There is no doubt about it, The Accident by Chris Pavone is a thriller – and I loved it. As you know, thrillers are not exactly my thing, but when one this good comes along it grabs you by the throat. And probably the reason I liked it so much is because it is a thriller set in the publishing industry. That’s the hook that really grabbed me.
So imagine this, a manuscript for a book that will bring down a multimedia conglomerate and put the CIA in a very uncomfortable situation if it comes to light. And this manuscript has just been delivered to the one agent who can make it happen. Almost from the moment Isabel finishes reading the manuscript her life is in danger and people around her are found dead, but she manages to stay one step ahead of them. Compelling, isn’t it?
Pavone is a wonderful writer. He manages to mix the world of intrigue with the literary effortlessly. He gives us rogue CIA agents who can quote Hemingway and makes it realistic. He tells the story from multiple points of view and a great deal of ambiguity. There are questions that we don’t know the answers to. For much of the novel you think you know what is going on, but can’t be one hundred percent sure.
In addition to being a thriller set in the publishing industry, Pavone has also expressed some fairly pointed opinions about the book industry in general in The Accident. Certain themes keep cropping up, such as the rise of e-books and e-readers. His characters loath them. He has also gone to lengths to include a viable and much loved independent bookstore in his novel. And looming over everything is the possibility of an indie press going out of business or being bought out by a large conglomerate. Pavone is very clear about where he stands on these issues.
Who would like this book? I have wanted to read Pavone since his debut novel, The Expats, came out in 2012. He takes the thriller genre to unexpected places and intellectualizes it a bit. By some strange coincidence, the Expat life and the publishing industry are both worlds I have lived in and want to read about. From here I will definitely go on to read The Expats.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review.