Monday, February 08, 2016

The Travelers

Travel writer Will Rhodes, for all his sophistication in the ways of the world, is really a pretty clueless guy when we first meet him in Chris Pavone’s The Travelers.  Will spends many of his days sampling the finest wines and tourist resorts the world has to offer those who can afford the best.  All he has to do in return is turn his experiences into articles that his travel-magazine employer can use.  Simple enough, but one night in Argentina, after a little too much of the wine, Will finds himself in bed with a beautiful woman he could not resist despite his love for his wife of just four years.  Life is all about choices, Will Rhodes, and that was a very bad one.

Because he so greatly fears what might happen to his marriage if his secret is exposed to his wife, Will is easily forced into the world of international espionage, a world he hardly imagined even existed before his ill-fated encounter with the woman calling herself Elle.  But dangerous as the new job might turn out to be, Will tells himself that it is a win-win decision because now his wife will never learn of his sexual encounter with Elle, and at least he is working for the good guys (he hopes). 

Author Chris Pavone
Chris Pavone’s intricate and complicated plot is largely narrated through the eyes of Will Rhodes, a man who at first appears to be in way over his head.  But, as time will prove, Will is not just some dummy with social connections around the world.  Piece by piece, layer by layer, Will begins to make sense of what is happening around him, but what he uncovers often leaves him more confused than before.  It is only when he has gathered enough pieces that Will begins to understand just what a huge mess he has gotten himself into, a mess as likely to end his life as it is to end his marriage.

What makes The Travelers so much fun for (patient) readers is that they seldom know a whole lot more about why things are happening than Will Rhodes knows.  By the time  it all starts to make sense to him, readers are wholly invested in Will’s well being, and are as prepared for the thriller’s rousing climax as they hope Will Rhodes will be.  As Will himself put it, “…all of us (are) travelers, all on our way to someplace else.” 

It’s just that sometimes we don’t know where that “someplace else” is until it’s too late.

(Review Copy provided by publisher)

No comments:

Post a Comment