The Travelers by Chris Pavone – Review


Published: January 10, 2017

Publisher: Broadway Books

Genre: Fiction, Thriller

Pages: 448 (Paperback)

My Rating: 3.5/5.0

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.


A pulse-racing international thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Expats and The Accident.

It s 3:00 am. Do you know where your husband is? Meet Will Rhodes: travel writer, recently married, barely solvent, his idealism rapidly giving way to disillusionment and the worry that he’s living the wrong life. Then one night, on assignment for the award-winning Travelers magazine in the wine region of Argentina, a beautiful woman makes him an offer he can’t refuse. Soon Will’s bad choices and dark secrets take him across Europe, from a chateau in Bordeaux to a midnight raid on a Paris mansion, from a dive bar in Dublin to a mega-yacht in the Mediterranean and an isolated cabin perched on the rugged cliffs of Iceland.

As he’s drawn further into a tangled web of international intrigue, it becomes clear that nothing about Will Rhodes was ever ordinary, that the network of deception ensnaring him is part of an immense and deadly conspiracy with terrifying global implications and that the people closest to him may pose the greatest threat of all.

It’s 3:00 am. Your husband has just become a spy.

The Travelers is perfect for the reader that wants to be an armchair traveler, as well as an undercover, super-secret spy. This appeal is certainly what drew me in in the first place and it kept me hooked all the way through, though I will say that this book took me awhile to read. You have to really pay attention to what’s going on since there are several character narratives, and at first it’s not clear who’s who. In fact, for a significant portion of the book, it actually become less clear who’s good and who’s bad.

Will Rhodes is a writer for a world-renowned travel magazine called, yep, you guessed it, Travelers. He regularly travels to Europe and South America, where he rubs elbows with people of all walks of life, in an attempt to capture the appeal that a particular country has to offer visitors. Will also delivers envelopes marked with things like “Personal” and “Confidential” to the overseas bureaus of Travelers. Not shady at all, right? On a trip to Argentina, Will is blackmailed by a man and a lovely blonde woman. He is told that in exchange for ten thousand dollars per month, he will memorize names, faces, and any interesting information he picks up while abroad. If he refuses, his wife will be shown some very incriminating video evidence and his marriage might be destroyed (shame on you, Will). Thus begins the symphony of secrecy, the orchestra of espionage.

I was really hooked on this book, despite the fact that I wasn’t sure what the whole point was for the first little bit. There were quite a few narratives that didn’t have names associated with them and they didn’t seem to fit into the plot of the story, which was otherwise smooth. Eventually, all of these mysterious little bits began to fit in and make sense and by the end of the book everything was more or less crystal clear. I thought the ending was okay, but left me wanting more, which will be great if there’s a planned sequel, but otherwise I would have been happy with a detailed epilogue.

Thrillers and spy novels aren’t all that prevalent in my reading list, and I can’t explain this because I almost always love the ones I read. The Travelers sated my need for something fresh and new, outside of my usual genres. The characters, major and minor, were solid and showed surprising depth. I enjoyed Chris Pavone’s writing, particularly the way in which he described, well, everything. I’m pretty terrible at explaining things like this, so forgive me dear readers! I would definitely recommend this for vacation reading material, just keep reading and (most) everything will make sense by the end!

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