The Travelers, by Chris Pavone, is a slickly constructed spy thriller that grabs the reader’s attention from the off and doesn’t let go. It is a book that deserves the much overused accolade, unputdownable. From first page to last it did not disappoint.
The protagonist is a thirty-something American journalist, Will Rhodes, who travels the world for a prestigious travel magazine. He and his wife, Chloe, are trying for a baby without success. Little about their marriage seems to be going right. The house they inherited is all but condemned as unfit for habitation and their debts are mounting. His constant travel limits Will’s ability to try to put things right.
On a trip to France he meets a beautiful Australian just starting out in journalism. Will struggles to resist her charms. He soon discovers that she is not not what she seems, becoming embroiled in something he does not understand but which promises to ease his financial worries. The deeper he goes into this murky world the higher the cost to both his personal safety and his peace of mind. He is lying to his wife and she knows something is wrong.
Chloe also has secrets. So does Will’s boss at the magazine, a long time friend. It is unclear who each of these people is working for.
The plot twists and turns as Will’s involvement threatens to unravel decades of undercover operations thereby putting him in danger. Somewhere a secretive surveillance centre is keeping track of every phone call, credit card transaction and travel detail. Assignations are monitored and security cameras studied, but who is watching who and why?
The splash of glamour, the lure of lucre and the idea that undesirables can be disposed of are all present and correct but this is still a tense and compelling read. Somehow the author takes all the familiar tropes and injects them with vitality.
Well written, entertaining escapism. As close to an all action movie as a book can get.
This review is a stop on The Travelers Blog Tour. Do check out the other posts, detailed below.
My copy of this book was provided gratis by the publisher.