Two Nights in Lisbon

MCD. May 2022. 448p. ISBN 9780374604769. $28. THRILLER
Ariel Pryce wakes up in a Lisbon hotel room and her husband is gone; no note, no explanation. She exoects John to appear any minute. When he doesn’t show up for breakfast, Ariel panics. She approaches hotel security for help, then the Lisbon police, and finally the American embassy. The police are asking too many questions, and Ariel doesn’t have the answers. Then the ransom call arrives, and a desperate Ariel takes matters into her own hands. Pavone’s newest international thriller (after The Paris Diversion) is as long as it is tedious. Ariel is long-suffering, and her history is laid out in excruciating detail, including her previous marital woes and many heartbreaking sexual assaults. Despite the quick back-and-forth between past and present, and the deluge of characters, the story turns out to have an interesting and unexpected conclusion.
VERDICT Fans of Chris Bohjalian’s Cassie Bowden and Camilla Läckberg’s Faye Adelheim may be sympathetic to Ariel’s plight and able to overlook the high page count.
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