Two Nights in Lisbon

- Chris Pavone

Goodreads Book Blurb:

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.


My Review:

***Thanks to NetGalley and MCD for an eARC of this book. The following review is my honest reflection on the text provided.

waste of time:
I struggled to concentrate on Two Nights in Lisbon because Ariel can’t focus on one thing without several tangential thoughts taking precedence. We jump back in time, often with no clue as to when we are in the past or the present. It’s taking ages to get to the end of a conversation, let alone to the end of the book.

one of those opportunities for the alpha moms to bake Instagrammable cakes. For these sorts of events Ariel buys a box of supermarket cookies, plunks it down on the table in its commercial packaging. She doesn't have time to bake on a weekday, and she's not going to pretend otherwise. In fact she's proud of it.
Plus she would never social-share a cake.

Ariel takes being judgmental to the extreme. While she mostly directs this judgment at herself – or a previous/historical version of herself – it’s a very transparent veil over her disgust for other women; women who take care of themselves, who care about their appearance, their job, their outward impression. Even women who bake cookies or use social media provoke her ire. Apparently, it’s okay to ‘lurk’ but not to have your face out there. It’s very toxic and so prevalent throughout the narrative that it’s hard not to take away the message that this is how the author views and evaluates women.

Every new part is more unbelievable than the last.
I would love to believe something like this could be planned ahead of time step by step and actually succeed, but we’ve all seen enough in today’s political climate to know that this is a fairy tale ending if we’ve ever seen one.
But the worst part is that Two Nights in Lisbon is a successful mystery/thriller because it lies to you from the beginning. I’m all for an unreliable narrator, but that requires the protagonist to believe the bullshit they’re spreading.
Instead, Ariel is monitoring her own thoughts and editing them for the reader until the reveal – which doesn’t make sense.

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