This is Pavone’s third published novel and the second with Kate Moore as the leading character. His theme, as were his previous two, is about citizens of one country living and working in another as overseas executives or agents or in some other representative capacity. These people make a life for themselves and family in a land foreign to them and do it consciously as a career choice.
As a definite plus to the novel, the author indicates that he set up a long term residence in Paris, explored the city, learned about the real life of the citizens and while there wrote a good part of the novel. His depiction of the city is better than any travel book might be.
Kate is actually the chief of station for a division of the CIA and runs a large group of operatives and agents while her husband Dexter makes investments. In what or how is left quite nebulous, but than again neither Kate nor Dexter really know what their partner is actually doing. A strange setup to believe is actually the case between a man and his wife.
A strange event galvanizes everyone. A man walks into a public square in Paris with a suitcase and reveals that he has a bomb attached to his vest which he can set off anytime he wants to. There are also threats of other bombers in action in other European cities. Kate must keep headquarters in the US advised of what is happening and at the same time muster the personnel she is in charge of to possibly help the French police deal with the threat.
In examining the situation, Kate comes to the realization that the bomb threats are really just scare tactics and are meant to cover up something else that is going on. If true, than what really going to happen and why? This is the real story being told and unfortunately leads the author into many over rapid descriptions of events and more than a little confusion on the part of the reader to follow the plot and events taking place. I felt that the overabundance of confusing parts detracted from what should have been a fascinating novel about a different world for most people. I would express the hope that Pavone would take this into account in his succeeding books.
5/19 Paul Lane
THE PARIS DIVERSION by Chris Pavone. Crown (May 7, 2019). ISBN 978-1524761509. 384p.