid climbs out of a van, elbows his way into the museum courtyard, sets down his metal briefcase, and removes his windbreaker. Mahmoud is planning to die today...and he won't be the only one."--Provided by publisher.

Review by Publisher Summary 3

After a leisurely start to a normal day, American expat Kate Moore finds herself partnered with a French agent to investigate a bombing threat in Paris.

Review by Publisher Summary 4

“The most clever plot twist of the year.”—Washington Post“I nominate Kate Moore, the protagonist of Chris Pavone’s sizzling new thriller The Paris Diversion, for patron saint of working wives and mothers everywhere.”—Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review“The Paris Diversion is the best espionage novel I’ve read this year. Smart, sophisticated and suspenseful, this is Pavone’s finest novel to date—and that’s saying something.”—Harlan Coben, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Fool Me Once“Deliciously twisty . . . This involving work has been skillfully engineered for maximum reader enjoyment.”—The Wall Street JournalFrom the New York Times bestselling author of The Expats. Kate Moore is back in a pulse-pounding thriller to discover that a massive terror attack across Paris is not what it seems—and that it involves her familyAmerican expat Kate Moore drops her kids at the international school, makes her rounds of chores, and meets her husband Dexter at their regular café: a leisurely start to a normal day, St-Germain-des-Prés. Across the Seine, tech CEO Hunter Forsyth stands on his balcony, wondering why his police escort just departed, and frustrated that his cell service has cut out; Hunter has important calls to make, not all of them technically legal. And on the nearby rue de Rivoli, Mahmoud Khalid climbs out of an electrician’s van and elbows his way into the crowded courtyard of the world’s largest museum. He sets down his metal briefcase, and removes his windbreaker. That’s when people start to scream. Everyone has big plans for the day. Dexter is going to make a small fortune, finally digging himself out of a deep financial hole, via an extremely risky investment. Hunter is going to make a huge fortune, with a major corporate acquisition that will send his company’s stock soaring. Kate has less ambitious plans: preparations for tonight’s dinner party—one of those homemaker obligations she still hasn’t embraced, even after a half-decade of this life—and an uneventful workday at the Paris Substation, the clandestine cadre of operatives that she’s been running, not entirely successfully, increasingly convinced that every day could be the last of her career. But every day is also a fresh chance to prove her own relevance, never more so than during today’s momentous events. And Mahmoud? He is planning to die today. And he won’t be the only one.