The Paris Diversion

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Apr 2019

Member Reviews

This was....fine, for what it is. Terrorists in Paris, something about stocks and shares, spy-mom Kate and her irritation with her husband. Perhaps it was just me and I wasn't in the mood but, especially not having read the first book in the series, I just could not engage with it at all. Some people love it, others not so, so best to read it and make up your own mind I guess.
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Very pacy, I liked the idea of setting the action in a short time frame and the female lead worked well. I do feel it would be better if you had read the first book though
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The Paris Diversion is the second Chris Pavone novel featuring expat Kate Moore and her family. As per the title, most of the action takes place in Paris, the City of Light's historical landmarks playing a major role in this story: Notre Dame de Paris, the Tour Eiffel, the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe, the Seine and the Champs-Elysées. Kate and Dexter Moore and their young family are American expats who have made their home in the French capital city. Dexter is an on-line stock trader while Kate has established and runs a secret cadre of operatives. What starts as an ordinary day soon spirals into chaos: a well-organized terror attack takes over the city. It soon becomes clear that Kate's family is somehow involved. To know what follows, I strongly  recommend you read The Paris Diversion. It is a fast-paced thriller that delivers plenty of suspense and tension. Thank you to Faber & Faber and NetGalley for the e-ARC in exchange for an honest review.
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The Paris Diversion is the second thriller in the Kate Moore series and much like its predecessor it is thoroughly packed to the rafters with action, so much so that it gets quite difficult to grab a moment to breathe and consider how the pieces all combine into the bigger picture. It really is non-stop. I recommend you, as almost a necessity, to have read the first book as much of the storyline here has direct links back to The Expats and may be very confusing otherwise. As well as the relentless pace and action, this is a well constructed and plotted espionage thriller with many twists in the tale.

The story is told from a plethora of different perspectives and given that many were peripheral characters or somewhat inconsequential meant they were hard to place and differentiate from one another as most of them were shrouded in mystery with very little detail about them given. However, once you get on top of the multiple threads and perspectives in morphs into an engaging, intriguing and brilliantly gripping read. The twists and reveals continually come at you and nothing is quite what it seems. This unpredictability runs throughout and keeps the sense of tension rising until the satisfying conclusion. Recommended to those who enjoy espionage, thrillers and all-action stories. Many thanks to Faber & Faber for an ARC.
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They have been living in Paris for some time now and it took Kate more than one year to finally accept that she would never be like all the other stay-at-home mothers who only cared for the children and spent their days chatting in cafés. So, she decided to return to her job. She is supposed not to ask too many questions, just to do what is necessary when she gets a new mission. Yet, that morning, things are somehow strange in the city, police is everywhere and there is a threat perceptible, but where does it come from? Another series of attacks on the French capital? Kate is good at her jobs and that’s the reason why she soon figures out that the whole scenario is aimed at somebody completely different and that this could also mean that her family and especially her husband is the primary target.

“The Paris Diversion” is the second instalment of the Kate Moore series and continues “The Expats”. It is not absolutely necessary to have read the first novel, yet, the stories are closely interwoven and directly linked. The story moves at a high pace, the whole plot takes place in only a couple of hours, it is only slowed down by Kate’s memories of her time in Luxembourg and a love story that took place some years before. The first of the two makes sense for readers who are not familiar with the first book of the series, the second, however, could easily have been dropped for my liking since it does not contribute anyhow to the actual plot.

It takes some time to see through the whole story. There are many things going on at the same time in different places and how they connect does only unfold slowly. It is cleverly orchestrated and finally, all pieces fall into place, yet, the whole set-up is not really authentic. It is quite an interesting scenario playing with all the fears of modern world: the quick changes at the stock markets, terrorist attacks on a Western metropolis, kidnapping of CEOs, secret services operating in foreign countries – you name it. Chris Pavone masterfully combined all those ingredients into one story, but, as one might assume, it was a bit too much. Nevertheless, I liked the novel due to the high pace and the fantastic protagonist: a strong woman who just does what has to be done while at the same time being completely down to earth and making wrong decisions in her private life.
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This is the second in the Kate Moore series by Chris Pavone, with Kate now settled in Paris running a CIA Paris substation. It might possibly have helped me to have read the 1st in the series because to be honest, it took a long time for me to get into this, although once I did, it turned into a compulsive and fast paced read. In the beginning, we have various characters perspectives on what is turning out to be a disturbing and unsettling day, but the style of writing is dispassionate, and consequently it is difficult to care for them. In what is ostensibly looking to be the kind of terrorist attack with various targets that Paris has experienced in its recent past, turns out to be nothing of the kind, as the title hints, this is The Paris Diversion. For Kate Moore and her husband, Dextor, the past is about to come and trouble them in the present.

Mahmoud Khalid is wearing a suicide vest and carrying a briefcase that is a cause of concern for the authorities, is it a dirty bomb or similar? Mahmoud knows that this is the day he is going to die as the crowds flee in fear all around him. Ibrahim Abid, a police sniper of Morroccan descent is the man who raises the alarm on Mahmoud. Paris is becoming a city of police sirens and traffic jams as emergency procedures are put in place in response to the perceived threats and dangers. For Kate, it's a normal day as she plans for a dinner party that she is less than keen on but will help to embed the family further into the local community. Her marriage to Dexter is plagued and troubled by the silences between them, Dexter knows nothing of her work, he is planning his latest venture to get rich quick after his last endeavour ended in disaster, but despite Dexter's shortcomings, and there are many, Kate cannot quite let go of her marriage. 4Syte CEO Hunter has plans to increase his wealth quite considerably today, but is hit by a blackout in communications, and taken to a safe house, with his PA Colette, when threats against him and other US businessmen are made. There are bomb threats in Hong Kong and Mumbai, and in Venice, a mother 'Susanna', not her real name, is making financial trades. 

Pavone writes a thrilling espionage story with a wide cast of characters, there is suspense and tension galore and there is twist after twist as it slowly becomes clear that nothing is as it seems. The slow reveals about the characters and the truth of what is actually going on is expertly done. I particularly liked Kate, living with a problematic marriage, the fear of losing her job, having experienced professional disasters in Seville and Copenhagen, and aware that the orders she has followed has meant she has ruined the lives of so many. She is a woman of gumption and courage as she sets out to protect Dexter and her family in the fight of her life. I would recommend this novel to those who enjoy espionage reads and thrillers, just be prepared for it to take a while to get going and it would help to have read the first in the series. Many thanks to Faber & Faber for an ARC.
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I read the first book in this series by Chris Pavone, The Expats, several years ago so was excited to receive this review copy from NetGalley. 
It is about Kate, a mother and CIA agent living in Paris with her feckless husband Dexter.
Within the space of a few hours a number of terrorists set some bombs and a suicide bomber arrives  at key sights in Paris including the Louvre. Kate races around trying to find out more about what is going on. 
Unfortunately this book did not really do it for me. I ploughed on to about 40% hoping that it would get better. The premise of the story was good but I just did not find it a compelling read. There were chapters told from different viewpoints and I found this very confusing. Everything seemed to be steeped in mystery but I really felt so little for the characters that I didn’t care what happened.
Maybe this book would have got better had I preserved but I just didn’t have the enthusiasm.
Sadly only two stars from me.
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I received a copy of this novel from the publisher via NetGalley.

While I did read the first in this series, The Expats, I remember almost nothing about it. This instalment makes many references to that novel, and, although most of its plot is gradually retold as explanation for the plot of this one, it was frustrating waiting for it to be fully explained. I found this very readable, although Kate as off the books US operative is not remotely believable. The plot did come together well by the end, but there were many short chapters from different perspectives and it was hard at times to remember who every one was - I had completely lost track of the poor man dragged into things in Hong Kong when he briefly reappeared. The strongest chapters for me were the ones featuring Hunter and Colette.

Overall it seemed a terribly complicated way to get revenge, although I suppose 25 million Euros is a lot of money. I don't see why Kate is so loyal to Dexter, but maybe things will have changed in the next in the series.
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