Book Review: The Accident – Chris Pavone

The Accident coverTitle: The Accident
Author: Chris Pavone
ISBN: 9780385348454
Pages: 400
Release Date: March 11, 2014
Publisher: Crown
Genre: Literary Thriller/Suspense
Source: Publisher
Rating: 4 out of 5


Literary agent Isabel Reed is past the best days of her career. She used to have the respect of the publishing world; now she’s on her way out. But a manuscript that appears on Isabel’s desk could change all that. It’s anonymous, but contains shocking and earth-shattering revelations about a media mogul’s past, and most of it appears to be verifiable. But what Isabel quickly realizes is that this manuscript has put her, and everyone associated with her, in danger, and she must race to make the manuscript public while protecting herself.

Snapshot Review:

A smart literary thriller, The Accident might have believability issues, but it won’t matter much to readers, who will race through this tightly plotted and suspenseful novel.

Full Review:

The Accident is a literary thriller in the best sense of the phrase: it’s actually about a literary agent and the publishing world! A lot of novels with this sort of premise seem a bit gimmicky, but Pavone has done an excellent job with this one. He provides all sorts of information and in-jokes about New York’s publishing scene while maintaining a taut, suspenseful storyline. As a result, any avid reader or lover of books will find this novel absolutely delightful.

The story of The Accident seems far-fetched at times, but it’s so much fun to read that the believability hardly matters. Readers will be hooked as they race to discover what exactly is in this manuscript and how Isabel might deal with the fallout. Pavone maintains an excellent pace; though he jumps among characters and situations, he does a great job keeping things tight and streamlined. Readers will enjoy getting to know these characters and contemplating what might befall them next as they race against shadowy characters, trying to protect the manuscript at all costs.

I read The Expats, Pavone’s debut, before reading The Accident, and I’m glad I did. While this wasn’t exactly a sequel to that first novel, it does have some key characters in common. The background of The Expats helps, plus reading this novel first will likely ruin some of the twists and turns of that excellent read. It’s worth reading them in order, especially because The Expats is such an ambitious, thrilling, and well-written novel.

The world of publishing isn’t exactly flashy, but Pavone makes a good case for it being more exciting than we might believe in The Accident. It is absolutely a fun novel from beginning to end; with his debut novel and this follow-up, Pavone has established himself as an expert at the literary thriller genre. His novels are smart, well-written, and completely engaging. If you’re looking for a brainy read that is also exciting, these are books you should absolutely pick up.

Other books by Chris Pavone:

The Expats

Affiliate Links:

Buy this book from Powell’s Books
Buy this book from
Buy this book from your local Indiebound bookstore


  1. The Ex-Pats had been on my shelf for years. Maybe this will be the nudge I need to finally read it. Great review. I love how you found a lot to say without giving anything away.

  2. I’m typically not a thriller reader, but this sounds great — and I’ll read anything about the publishing industry!

  3. Okay, I love that it’s a literary thriller!

  4. I always enjoy your reviews of mysteries / crime fiction. I have the Expats, and will heed your advice to read that first.

  5. I am so glad to see that you likes The Accident. I’ve been really looking forward to reading this for the simple fact of enjoying reading about publishing, mixed with suspense 🙂

Leave a Reply

Comment Policy:  I welcome comments and read each one I receive. If your comment needs a response, I will provide it in a timely manner, as I read every comment I receive. Please keep your comments civil and polite! I reserve the right to delete any comments that are rude or inappropriate. Because of spam, I have to moderate comments on old posts. Please be patient - I will approve your comment quickly.

Before the tag in the Genesis footer: !-- Quantcast Tag -->