Customer Reviews for

The Expats

Average Rating 3.5
( 121 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(36)

4 Star

(31)

3 Star

(24)

2 Star

(22)

1 Star

(8)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

10 out of 12 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

18 out of 19 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 April 25, 2012

    As an ex-patriot living in Europe (albeit not an ex-spy) I thoug

    As an ex-patriot living in Europe (albeit not an ex-spy) I thought this book would be a lot of fun to read. Instead, I found it completely implausible. First, the main character, Kate, is just not believable as an ex-CIA operative. She makes too many stupid mistakes during the story. Would an ex-CIA agent just give her car keys to someone she just met or use her home computer unmonitored? I think not. The final part of the book where is all is revealed was just flat out implausible to me. And of course, since I am actually an ex-patriot, some of the inaccuracies in the details were annoying. For example, there is a scene where the US embassy asks for a Luxembourg work permit. It is never explained why they even go to the embassy in the first place. I've worked in two different countries and the US embassy has never asked me for my local work permit. This plot point could easily have been accomplished by having the landlord ask for a residency permit which does happen in Europe. On the plus side, it is a fast read and some of the descriptions of ex-patriot life are pretty accurate, but I just couldn't get past the implausibility of the whole thing.

    6 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2012

    Disappointing

    I went with the endorsement of an author whose books I have enjoyed and hoped for better. I didn't really care much about the characters and found the story rather boring. I kept waiting for something to happen but it never really did. The jumping back and forth through time was confusing.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 25, 2012

    Slow read for most of book, had trouble keeping interested, too

    Slow read for most of book, had trouble keeping interested, too many people & places,confusing. ending OK

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 20, 2012

    Very poorly written;; poor development of characters and at time

    Very poorly written;; poor development of characters and at times so trite. Not a plausible plot, unless you really think that a career CIA person could be so dumb (well--there's a thought). And how many times do we need to read about her ho hum of becoming a house wife etc etc. I finished it because I had a long plane ride--but really, not a great book by any means.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2013

    The flashbacks were confusing as there was no indication that's

    The flashbacks were confusing as there was no indication that's what those passages were. First they moved to Luxembourg, then suddenly they were living in Paris. I was disappointed in this book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 4, 2012

    The book is jumping all around in the timeline. Flashback here,

    The book is jumping all around in the timeline. Flashback here, flashback there. It is a little confusing what you are reading when the author jumps around so much with no real segway.

    I would not recommend it for the average reader.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2012

    Book is ok

    The Expats is an "OK" book. I purchased this book after seeing a recommendation in an article. The flashbacks are unexpected and confusing to follow. I found myself uninterested in the characters and going a few days without wanting to read it. I was hoping for a good spy book but unfortunately it was just ok.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I'm always curious when a book has the endorsements of several b

    I'm always curious when a book has the endorsements of several big name authors. Did they actually read it? I was bored after the first 50 pages because I was waiting for something to happen. The characters were not interesting, detailed or revealing; pacing was at times obscure. I wanted the lead female character, Kate to be enticing and unfortunately she was not. I didn't believe for a moment she was in the CIA. The stark descriptions of Amsterdam were nothing new. Jumping back and forth through time is only effective if it does not confuse the reader. Hoped for much more.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 17, 2012

    Review1334667416726

    This is a really nice book!1334667416726

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2014

    Slow

    Slow along with disjointed flashbacks. Skipped thru a lot of pages.

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  • Posted February 28, 2014

    This was just okay...

    This was another random pick of mine. It started off interestingly enough. The espionage back story and fish out of water experience in Europe was promising. However the last quarter of this book fell flat. I was completely disappointed with the ending and I don't think this author really knows how to portray the female characters in his story. Something about them was just...off. And honestly, I feel like I wasted my time.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    I found The Expats to be an exceptionally annoying novel. The au

    I found The Expats to be an exceptionally annoying novel. The author takes us from place to place, bounces around from one time to another, and continually keeps us off guard so we don't discover the deceptive game he is playing with the plot. But it doesn't work. We are on to is game. Just as the characters in the novel do not trust each other, we do not trust the author. His plot shifts continuously, leaving me, just one reader, highly annoyed and not entertained...or impressed.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted April 12, 2012

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