Customer Reviews for

The Expats

Average Rating 3.5
( 126 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(37)

4 Star

(33)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(23)

1 Star

(9)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 14 people found this review helpful.

New first rate thriller

What started out as a predictable thriller quickly turned into a must read! Will there be another book, dare we say series. Get this book for your espionage collection!

posted by oakbridge on March 7, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

Not as advertised

I purchased this book on the recommendation of an anonymous reviewer at Publishers Weekly who likened it to the works by Robert Ludlum and Jean le Carre. This author is nowhere in the same league as those two giants of the genre, whose works with which l am very familia...
I purchased this book on the recommendation of an anonymous reviewer at Publishers Weekly who likened it to the works by Robert Ludlum and Jean le Carre. This author is nowhere in the same league as those two giants of the genre, whose works with which l am very familiar. Shame on PW for allowing such a, dare I say phony, review to mislead serious readers. Either the reviewer did not bother to read "The Expats" or is not familiar with the works of Ludlum and le Carre before writing a bogus review.

I disliked this book for a number of reasons, foremost among them being that it wasted my time with the most boring real-time minutiae of everyday life of a two-dimensional former CIA assassin (totally unbelievable, by the way) turned housewife with two kiddies who lend nothing to the story line here other than to fluff out the word count; it took me 54 pages to figure out that all I should have been doing was reading the first few words of each paragraph to skip past the fluff, which brought me to about page 253 before I discovered any (barely) worthwhile prose to read.

There are four main characters in this book, including the unbelievable ex-spy housewife/mother, all of whom are two-dimensional and fit in very well with a weak story line that concludes in a ludicrous wind-down that had me thinking "huh!"

Anyone who is considering buying "The Expats" should be aware that this book is neither a "spy" novel nor a "thriller"; as some professional "reviewers" would have you believe. It is, in fact, a simple robbery story with a hackneyed line.

As a former magazine editor/writer and an avid reader of "spy" novels, among other genres, I learned that writers are born with a story-telling talent and the ability to put into print their yarns. This author has the talent to get a story legibly into print, but he needs to get a better handle on story and character development and have the dialog for each character easily identify said characters. The potential is there; it just has to be refined. Terseness counts more than lots of empty rhetoric (take a hint from the motion-picture industry); develop story lines that are both believable and interesting; ditto for characters and dialog; and please refrain from using high-falutin' words (and if you do resort such un-called-for urges, at least attempt to use them in correct grammar) that lend nothing to the story and have developing readers scrambling for a dictionary to look up their meanings. Don't use words just to show off your superior education and massage your ego; when you do this, it alienates your audience.

Would I read another book by this author? Perhaps--but only if my (hopefully constructive) criticisms are addressed.

posted by hariseldenAB on May 9, 2012

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 9, 2012

    Not as advertised

    I purchased this book on the recommendation of an anonymous reviewer at Publishers Weekly who likened it to the works by Robert Ludlum and Jean le Carre. This author is nowhere in the same league as those two giants of the genre, whose works with which l am very familiar. Shame on PW for allowing such a, dare I say phony, review to mislead serious readers. Either the reviewer did not bother to read "The Expats" or is not familiar with the works of Ludlum and le Carre before writing a bogus review.

    I disliked this book for a number of reasons, foremost among them being that it wasted my time with the most boring real-time minutiae of everyday life of a two-dimensional former CIA assassin (totally unbelievable, by the way) turned housewife with two kiddies who lend nothing to the story line here other than to fluff out the word count; it took me 54 pages to figure out that all I should have been doing was reading the first few words of each paragraph to skip past the fluff, which brought me to about page 253 before I discovered any (barely) worthwhile prose to read.

    There are four main characters in this book, including the unbelievable ex-spy housewife/mother, all of whom are two-dimensional and fit in very well with a weak story line that concludes in a ludicrous wind-down that had me thinking "huh!"

    Anyone who is considering buying "The Expats" should be aware that this book is neither a "spy" novel nor a "thriller"; as some professional "reviewers" would have you believe. It is, in fact, a simple robbery story with a hackneyed line.

    As a former magazine editor/writer and an avid reader of "spy" novels, among other genres, I learned that writers are born with a story-telling talent and the ability to put into print their yarns. This author has the talent to get a story legibly into print, but he needs to get a better handle on story and character development and have the dialog for each character easily identify said characters. The potential is there; it just has to be refined. Terseness counts more than lots of empty rhetoric (take a hint from the motion-picture industry); develop story lines that are both believable and interesting; ditto for characters and dialog; and please refrain from using high-falutin' words (and if you do resort such un-called-for urges, at least attempt to use them in correct grammar) that lend nothing to the story and have developing readers scrambling for a dictionary to look up their meanings. Don't use words just to show off your superior education and massage your ego; when you do this, it alienates your audience.

    Would I read another book by this author? Perhaps--but only if my (hopefully constructive) criticisms are addressed.

    21 out of 22 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 29, 2012

    As a life long 'ex-pat' with some familiarity with the CIA, the

    As a life long 'ex-pat' with some familiarity with the CIA, the diplomatic service, Europe and overseas living, I was eagerly looking forward to reading this book. I was very disappointed. The plot was convoluted and unbelievable, the chronological presentation was unnecessarily confusing, and the characters were generally unlikeable. Although I did finish it, it was very easy for me to put this book down.

    16 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 31, 2012

    This book was trite. It was incredibly predictable and the endi

    This book was trite. It was incredibly predictable and the ending was a complete cop-out. I was annoyed I spent any money on this book and wasted my time reading it.

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 31, 2013

    Anonymous

    The book title and cover are misleading. It is flase advertising
    Because it is not a spy noval and not a suspense thiller.
    The plot was weak and the characters where not like any real
    People and not any one you like or want to be freinds with.
    The idea that a CIA agent could marry a man, have two children and live with him for 10 years and not know what he does for a living requires more than just suspenion of belief. I should have stopped reading at that point. The
    Ending was likewise unbelieveable and disapointing.
    Would not recomend this book to anyone.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    Hate this poorly written poop

    At page 200 i still dont care about any of the characters. Crime novels usually have a fast moving plot this jumps around and never settles anywhere. Not only do i not understand whats going on i dont care.
    Oh yeah if our protagonist is ex cia youd think shed have a more tactical and offensive strategy. Shes a bumbling housewife who is not even interesting enough to dislike.
    Thanks for nothing

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    A "must read" if you like intrigue. The more I read,

    A "must read" if you like intrigue. The more I read, the more I couldn't put it down. Via multiple timelines, the author masterfully unravels the story. It is anything but predictable.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 20, 2014

    Based on the plot, this book should have been an exciting and ri

    Based on the plot, this book should have been an exciting and riveting thrillers of a woman escaping her past and being caught up in the world of espionage; however, it was quite lackluster instead. The story had so much potential but was poorly written. The characters felt flat and undeveloped, not to mention what I felt were inconsistencies in character. Kate (the protagonist) is dull as can be and horribly one dimensional. She is supposed to be an ex-CIA agent, but there are far too many instances in the story that make her seem like a normal housewife who has never experience anything exciting. She reminisces about her past missions, yet is easily flustered by  acquaintances showing up at her door. There are times when she brilliantly breaks into places, but leaves evidence of her being there. These can all be attributed to an inexperienced author, and perhaps forgivable, however the part that drove me crazy was the way the author broke up the story into three different timelines; one from her quitting the CIA, one in the present and the third of their first few months in Luxembourg. That could have been an interesting way to tell the story, but ultimately it became irritating as it was difficult to tell which story line the author was telling - they changed without warning. This book had potential to be great and interesting, but ultimately became dull and boring due to poor writing. 

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2014

    T

    1.5 stars. So very stale & far fetched. This one needs to be skipped.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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