The Expats

The Expats - I don't know how to say "lukewarm" in Luxembourgish, but that was my response to the book. The story has a lot of structural problems that could have been cleared up with aggressive editing. Part I is a complete mess structurally, changing venues and time frames every page or two, sometimes every couple of paragraphs. This makes it hard to follow and keep track of the people and narrative pathways. It does smooth out later in the book, but is still in need of reorganization. Chris Pavone had an exciting story idea that would have worked much better if he'd taken the time to add depth and complexity. A Robert Ludlum-style thriller is what I'm thinking of, with fully fleshed out back stories for the characters, and more buildup to the various events, with enough detail to make them believable. As the story now stands, it's too domestic to feel like a thriller. Hang out with other expat couples, assemble Ikea furniture, pick up the kids from school, travel to a new European city every weekend. Oh, and spy on your spouse. There is that. So, as I said, lukewarm and in need of organization. But not terrible either. It was interesting to see how expats with a lot of money fill their time in Luxembourg.