cover image Two Nights in Lisbon

Two Nights in Lisbon

Chris Pavone. MCD, $28 (448p) ISBN 978-0-374-60476-9

A suspicious kidnapping in Lisbon, Portugal, drives this excellent thriller from Edgar winner Pavone (The Paris Diversion). When American businessman John Wright vanishes one morning from his hotel, his wife, Ariel Pryce, insists he was kidnapped, but issues soon emerge that make both the Lisbon police and the CIA skeptical. Why, for instance, are there no witnesses or video evidence of a crime taking place? Why did Pryce, whose account of the incident is fuzzy, change her legal name a decade earlier? And what’s to be made of Wright’s short stretch in the CIA a while back? When Pryce comes up with €2 million for a ransom payoff, the web leads investigators to the bank account of the current U.S. treasury secretary, who’s soon to become the U.S. vice president and has a past that could subject him to blackmail. Pavone skillfully layers plot details, often shifting points of view, all the way to the end of this superior, elegantly crafted yarn. The enigmatic central character, whose moral compass is set a bit differently than most, sets this above the pack. Agent: David Gernert, Gernert Company. (May)