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The Paris Diversion

A Novel

by Chris Pavone

The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone X
The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone
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  • Published in USA  Feb 2020
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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There are currently 7 reader reviews for The Paris Diversion
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Power Reviewer

Wow- what a page turner!
This book has everything going for it - a fun Parisian setting, dangerous but believable situations, and characters who are realistically imperfect. They have a blend of both good and bad qualities that keep the reader guessing about what will happen next. Author Chris Pavone seems extremely knowledgeable about Paris, so readers who have traveled there will be able to picture the scenes perfectly.

One critic compared this book to John le Carre; that seems like a good match to give you an idea of the fast paced action. However, at the same time, Pavone weaves in the day-to-day life events of American ex-pats Kate Moore and her husband. The irritation of dealing with the "Hashtag Mom" who seems to plan her actions and comments around how well she can present her life on social media is a classic.

When you want a good story that holds your interest, this book fits the bill.
Patricia N

A mystery with a touch of suspense and intrigue
If you enjoy mysteries with a touch or suspense and intrigue, you will like The Paris Diversion! The characters from The Expats are at it again! This book has more depth to it if you've read the previous novel, but you don't have to have read it to enjoy this one.
The premise of this story is something new and intriguing, and will bring you on a ride trying to figure out who is doing what to whom.
Lisa W

Better as a sequel
I really enjoyed the book and it kept me engaged. However, I felt it worked much better as a sequel than it did as a stand-alone. The previous book, written quite some time ago, the Expats, introduces us to the main characters. We learn so much about them individually and as a couple. That is lacking in this book. They have an intense and vivid history and read in that context, Paris Diversion becomes much more interesting. That being said, my husband really enjoyed it and he did not read the The Expats. All in all, I was involved and kept turning the pages...but I do recommend reading it second.

Twist followed by twist followed by twist
Paris, the City of Lights, is the backdrop to what appears to be extraordinarily well coordinated multi acts of terrorism. But then it’s not. Without giving too much away, this page turner reveals some of the more base sides of people. And that revenge can destroy worlds. It’s a worthwhile read that unfolds and surprises at every twist and turn.

Fast-Paced Thriller
Chris Pavone’s The Paris Diversion arrived from BookBrowse. I was not familiar with Pavone; he has published three previous spy thrillers. Since I like to know something about the author’s background, I looked for his Web site to discover a bit about Pavone.
After reading the book, I did further research which brought additional information. Janet Maslin, writing for The New York Times, said Pavone “had previously worked in cookbook publishing.” That forms an interesting leap from cookbooks to espionage thrillers. Maslin calls The Expats, Pavone’s first thriller, “sexy” and “rare.” Then she continues by saying that The Paris Diversion, the latest book and the one I received, will become part of a series. Further, Maslin tells readers that if they start with The Paris Diversion, they will “spend a lot of time wondering who the Moores are, what happened to them in Luxembourg (not to mention what happened during Kate’s long career in espionage before she married Dexter) and what residue of problems and enemies are brought to this touristy new book.”
Luckily, I did not read Maslin’s review until after I had completed The Paris Diversion. I can see why Maslin makes those remarks because I kept wondering how Kate and Dexter’s backstory—still unknown to me---fit into the current story.
Pavone writes with surety and creates a breathless narrative. With Paris as the setting, the well-known landmarks also become part of the story, especially if one is in danger of being blown up by a terrorist.
Keeping up with the wide cast of characters becomes a task for the reader. How will the stories connect? Kate and Dexter, a married couple, have more secrets from each other than any two strangers might. Their two young sons appear to be the only remaining link between them. Dexter asks Kate about her job and she continues to be evasive, telling him nothing. On the other hand, Dexter is withholding information from Kate as well.
In the midst of a potential terrorist attack at the Louvre, Kate and Dexter continue to plan a birthday party for one of their sons with the planning taking place via text messages. As Kate remembers other tasks for Dexter for the upcoming party, she is dashing around Paris trying to find out about the bomb, the organization behind it, and more.
Pavone’s writing is fast-paced, to say the least. Following Kate around as she backtracks and crisscrosses Paris to avoid being followed is dizzying. Kate has contingency plans for all sorts of encounters. She has a ready false name to give in any situation.
The disparate stories in The Paris Diversion became a bit disconcerting to me as I tried to determine how they would come together. Once, I relaxed, sat back, and simply read to the end, I felt better about the story. Instead of trying to figure out the connections, I read on and waited for the stories to come together.
Carmel B

“You Are Being Diverted”
Perhaps I am not “smart” or “sophisticated” enough because this read is not “suspenseful” for me, it is annoying. Mahmoud has been at the “location” in Paris for fifty-two pages and nothing has happened. Kate clearly plays an important role but all she has done so far is drop her daughter off at school, shop and drink coffee in a café while complaining about “Hashtag Mom” which is curious because, so far, she is everything that woman is, minus the hashtag. Collette is clickety-clacking on the hardwood floors with her stilettos in Hunter’s Penthouse Office while he awaits his “big chance.” Just when one thinks the story might really begin to unfold, enter another character in Venice who spends four pages ignoring her gurgling baby and getting ready to hit the all-important “send” key on her PC. Lastly, there is Dexter, Kate’s castigated husband, maybe her foil? Lots and lots of sirens and police cars racing around which is intriguing for a while, but not fifty-two pages. The impression is that the reader is expected to follow these characters operating independently until, at some point painfully far down the road, they converge in some great confluence of revelation. Maybe other readers will have the patience.

Just okay
I never truly felt engaged in this book. Eventually , I figured out it was because none of the characters were likable, all had flaws, kind of like real life.
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