Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone
for a mystery and a second mystery, for motives in several different places, for foreign drama and domestic intrigue
Ariel Pryce wakes up in Lisbon, alone. Her husband is gone―no warning, no note, not answering his phone. Something is wrong.
She starts with hotel security, then the police, then the American embassy, at each confronting questions she can’t fully answer: What exactly is John doing in Lisbon? Why would he drag her along on his business trip? Who would want to harm him? And why does Ariel know so little about her new―much younger―husband?
The clock is ticking. Ariel is increasingly frustrated and desperate, running out of time, and the one person in the world who can help is the one person she least wants to ask.
With sparkling prose and razor-sharp insights, bestselling author Chris Pavone delivers a stunning and sophisticated international thriller that will linger long after the surprising final page.
I preordered this book, and then read a blurb quote on the front that said something like “I challenge you to read the first twenty pages and stop. It can’t be done.” Then I ended up reading about the first 11 pages and stopping, because it just wasn’t catching me despite my excitement. Now it’s been almost a year since it came out and I’ve finally made it to page twenty and beyond. 😅 It did still take some time to catch me, but once it did it flowed pretty easily.
Of course the most fun thing about reading a thriller or mystery is trying to solve the whodunnit aspect before it’s fully revealed. Straight up: I did not succeed with this one. xD Thankfully though, that’s because it was even more of a complex goal that the people responsible had than I could have guessed at (and it’s not like I didn’t guess because it was outlandishly stupid, just very cleverly hidden!). I found the ending quite satisfying, and was very curious at about 75% of the way through on where it would finally lead.
The tension is really high in this story and the fear that Ariel feels at different times absolutely drew me in with her. If she didn’t stop to think twice about something, neither did I. I was sprinting through a parking lot to escape a pursuer right along with her. Holy heck y’all, did it keep me on my toes! I felt like there were so many intriguing little clues and bits along the way and I was delighted to see how they eventually all worked together.
This is narrated entirely by Ariel’s perspective, although we do get some flashbacks to her past when those moments become relevant to her story in the present. I found them to be properly placed, and they successfully added context to the story instead of diverting from an interesting moment to a dull factual one. It was all interesting, which isn’t something to take lightly! I hate swapping between timelines when one timeline is boring as heck, and am glad that wasn’t the case here.
I did briefly try listening to this as an audiobook, but about five minutes in or less it starts describing licking and sucking and sex and although that’s pretty much the only brief moment in the book it happens, I was in my backyard and there were children outside next door so I quickly shut it off and was like Yep guess I’ll just read this one after all. 😅 But heads up: get past that part and you’ll be more in the clear for audiobook content.
2 thoughts on “Review: Two Nights in Lisbon by Chris Pavone”
Yeah, there are some book genres that I just can’t listen to the audiobooks for. I can’t take sex scenes seriously when I hear them read aloud, which means any Romance novels I listen to have to be closed-door / fade-to-black. But it’s awesome that this one stumped you on the whodunnit for good reasons! That’s always a plus for a mystery novel.