Book review: The Travelers

Chris PavoneWhat a non-stop ride this is. I resented everything which made me put this book down. The Travelers by Chris Pavone is a spy thriller about an ordinary guy doing an ordinary job who finds himself in an extraordinary position. It reminded me a little of Robert Redford in the film Three Days of the Condor.

Travel writer Will works for New York-based Travelers, a luxury travel magazine. Married to Chloe, who works as a freelance for the same magazine, they live in a rundown money-pit in Brooklyn. Things change in a short space of time. On a press trip in France, Will flirts outrageously with an Australian journalist and goes home, relieved he didn’t succumb to temptation. But on his next press trip to the wine area of Argentina, Elle is there again and this time they do have sex. Except Elle isn’t what she says she is, her name isn’t Elle and she isn’t Australian. She gives Will a choice. Cooperate, supply information about his contacts and people he writes about, or else he will be exposed to his boss Malcolm and to Chloe. And so he cooperates.

The action is rapid. Some sections – identified only by the location, not the person – are only half a page and for the first third of the book this is disorientating. I couldn’t work out who was spying and who was being spied upon. A man in an office sits at a computer terminal and monitors targets, the flights they take, the hotels and rental cars they book. An un-named woman goes to Capri to kill a man. An American man wants to disappear. Malcolm has a hidden office with secret files.

The threads are tangled thoroughly. The answer is not one I predicted. It is impossible to explain the plot without giving away secrets, but the ending in Iceland will make a great action sequence in a film.

Here’s my review of The Accident by Chris Pavone.

If you like this, try:-
‘Dominion’ by CJ Sansom
‘The Killing Lessons’ by Saul Black
‘An Officer and a Spy’ by Robert Harris

‘The Travelers’ by Chris Pavone [UK: Faber] Buy at Amazon

And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
THE TRAVELERS by Chris Pavone #bookreview via @SandraDanby

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