Chris Pavone grew up in Brooklyn, graduated from Cornell, and was an editor at book-publishing houses in New York for fifteen years. His 2012 debut, The Expats, described by the Sunday Times as 'a captivating, sophisticated thriller' was an international best seller and won the Edgar Award for best first novel.
Author photo credit © Nuna Subin
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Wowsers. It’s kind-of a cliché to praise quality thrillers for being unpredictable and un-put-down-able, but Chris Pavone’s Two Nights in Lisbon delivers both those qualities with outstanding style. Reeling with smart misdirection, and raising questions around how well we really know people, Two Nights in Lisbon is a twisty rollercoaster of a read. The unnerving scenes of an American woman, Ariel, waking-up in Lisbon to find her husband gone soon veers in a direction you won’t see coming, setting the tone for the rest of the novel. Just when you think you’ve figured out what kind of story this is — bam! A new nugget comes to light and you’re hurtled down an entirely different track. In Lisbon for a vacation around her new husband’s work trip, Ariel reports his disappearance to the local police, and then the US Embassy. Neither are particularly interested at first — he hasn’t been gone that long, maybe he’s off with a mistress. A tonne of everyday explanations could account for his absence. But it’s not long before the stakes are raised — think changed identities, NDAs, and a murky situation in which it seems that no one’s who they claim to be. As Ariel remarks, “We tell ourselves stories about each other, about ourselves too, our pasts. We construct our narratives, we start with the big picture and then add details one by one, like building a house”, ending up with something “that looks like it’s been there forever, even though it’s a brand-new fabrication”. And, having built a new life for herself, Ariel is forced to return to her past if her new husband is to have a future, and all the while she has her son back home to worry about, “one of the reasons that Ariel felt like she’d been living on high alert, waiting for some bad thing to happen”. Diving headlong into male abuses of power, and touching on how we leave digital footprints even if we try our damndest to be digitally invisible, Two Nights in Lisbon is a triumph.
In New York City, Isabel Reed, one of the most respected and powerful literary agents in the city, frantically turns the pages of a manuscript into the early dawn hours. This manuscript - printed out, hand-delivered, totally anonymous - is full of shocking revelations and disturbing truths, things which could compromise national security. Is this what she's been waiting for her entire career: a book that will help her move on from a painful past, a book that could save her beloved industry...a book that will change the world? In Copenhagen, Hayden Gray, a veteran station chief, wary of the CIA's obsession with the Middle East, has been steadfastly monitoring the dangers that abound in Europe. Even if his bosses aren't paying attention, he's determined to stay vigilant. And he's also on the trail of this manuscript - and the secrets that lie at its heart. For him, quite simply, it must never see the light of day. As Isabel and Hayden try to outwit each other, the nameless author watches on from afar. With no-one quite sure who holds all the cards, the stakes couldn't be higher: in just twenty-four hours careers could be ruined, devastating secrets could be unearthed, and innocent people could die. Gripping, sophisticated, and impossible to put down, The Accident is a masterful follow-up to one of the most acclaimed and striking debut thrillers of recent years.
Will Rhodes is an award-winning correspondent for The Travelers, on assignment at a luxury Argentinian resort - fine wines and gourmet food, polo fields and the looming Andes. But Will's life is about to be turned upside down when a new flirtation turns into something far more dangerous, and he only realizes too late. Turns out he's been targeted, he just doesn't know why. He doesn't know what these people truly want and how far into his life they will reach, to his friends and his colleagues, to his boss and his wife. He doesn't know that they will stop at nothing in their pursuit, and he doesn't know about the secrets he has already been keeping...