Pick of the Week: The Accident by Chris Pavone
Chris Pavone, author of last year’s hit book The Expats, has done it again. The Accident is a gripping thriller. From the first chapter, I could hardly put it down.
Isabel Reed, a literary agent, receives an anonymous manuscript at her office, and it turns out to be the book that will define her career and even her life. It’s an expose of a powerful media mogul (I kept imagining Rupert Murdoch) that has explosive and dangerous implications for the media industry, for Isabel, and even for the CIA. Over the course of the next two days, everyone who comes in contact with the manuscript starts ending up dead, so Isabel and her editor, Jeff Fielder, find themselves on the run as they try to protect the manuscript and their lives.
The Accident alternates point of view between Isabel, her pursuer, the anonymous manuscript author, and all the other individuals involved with the mysterious book. The plot is revealed slowly, layers falling away character by character, until finally all the pieces fall into place, both for Isabel and for the reader. Betrayals and lies abound, and often I wasn’t sure which side various people were on. Pavone is a veteran of the publishing industry, and this book also provides a glimpse into the inner workings of that world and the characters that populate it: the ambitious assistant, the editor who is past his prime, the publisher struggling to save his family’s business. Maybe they’re stereotypes, but together they combine to create a riveting plot. (An added bonus: if you liked Kate, the protagonist of The Expats, she shows up in this book too.)
This is a compelling, action-packed book, with engaging characters and an intricate plot that will keep readers riveted. A great read!