Trust me when I say, this one does come together at the end. There’s a lot going on, and a long cast of characters to keep straight.
There’s young Magda in Germany, struggling and rebelling against the war. And there’s young Imogene in Europe, trying to concentrate on school while bombs fall all around her. And we have downed English pilots and Nazi officers. Oh and don’t forget the past and present narrative.
But yes, it’s worth it.
Buy It Now: The Secret Letter
What can I say about Ruta Sepetys other than she’s amazing? She has this amazing ability to take a piece of history and weave a complex, compelling piece of fiction around it. Her latest masterpiece is no exception.
The year is 1945, the place is Prussia. The war is winding down, but the horrors of it are not. As thousands of refugees attempt to make their way to safety, we are introduced to several of them. They each have a story to tell, and secrets to keep. Their paths converge as one in an attempt to survive.
There’s Joana, a selfless nurse whose only goal is to save people. There’s young Emilia, harboring a secret far beyond what we are led to believe. And Florian, the knight in shining armor who saves her. And Alfred Frick…what can I say about him? He’s shady and secretive and more than a bit unstable. Is he really going to help save the others from sure death?
Time and again, tragedy strikes in one form or another. Until finally, towards the very end, the biggest tragedy of all befalls Joana and Emilia and Florian and the others. And yes, even Alfred Frick. Some will survive, some will not.
Yet again, historical fiction written by a gifted author has given me new knowledge while telling an outstandingly brilliant story. The tragedy of the Wilhelm Gustloff was a real thing, while the tragedy of our characters was not. But the author makes us feel as if the entire story truly happened. And that’s exactly what exceptional books do…
Buy It Now: Salt to the Sea
A couple of weeks ago, I reviewed The Expats by Chris Pavone, and this week, I have for you a review of Pavone’s follow-up book, The Accident. Now, it’s not strictly a sequel per se, but some of the same characters do appear, and you learn a lot more about them, and I would definitely recommend reading The Expats before you read this one.
Pavone’s The Accident, is set in the cut-throat and sinking world of publishing. We are sucked into the intricacies and complexities that the publishing business faces on a daily basis, all whilst giving us a meaty thriller. Set over the course of a day (except for flashback scenes), Literary agent Isabelle Reed, is anonymously sent a manuscript and even though it is one of many hundreds she will receive in the week, she makes a copy and passes it along to her assistant, and to an editor to read. The manuscript is an explosive expose on the CEO of a multi media empire. It reveals secrets that are damaging to both the CEO and indeed the CIA. It soon becomes clear that anyone who reads the manuscript is soon in grave danger.
As I mentioned in my previous review, Pavone himself is a former editor who has lived in various places throughout Europe. The Accident takes places in Europe and NYC, and because of the author’s previous profession and his expat experience, the story really builds its layers in a successful manner. The pace is taut, the plot exciting – not too far from the realm of believability, and the dialogue is genuine. Pavone has created characters that you really want to either succeed or fail. This is another successful thriller from an author that will soon become as well know and successful as other thriller bigwigs such as David Baldacci. What gives Pavone the edge is his actual experience that he puts in his writing.
This book is definitely worth your time and money if you are a fan of the thriller genre.
ARC provided by Blogging For Books, in exchange for an honest review.
You can read an interview/conversation with Chris Pavone regarding The Accident, here: http://crownpublishing.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/A-Conversation-with-Chris-PavoneThe-Accident.pdf
Can you hear that? Well, that’s a sigh of relief that I am able to write a positive review this week, considering that last week’s book left a lot be desired!
This week we have a book called The Expats by Chris Pavone. Set predominantly in Luxembourg and Paris, The Expats follows a family that move to Luxembourg for a career opportunity, and the trouble that soon begins. Kate and Dexter Moore seem to be your average couple caught up in DC’s rat-race, however, Kate is ex CIA with a lot of history. When they get to Luxembourg and begin to mingle with the expat community, Kate soon becomes suspicious of another American couple, and begins to investigate. What follows, will take Kate and Dexter on an exciting, and at times perilous, journey throughout Europe. Is this new couple dangerous? Are things all that they seem?
Ok, granted, the premise may sound a little familiar within the countless other novels in the espionage thriller genre, but what gives this the edge is the real experience behind the writing. Chris Pavone has himself been an expat in Europe, and this really shows in the writing. Being an expat myself, I could definitely relate to these characters, their sense of apprehension and that feeling of not being grounded.
The pace and tone of this novel was perfect for the genre – not too slow, and not too fast – an intelligent thriller. Thrillers are my go-to for an easy fluff read and this hit the mark. Saying that however, this novel also crossed genre boundaries by examining how people cope in a relationship where secrets rife. In an unknown country, with friends who you can’t necessarily trust, or even a spouse, how do you cope? What runs through your mind? What influences your actions? Well, Pavone attempts to give these questions some answers in the midst of creating an exciting espionage thriller.
If you are looking for a fairly quick, but thrill seeking read, then definitely give this one a go, especially with it being only $1.99 at the moment!
‘Till next time my lovely readers,
The Expats: A Novel