Spies! Tension! Drama! Sex! Violence! Domestic issues! Magazine Editorials! Wait, what?
I was heading out on a father/daughter trip down to Florida for Red Sox Spring Training, and I wandered into a Hudson News at Logan airport like I have a tendency to do. Usually I get a water, some tic-tacs, and maybe a magazine. This time, a book on the shelf caught my eye.
The Travelers by Chris Pavone
I had read one of his previous books and enjoyed it immensely, so I picked it up for a quick read on the plane and at the beach. I had hoped to finish it over the weekend and hand it over to my dad, but ran out of time! I finished it last night at home, and enjoyed it immensely.
The focus is on a travel writer by the name of Will Rhoades. He works for a moderately successful magazine Travelers is married to a fellow writer (who left the magazine when they married) and also helplessly broke. He took on a house renovation while still traveling abroad more times than he can count. His wife is anxious to get things done and starts pulling away from him at the same time. One night in France, he meets a beautiful woman and shares a connection with her. He refrains from sleeping with her until he sees her again in Argentina. And, well….the inevitable happens.
But, SHOCKER. She’s not who she says she is. She brings Will into a game of intrigue and suspense and he has no idea how to extricate himself from. Interspersed with stories from his boss, his wife, former co-workers, and fellow spies…the book takes the reader on a journey from NYC to Portland to Barcelona, Istanbul, Paris, London, and eventually Iceland. The action never stops, and neither do the lies.
It turns out Travelers has connections that even he couldn’t begin to guess about.
The River at Night by Erica Ferencik
This book was great. It kept me on the edge of seat from the moment I picked it up. I had read in a magazine about this book and it intrigued me. Again, not a normal book for me to read, but it had an intriguing premise. It’s a survival story of a group of 40-something women on a whitewater rafting trip into the backwoods of Maine. As a New Englander (Go Red Sox!), Maine is a completely mysterious state for me down her in Massachusetts. The Governor is crazy, the people seem very insular, and I don’t know much about the wooded areas. It’s practically Canada!
This particular group of women try to get together yearly to re-affirm their friendships and have a bonding session as friends. They all have different lives, careers, some have families so they do this to stay in touch with each other. This year, Pia, the “alpha” of the group, decides to take the trip to the backwoods of Maine for a whitewater rafting trip. While working with trepidations, the three other women decide to join this trip. After leaving Boston and going North, they start to lose contact with civilization. You almost feel as if they are stepping back in time. By the time they get to site of their trip, everyone but Pia is exhausted and not looking forward to the days ahead.
They meet up with their guide, Rory, and start to learn the ins and outs of rafting. After a night at the campsite in which Pia has a moment with the guide that alienates the rest of the women for the start of the trip. It starts out smooth, but after a tragic accident, it turns into a tale of survival in the woods. They meet up with some backwoods survivalists and it turns into a suspenseful thriller as they struggle to make their way out of the woods.
There was a moment that shocked me so bad I had to take a moment to catch my breath. It happens with about 100 pages left in the book and it propelled me to continue on the end quickly. So good, I would totally watch this if it was a movie or TV show. Just great.