THE TRAVELERS: A NOVEL,
BY CHRIS PAVONE
PUBLICATION: BROADWAY BOOKS; REPRINT EDITION; MARCH 8, 2016
Synopsis: It’s 3:00am. Do you know where your husband is?
Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he’s living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Soon Will’s bad choices—and dark secrets—take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland. As he’s drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications—and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.
It’s 3:00am. Your husband has just become a spy.
“The Travelers” is my first time reading Chris Pavone and I thought I was going to love it. However, it just wasn’t for me. The novel begins with travel writer and world traveler, Will Rhodes, making his way around the globe doing various writing assignments. He prides himself on not ever hooking up with any women during his travels – as if he deserves a medal – but then finds himself around a beautiful women he can’t resist. And of course, the first time he decides to take the plunge and cheat, the woman is actually in on a plan to force him into doing undercover work for the CIA. This is about as interesting as it got during the entire novel.
Will has been married to a woman named Chloe for 4 years, although it doesn’t appear to be a happy marriage. Her focus in life seems to be when she is ovulating so she can plan sex, and Will seems most interested in drinking, writing, and singing karaoke. Initially, I thought I was going to like Will’s character – smart, handsome, witty, etc. – but his character never really developed. His wife Chloe and his boss Malcolm were just as uninteresting to me… Then the rest of the novel was honestly just confusing. There was so much switching back and forth between various characters that I knew nothing about in various parts of the world for various reasons. It really just got too jumbled to keep up with who was who and would often take several pages before I realized whose POV I was reading. Characters are a huge draw to me and regardless of a fantastic plot, or plot ideas, I just can’t fully get into a book unless I feel invested in the characters. Unfortunately, in “The Travelers” there was not a single character that I found interesting.
I did notice and respect Chris Pavone’s higher-level writing style which still flowed well, but I didn’t find much else that I enjoyed. I have discovered over the past year that I love mystery/suspense/thrillers – especially concerning international crime, however, there was just way too much going on in this novel at too slow of a pace for me.
*Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.