The Accident by Chris Pavone

The Accident by Chris Pavone

In New York City, Isabel Reed, one of the most respected and powerful literary agents in the city, frantically turns the pages of a manuscript into the early dawn hours. This manuscript – printed out, hand-delivered, totally anonymous – is full of shocking revelations and disturbing truths, things which could compromise national security. Is this what she’s been waiting for her entire career: a book that will help her move on from a painful past, a book that could save her beloved industry …a book that will change the world?

In Copenhagen, Hayden Gray, a veteran station chief, wary of the CIA’s obsession with the Middle East, has been steadfastly monitoring the dangers that abound in Europe. Even if his bosses aren’t paying attention, he’s determined to stay vigilant. And he’s also on the trail of this manuscript – and the secrets that lie at its heart. For him, quite simply, it must never see the light of day. As Isabel and Hayden try to outwit each other, the nameless author watches on from afar. With no-one quite sure who holds all the cards, the stakes couldn’t be higher: in just twenty-four hours careers could be ruined, devastating secrets could be unearthed, and innocent people could die.

The Accident by Chris Pavone, to use a well known football analogy, is a game of two halves. That said, given that the book is predominately set in the United States maybe a game of quarters – American Football – would be more apt! In truth it’s in three parts, Morning, Afternoon and Night but please allow me some latitude! The first quarter, when standards are set and both teams battle for supremacy is an important part of any book, The Accident is no exception. This is where we buy into the story and the characters, deciding if we want to continue reading or not. I have to admit I found this Morning section the hardest and slowest of all to read. With short chapters and numerous characters I struggled to get a feel for the book and the personalities. There was far too much going on for me.

Having said that, and to continue with my American Football references – because I can! – the quarterback had a poor start to the game with a few fumbles but with three quarters left he always has time to turn it around and turn it around he did. A stern talking to from the coach on the side-lines and the book moves up a few gears. Something just clicked. I fell into a rhythm reading, understood what the author was trying to achieve and bam, the book came alive.

Once it hits this sweet spot, as far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t stop. I wanted to find out what happens and felt as if I had a vested interest in its outcome and considering how I felt about the beginning this is certainly no mean feat! The book comes alive, as do the characters, locations and nonstop action. You’ll never see book publishing in the same light again!

There’s so much to take in with this book and there’s no question that the narrative is well thought out and delivered to an exceptional standard. A complex plot with numerous sub plots intricately woven into the main body all help to make the climax exciting and unexpected. The revelations are revelatory!

I really enjoyed this book, the murders when they began never end, the action was intense and the characters colourful and varied. I’d definitely read the next novel to see where the author goes from here, especially now – as this was my first novel by Chris Pavone – I have a better understanding of the author’s style.

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Faber & Faber (13 Mar 2014)
  • ISBN-10: 0571298923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0571298921
  • Product Dimensions: 24 x 16.1 x 3.2 cm
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