Review: The Expats: A Novel

The Expats: A Novel
The Expats: A Novel by Chris Pavone

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

One fourth of the way in, I guessed what was going to happen. Flipped to the last quarter, and yep, "mystery" solved. The jumping from location and time exists only to hide a very obvious, silly plot. Flat, stereotypical characters can't hide behind the author's plentiful knowledge of location because the descriptive passages read like info dumps. I can't believe this book is getting so much buzz.

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Review: The Columbus Affair

The Columbus Affair
The Columbus Affair by Steve Berry

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There's multiple plot lines woven together to make a rich and fascinating story, and then there's multiple plot lines knotted and twisted in a snarl that frustrates the reader as they try to follow along. This book is definitely the latter. A book that brings the mystery of Columbus's legacy in Jamaica into contemporary politics and religion is a great concept, and Berry knows all of his settings quite well. Unfortunately, getting interested in even one of the characters or their part of this story is almost impossible if you like to immerse yourself in a story, because just when it gets interesting, we jump to one of the other locations. Honestly, if felt like I was watching a made for television movie, complete with scene cuts for many, many commercials. A clue to how much Berry tries to pack into this story is all the genres he covers. And two would have made a great story, and he still would have been able to use all the characters, with more time for each one.

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