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The Paris Diversion


The Paris Diversion

Kate Moore is an expat. She and her family are ever-so-fortunate to live in Paris, where her two young boys attend an international school. Her husband Dexter, a day trader, works each day from their home. With other Americans in the expat community, they eat expensive dinners of simple French fare, go to children’s birthday parties and parks, and attend the country’s landmark museums and cathedrals.

The Moores are recovering from a disastrous stay in Luxembourg, where part of the life they had crafted there turned out to be a fraud. The family had moved overseas from Washington, D.C., for a luxurious-sounding new position for Dexter. Out of that disaster, Kate had wrought a success --- albeit one that earned her enemies --- that enabled them to start over again in Paris. Dexter is attempting to earn his way back into his wife’s good graces, and has a long way to go.

And Kate’s career? Dexter is not exactly sure what his wife does. One moment, she is in Paris with him and the boys, and then suddenly she has to take a business trip out of town or out of the country. He never knows if she’ll be back in two days or 10. And she never, ever tells him the details of these excursions --- only that it’s information she can’t share with him or any of their expat acquaintances.

"Chris Pavone has brought the streets and citizens of Paris to vivid life alongside the more unfamiliar world of spycraft, and the unseen operatives who populate it."

You see, Kate is a spy. She works for America’s secretive Paris Substation, cultivating operatives, informants and observers, handling missions with sometimes horrific outcomes. Often she is not sure that her work is actually making a difference, and is secretly afraid that she is about to be put out to pasture or perhaps be sidelined by Dexter’s enormous error in Luxembourg. But she continues to practice her tradecraft and hopes for the best.

This morning, Kate and Dexter shared coffee and stilted conversation before each departed for their respective responsibilities. Dexter has a stock tip that just might restore their losses; in fact, if successful, it will be beyond his wildest hopes and dreams. And if it doesn’t? Well, he can’t think about that. It’s too late to change course, as he and their finances are already committed.

In another part of the city, Dexter’s most-hated former tech boss, Hunter Forsyth, prepares to hold a press conference to announce an acquisition that will catapult his already-successful corporation into the financial stratosphere. In Venice, hacker Susanna sits in front of a bank of computer monitors. She’s watching the stock market, attempting to comfort her wailing newborn, and preparing to hit the keys that will prompt a huge financial coup. And worldwide, breaking news announces a slew of bombs: at the Paris train station, in Hong Kong’s business district, and in Mumbai.

Then an unassuming Middle Eastern man in a windbreaker, carrying a metal briefcase, makes his way to the center of the Louvre’s courtyard. He stops next to the Louis XIV statue and unzips his jacket. Police sniper Ibrahim Abid, whose six-month assignment at the Louvre has been absolutely uneventful, understands that this is the day when everything changes. Because the man in the courtyard is wearing a suicide vest. And the briefcase he’s carrying almost certainly holds another bomb.

One day in Paris has the potential to change everything the world over. The financial markets may rise or plunge. The world’s most famous museum, and the precious and irreplaceable art it contains, may be destroyed in a moment. Fortunes and lives may be lost, or they may be saved. Only a few individuals know the extent of what will happen. And Kate’s world, her family and her identity may never be the same.

In his fourth book, Chris Pavone has brought the streets and citizens of Paris to vivid life alongside the more unfamiliar world of spycraft, and the unseen operatives who populate it. Kate and Dexter, who appeared in Pavone’s debut novel, THE EXPATS, have survived the nightmare events in Luxembourg only to face worse horrors in THE PARIS DIVERSION. Will their family rise, or will they fall? Read this pulse-pounding thriller to find out.

Reviewed by Melanie Reynolds on May 24, 2019

The Paris Diversion
by Chris Pavone

  • Publication Date: February 4, 2020
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books
  • ISBN-10: 1524761516
  • ISBN-13: 9781524761516