Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chris Pavone Plants Twists and Turns in 'The Paris Diversion'

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Chris Pavone Plants Twists and Turns in 'The Paris Diversion'

Article excerpt

Thriller writer Chris Pavone opens "The Paris Diversion" in a seemingly straightforward way: A terrorist of Middle Eastern origin is standing outside Paris' gem of a museum, the Louvre. He's wrapped in explosives and grips a metal suitcase that may well hold a bunch of radioactive material wrapped in more explosives -- the dirtiest of bombs.

But -- as the word "diversion" in the title suggests -- the terrorism merely serves to divert attention from the real wrongdoing. With the world's attention focused on the threat in Paris, a clever financier has a plan to score millions through some shady stock dealings.

This tale brings Pavone's bookshelf total to four novels. To fill the cast of characters in this fourth work, he reaches back to his prize-winning debut thriller, "The Expats," published in 2012. Pavone's fans can once again prowl the streets with Kate Moore, an agent for a hush-hush intelligence outfit. As Pavone tells it:

"She was effective at running her network of journalists, bloggers, influencers, as well as drug dealers, thieves, prostitutes, and cops, plus diplomats and soldiers, maitre d's and concierges and bartenders and shopkeepers; it's surprising how much you can learn from the eagle-eyed owner of a well-sited bodega. All these assets, the fabric that holds society together, recruited so Kate could identify weaknesses and exploit them, manipulating reality to one that's a more hospitable environment for the security of the USA and the health of its global corporations, its banks, its exported culture, Coca-Cola, ExxonMobil, the films of Steven Spielberg."

Also returning is her husband in a troubled union, Dexter Moore, a wannabe financial wizard who seems to be a born loser. Indeed, unlike most men who write thrillers, Pavone spends a lot of paragraphs inside Kate's thoughts, few of them happy.

The plot twists and turns like a desperate running back on fourth down, with readers sometimes hard-pressed to determine which character is lying to whom and why. …

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