The Travelers, by Chris Pavone, is not what you’d call a spy novel precisely. Yes, there are spies, intelligence agencies, secret meet-ups and more intrigue. But that wasn’t what gripped me while reading this book.
Instead, there was this sense of a life slowly unravelling and it was just delicious to read. Will it recover? Will it not? What will Will do? (ha. ha.)
Step into the shoes of Will Rhodes, a writer for Travelers, a world-renowned travel magazines. His life is less than the ideal that he has been chasing after – living in an incomplete house, a troubled marriage, and the sense that there’s just something wrong with his life.
Then, on a routine trip for an article, he meets the irresistible Elle, a fellow travel writer from Australia, and that was the first crack in his normal life. She makes him an offer he can’t refuse.
That’s when his secrets start. Living a double life, hiding secrets from his wife, chafing against restrictions living with intrigue was just a fantastic read. In particular I loved reading about his marriage with Chloe. There’s this tension on whether their relationship could survive this, could they come out of this stronger, all while it seemed headed on a downward trajectory.
And, as his own secrets starts, he start to see through the huge web of secrets around him. Travelers, his friends, his wife, his job, all of it is not what it seems.
Chris Pavone regularly switches perspectives between multiple characters. It actually reads like a movie or one of those mystery TV series. You know, like those flashback scenes which cuts just before the critical information, building up to present day or a final climax as everything starts to fall into place. This may get irritating. I remember thinking once or twice for the book to just get on with it.
The climax, too, was a little underwhelming in my opinion. It would also have been nice to have like 5 more pages. Did their relationship really recover?
So, what’s my take on it? Was it good?
Well, yes. I can recommend reading this. It’s an experience.
But, does it deserve a place on my shelf? I’m not sure. I’m actually torn on whether I should buy a copy for myself (I borrowed it from the library). It’s not a snap decision for me. This might be the first book for me that has low re-readability, like how games have replayability, the slow unravel might irritate instead of intrigue me on a second read.
Conclusion: Try it! Make use of the library! If you’re anything like me, you know that you should be using the library more anyway.