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Reviews of Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone

Two Nights in Lisbon

A Novel

by Chris Pavone

Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone X
Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    May 2022, 448 pages

    Paperback:
    May 2023, 448 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Tina Choi
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About this Book

Book Summary

Tautly wound and expertly crafted, Two Nights in Lisbon is a riveting thriller about a woman under pressure, and how far she will go when everything is on the line.

You think you know a person...

Ariel Pryce wakes up in Lisbon, alone. Her husband is gone―no warning, no note, not answering his phone. Something is wrong.

She starts with hotel security, then the police, then the American embassy, at each confronting questions she can't fully answer: What exactly is John doing in Lisbon? Why would he drag her along on his business trip? Who would want to harm him? And why does Ariel know so little about her new―much younger―husband?

The clock is ticking. Ariel is increasingly frustrated and desperate, running out of time, and the one person in the world who can help is the one person she least wants to ask.

With sparkling prose and razor-sharp insights, bestselling author Chris Pavone delivers a stunning and sophisticated international thriller that will linger long after the surprising final page.

CHAPTER 1

LISBON, PORTUGAL
DAY 1. 7:28 A.M.

Ariel awakens, alone.

Sunlight is streaming through the gap between the shutters, casting a stark column of brightness on the wall, nearly painful to look at.

She's hot. She flings aside the sheet, toward the other side of the bed, where her new husband should be, but isn't. Her eyes jump around the room, as if hopping on stones across a stream, looking for evidence of John, but find none, plummeting her into the fast frigid water of a familiar panic: What if she's wrong about him? About this whole thing?

* * *

The bedside clock displays 7:28 in emergency red. Much later than she normally awakes, especially this time of year, the busiest months on the farm, when the birds begin chirping around four A.M., the fieldwork starts at dawn, dogs barking, men yelling above the noise of sputtering engines. It's hard to sleep through all that racket even if she wanted to.

Ariel has been an early riser ever since George was born, a matter of necessity ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide will contain spoilers!
  1. The novelist Lisa Lutz describes Two Nights in Lisbon as "a total barn burner, with twisty surprises from start to finish." The book ends with a few spectacular twists. Did you see any of these coming? When? Based on what clues? Were you satisfied with the way the author wrapped up the story?
  2. The novelist Lee Child says this book is "timely, important, layered with ticking suspense." The plot and characters definitely have a few parallels with recent important events and people in American life. How do you feel about this commentary? Does it enhance the reading experience for you? Do you prefer fiction to be a total escape from reality, or a reflection of it?
  3. The novelist Megan Abbott describes Two Nights in Lisbon as having "true...
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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

Despite the questions surrounding Ariel's motivation (Does she really care about John? Is she really who she says she is?), Pavone reassures the reader she is someone to root for. Within confessional nuggets, she constantly asserts to the reader that she is not a hysterical person. Paradoxically, this triggers a warning that she might not be the most reliable of witnesses. Yet we sense there is truth beneath her story as she states, "Sometimes what looks like panic is really rational self-preservation." We wonder who exactly Ariel is, this woman who not only knows how to "repair a leaky faucet...reignite a pilot light...and paint a patch of drywall" but how to "kill someone, using nothing but her bare hands." Pavone drops these scintillating breadcrumbs of information about the character at the end of chapters with calculated intent, enticing us to read further...continued

Full Review (819 words)

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(Reviewed by Tina Choi).

Media Reviews

The New York Times
This smart, calculating author remains many notches above others in his field.

The Washington Post
Nothing is quite as it seems in this energetic thriller that calls into question marriage, loyalty, and truth.

Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Surprise builds on surprise, and although the reader may sense where the complicated plot is headed, the twists keep coming...This high-stakes drama grabs your attention and doesn't let go.

Publishers Weekly (starred review)
[E]xcellent...Pavone skillfully layers plot details, often shifting points of view, all the way to the end of this superior, elegantly crafted yarn. The enigmatic central character, whose moral compass is set a bit differently than most, sets this above the pack.

Library Journal
Fans of Chris Bohjalian's Cassie Bowden and Camilla Läckberg's Faye Adelheim may be sympathetic to Ariel's plight and able to overlook the high page count.

The Los Angeles Times
Mystifyingly well-constructed ... a dynamic and wholly original story about privilege, power, and the price women pay so that others can maintain it.

Author Blurb John Grisham, author of A Time for Mercy
I defy anyone to read the first twenty pages of this breakneck novel, then try to put it down for five minutes. It can't be done. The plot is too devious, the pace is too gripping, and the characters are seldom who they are supposed to be. This is smart suspense at its very best.

Author Blurb Karin Slaughter, author of The Silent Wife
Chris Pavone's pacey, well-plotted thrillers are riveting and great fun to read, and Two Nights in Lisbon is his best yet. This one is not to be missed.

Author Blurb Lee Child, author of The Sentinel
Two Nights in Lisbon is sensationally good―timely, important, layered with ticking suspense, driven by an ominous drumbeat that accelerates like a panicked heart. My thriller of the year so far.

Author Blurb Lee Child, author of The Sentinel
Two Nights in Lisbon is sensationally good―timely, important, layered with ticking suspense, driven by an ominous drumbeat that accelerates like a panicked heart. My thriller of the year so far.

Author Blurb Lisa Scottoline, author of Eternal
I absolutely loved Chris Pavone's Two Nights in Lisbon, an unputdownable thriller that's his best novel yet. It stars a strong and savvy heroine who wakes up one morning to find her husband missing, and the action never lets up. This is a masterly, sleek, and sophisticated novel about love, marriage, and truth. Read it!

Author Blurb Maggie Shipstead, author of Great Circle
I always relish Chris Pavone's books, and this just might be my favorite yet, full of the canny asides and observations that set his work apart. The plot grips, the characters breathe, the gorgeous setting entices. Treat yourself!

Reader Reviews

Mohd Umar Tahir

Review for two nights in Lisbon Chris pavon
This book is very interesting. Read this book you take a lot of information with this book.
Ann E Beman

As twisty as the cobbled streets of Lisbon
Lisbon provides the perfect backdrop for this international thriller. From the moment Ariel Pryce wakes alone in her hotel room, her husband gone without warning, the action throttles without cease. Author Chris Pavone uses well the winding streets ...   Read More
Cloggie Downunder

definitely a page-turner
Two Nights In Lisbon is the fifth novel by best-selling American author, Chris Pavone. When Ariel Pryce wakes up alone in a Lisbon hotel on a July Monday morning, she expects to find her (ten years younger) husband of three months in the dining room ...   Read More
Himanshu Gautam

Highly recommended
Yes, Two Nights in Lisbon is a gripping and engaging novel. It is a fast-paced and intense thriller that will take you on a journey through the streets of Lisbon and into the minds of its complex and intriguing characters. The characters are well ...   Read More

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Beyond the Book

Female "Hysteria"

1893 black-and-white drawings of a woman with catalepsy brought on by 'hysteria,' shown in several different standing positions Chris Pavone's portrayal of a victimized woman being called "hysterical" in Two Nights in Lisbon alludes to a phenomenon that can be found in accounts dating as far back as ancient Greece.

In a Curiosities of Medical History feature for Medical News Today, Maria Cohut, Ph.D., details how conditions ranging from depression to infertility, and even a "fondness of writing," were long thought to be explained by a state Hippocrates and Plato termed "hystera," originally believed to be a tendency for the womb "to wander around the female body, causing an array of physical and mental conditions."

Although the general concept of hysteria dates back to ancient times, it became an especially popular diagnosis for women's physical and ...

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Read-Alikes

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