Crown Publishing Group, March 2012
Also available in audio book and ebook formats
Can We Ever Escape Our Secrets?
Kate Moore is a working mother, struggling to make ends meet, to raise children, to keep a spark in her marriage . . . and to maintain an increasingly unbearable life-defining secret. So when her husband is offered a lucrative job in Luxembourg, she jumps at the chance to leave behind her double-life, to start anew.
She begins to reinvent herself as an expat, finding her way in a language she doesn’t speak, doing the housewifely things she’s never before done–playdates and coffee mornings, daily cooking and never-ending laundry. Meanwhile, her husband works incessantly, at a job Kate has never understood, for a banking client she’s not allowed to know. He’s becoming distant and evasive; she’s getting lonely and bored.
Then another American couple arrives. Kate soon becomes suspicious that these people are not who they say they are, and she’s terrified that her own past is catching up to her. So Kate begins to dig, to peel back the layers of deception that surround her. She discovers fake offices and shell corporations and a hidden gun, a mysterious farmhouse and numbered accounts with bewildering sums of money, and finally unravels the mind-boggling long-play con that threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.
Fans of John le Carré and Robert Ludlum will welcome former book editor Pavone’s first novel, a meticulously plotted, psychologically complex spy thriller. When Dexter Moore, a financial systems security expert in Washington, D.C., receives a lucrative offer to work for a bank in Luxembourg, his wife, Kate, resigns her position as a CIA operative—a job her husband knows nothing about—and vows to recreate herself as a devoted wife and mother to their two boys. But Kate soon discovers that computer geek Dexter has been living a secret life as well, and that he may be a thief being investigated by the FBI and Interpol who’s stolen millions of euros in online banking transactions. The sheer amount of bombshell plot twists are nothing short of extraordinary, but it’s Pavone’s portrayal of Kate and her quest to find meaning in her charade of an existence that makes this book such a powerful read.—Publishers Weekly 1/2/2012
Chris Pavone spent two decades in the book publishing world, as an acquisitions editor, copy editor and even as a ghostwriter, before turning his attention to writing fiction. After his wife’s job took the family to Luxembourg he drew upon his experiences as an expat in Europe and started writing his first novel, an international espionage thriller set in—where else?—Luxembourg. The result is THE EXPATS: A Novel (Crown, March 6, 2012), an incredibly twisty and sophisticated debut thriller that is full of power and international intrigue.
Like his protagonist, Pavone wasn’t entirely prepared for the expat life. After twenty years in New York City offices, he was suddenly navigating the challenges of parenting abroad. In a sea of stay-at-home moms, he was the only dad organizing get-togethers at playgrounds and attending PTA meetings, a real “Mr. Mom in Europe.” He found that these mothers, most of them European, all left a life behind to be an expat; all of them used to be someone else, and do something else, somewhere else. It was this combination of gender-role-reversal and wondering what these women were like in their former lives that inspired THE EXPATS—who is that mother on the next playground bench? What was she before?