Crown Publishing: 3/11/2014
Hardcover, 400 pages
As dawn approaches in New York, literary agent Isabel Reed is turning the final pages of a mysterious, anonymous manuscript, racing through the explosive revelations about powerful people, as well as long-hidden secrets about her own past. In Copenhagen, veteran CIA operative Hayden Gray, determined that this sweeping story be buried, is suddenly staring down the barrel of an unexpected gun. And in Zurich, the author himself is hiding in a shadowy expat life, trying to atone for a lifetime’s worth of lies and betrayals with publication of The Accident, while always looking over his shoulder.Over the course of one long, desperate, increasingly perilous day, these lives collide as the book begins its dangerous march toward publication, toward saving or ruining careers and companies, placing everything at risk—and everyone in mortal peril. The rich cast of characters—in publishing and film, politics and espionage—are all forced to confront the consequences of their ambitions, the schisms between their ideal selves and the people they actually became.The action rockets around Europe and across America, with an intricate web of duplicities stretching back a quarter-century to a dark winding road in upstate New York, where the shocking truth about the accident itself is buried.Gripping, sophisticated, layered, and impossible to put down, The Accident proves once again that Chris Pavone is a true master of suspense.
The Accident by Chris Pavone follows one explosive day after a inflammatory and disturbing unauthorized biography of global media mogul Charlie Wolfe is dropped off at literary agent Isabel Reed's office. The author of the expose' is anonymous, but Isabel thinks she knows the identity of the person. In the meantime deadly forces come into play to try and stop anyone from reading the material. Hayden Gray (and Kate from The Expats makes an appearance too) is being paid very well to make sure the story is never released.
Isabel stays up almost all night reading the manuscript titled The Accident, and immediately contacts editor Jeffrey Fielder. This is the kind of book that can make careers and keep the publisher behind it in the black. She warns Jeff to keep it quiet because it is dangerous. She tells him that it's about some incredibly bad things done by one of the most powerful, well-known men in the world, the media mogul Charlie Wolfe. Wolfe has made millions by legitimizing sensationalism on his news network, but if this book is released he will be the one whose reputation is ruined.
The actions Isabel takes to prevent any leak of the material aren't enough. It soon becomes evident that anyone who has managed to obtain an illicit look at the material is turning up dead. Clearly someone will go to whatever means it takes to ensure that the book never sees the light of day and, in fact, that anyone who has even read any part of the manuscript is eliminated. Isabel is on the run with Jeff but a deadly game of cat and mouse has already been set into motion.
"Is it possible to succeed without any act of betrayal?" Who could have ever guessed that the world of publishing is so cut throat? It's chilling and fascinating to see all the back-biting and clandestine maneuvers behind the scenes by all of those employed in the publishing industry.
The nail-biting suspense Pavone sets into motion is palpable for the majority of the novel, but there are a few parts where the action slows. The plot is intricate again which makes for a satisfyingly complex story. There are also numerous characters to follow, but I didn't find it difficult as Pavone did a nice job making his characters stand out as individuals. There is a surprise at the ending that was hinted at earlier in the book. While I wasn't surprised with the big secrets revealed, Pavone did another fine job writing this thoroughly entertaining novel. Highly Recommended.