Friday, October 2, 2020

Eight thrillers featuring Americans in Europe

Mark Pryor is the author of the Hugo Marston novels The Bookseller, The Crypt Thief, The Blood Promise, The Button Man, The Reluctant Matador, The Paris Librarian, The Sorbonne Affair, The Book Artist and the newly released The French Widow, as well as the novels Hollow Man and Dominic. He has also published the true-crime book As She Lay Sleeping. A native of Hertfordshire, England, he is an assistant district attorney in Austin, Texas, where he lives with his wife and three children.

At CrimeReads, Pryor tagged eight "fish-out-of-water crime novels [that] drop their American protagonists across the ocean and into hot water," including:
The Expats, Chris Pavone
Setting: Luxembourg

A more modern novel, and this one set in a place not exactly known for thrills and spills: Luxembourg. In fact, I went there not long ago planning to set part of my newest Hugo Marston book there but found it to be so clean, so beautiful, so gosh darned nice that I couldn’t bring myself to sully the place with any murder or mayhem.

Pavone, on the other hand, does so and quite masterfully. His protagonist is an American woman called Kate Moore who is brought overseas by her husband—to lovely Luxembourg—only to find her life boring and unfulfilling. Which, you know, kind of tallies with my experience there. One big difference: I’m a mere writer and prosecutor, this woman used to be a CIA assassin. The book is packed with the contradictions of everyday life running into secrecy and danger. As Goodreads puts it: “a complex web of intrigue where no one is who they claim to be, and the most profound deceptions lurk beneath the most normal-looking of relationships; and a mind-boggling long-play con threatens her family, her marriage, and her life.”

And yes, it’s as good as that sounds.
Read about the other entries on the list.

The Page 69 Test: The Expats.

--Marshal Zeringue