Cover image of "The Paris Diversion," a novel which centers around terrorist threats in Paris.

In The Paris Diversion, Chris Pavone picks up the story he began in his debut, Edgar-Award-winning novel, The Expats.

Kate and Dexter Moore have survived the discovery of Dexter’s involvement in an enormous cyber-theft he helped engineer from their home in Luxembourg. They’re in Paris, having separated from their treacherous, erstwhile friends. “[T]hey won’t ever be able to explain any of it, to anyone. There were too many illegal aspects, clandestine operations, the CIA and FBI and Interpol, a whole mess.” And their marriage is falling apart.

Estimated reading time: 3 minutes

Now, in Paris, Kate has been elevated by the CIA into chief of the Paris Substation, a super-secret, off-the-books operation . . . or is she really even working for the CIA? Dexter has turned to day-trading . . . or is he really?

The Paris Diversion by Chris Pavone (2019) 372 pages ★★★★☆

Terrorist threats in Paris upend Kate and Dexter’s lives

Kate and Dexter’s lives begin to unravel when a Middle-Eastern man wearing a suicide vest shows up at the Louvre. However, instead of detonating the vest, he simply stands by the equestrian statue of Louis XIV for hour after hour. Meanwhile, police are also drawn to several other famous sites across the city of Paris, where bombs in paper bags have been left. And, as all this is going on, Dexter’s former boss, billionaire Hunter Forsyth, has been moved to a safe house by a man from the State Department . . . or is he really? He’s scheduled to announce a major merger at a press conference that afternoon . . . and billions are at stake. But will the terrorist threat recede in time?

It’s all connected, of course. Pavone spins out the tale in brief chapters that shift from present to past and from city to city . . . and the suspense becomes unbearable. The cast of characters expands as the action moves forward. And we learn more and more about the circumstances that have led Kate and Dexter into the peril they now experience in the shadow of the terrorist threats against Paris.

Previously I’ve reviewed Chris Pavone’s first three novels (The Paris Diversion is the fourth):

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