Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Expats

There are a lot of secrets in this book. Kate, who writes position papers for the State Department, is really a CIA agent (a fact that she has not revealed to her husband). When her husband Dexter  lands a lucrative computer security job in a bank in Luxembourg, Kate sees this as an opportunity to quit her job and leave behind the double life she is leading, and take care of her two young boys. The family moves to Luxembourg, and there the intrigue begins. Kate can't quite shake her CIA persona. She quickly becomes bored with her domestic expat life in Europe, and after some troubling behavior by her husband,  and a growing distance between them, she begins to suspect that he is keeping some secrets of his own. Where is all their money coming from? Why can't she know who he works for? And why does he disappear for long periods of time? She begins to think their friendship with the new American couple might be more than a coincidence, and that they may in fact be assassins, looking to avenge some of her past CIA actions. Or could they be after Dexter? There are lots of flashbacks into Kate's past life and the whole narrative weaves back and forth between the present and the past as Kate tries to figure out what her husband is up to.

There are good descriptions of the expat life in Luxembourg, and of their travels in Europe.   I liked the book, found it easy to read, but it's certainly no spy novel. The characters didn't really ring true for me,  but the story had enough going on to keep me reading and to want to find out what happens at the end. It's a good summer read.

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