THE ACCIDENT

Chris Pavone

Hailed by the New York Times as a “must-read in the world of thrillers” and described by the Los Angeles Times as “a propulsive A-train of a thrill ride,” Chris Pavone’s The Accident instantly garnered rave reviews coast-to-coast. At the heart of this riveting novel is veteran literary agent Isabel Reed. She has received a mysterious, anonymous manuscript that delivers explosive revelations about media mogul Charlie Wolfe and his ties to the CIA—and to a shocking crime committed in his youth. In Copenhagen, operative Hayden Gray is on a mission to eliminate all copies of the damaging manuscript,

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Hailed by the New York Times as a “must-read in the world of thrillers” and described by the Los Angeles Times as “a propulsive A-train of a thrill ride,” Chris Pavone’s The Accident instantly garnered rave reviews coast-to-coast. At the heart of this riveting novel is veteran literary agent Isabel Reed. She has received a mysterious, anonymous manuscript that delivers explosive revelations about media mogul Charlie Wolfe and his ties to the CIA—and to a shocking crime committed in his youth. In Copenhagen, operative Hayden Gray is on a mission to eliminate all copies of the damaging manuscript, no matter how many lives it costs. And in Zurich, the mastermind author is living a shadow life, determined to use the world of publishing and film to beat Wolfe at his own dangerous game.

A spellbinding tour de force, The Accident imagines a kaleidoscopic world of secrets and stunning exposés. We hope this guide will enhance your experience of this pulse-pounding ride.

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  • Broadway Books
  • Paperback
  • January 2015
  • 416 Pages
  • 9780385348478

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$15.00

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About Chris Pavone

Chris Pavone is the author of the New York Times-bestselling The Expats, winner of the Edgar Award. He was a book editor for nearly two decades and lives in New York City with his family.

 

Praise

[Pavone is] a reliable new must-read in the world of thrillers. . . . You will want to finish The Accident at a nice, rapid clip to see how [the] pieces come together. . . . Unputdownable.” —The New York Times

A taut, bookish thriller.” —People

If you like real nail-biters, this is the best one so far this year. . . . Couldn’t put the damn thing down.” —Stephen King, on Twitter

Savvy. . . . [With] plenty of swift action and sudden twists.” —Wall Street Journal

Discussion Questions

What were your initial theories about Jens Grundtvig and the author’s identity? Did you think the manuscript revealed the truth, or did you believe it was a hoax?

How did your perception of Isabel shift throughout the novel? Would her marriage have survived if Tommy had lived, or were the roots of the marriage too weak to begin with?

Discuss the novel’s title. Were any of the tragedies in the characters’ lives truly accidental?

The cast of characters spans shrewd assistants, a noble bookseller, and glamorous powerbrokers in the publishing industry and in Hollywood. Which of the characters were you rooting for? What would you have done with the manuscript?

Although The Accident is a work of fiction, do you believe in the possibility of collusions between the government and the media to sway international power structures? Is there much danger in Wolfe Worldwide Media’s mission to “de-news the news” and “legitimize sensationalism”? (page 72)

In The Accident, what qualities separate the survivors from those who perish? Who has the best business instincts in the novel? Is financial power ultimately a liability?

Are Jeff and Isabel a good match? What keeps Jeff at a disadvantage in so many aspects of his life?

Identity drives many of the plot twists in The Accident. Which characters stay true to themselves, even when they’re reinventing their lives? When have you found yourself having to play a new role?

Stoking the suspense is the fact that Brad’s family business is on the verge of financial collapse (and takeover by Wolfe) unless he can acquire a blockbuster book. In reality, international media conglomerates have participated in ever-bigger mergers over the past decade. What are the consequences if the McNallys of America continue to lose their independence?

How do the characters exploit each other’s trust? How do the alliances formed in youth haunt the characters long into their adult lives?

How would you respond to the question raised on page 364 as Dave’s story unfolds: Who was the villain in this story?

What do you predict for the characters who are featured in the final chapter?

How does the publishing world featured in The Accident compare to your vision of it? How does it affect your reading to know that the author is a veteran of the publishing industry, making the journey from editor to author?

What did you enjoy most about the reappearance of Kate and Hayden, who made their debut in Chris Pavone’s first novel, The Expats?