The Travelers is marketed as “Hitchcockian” and “Elegant”, but I personally did not see these characteristics in the book. I was excited to try a different genre, a spy novel, and was left mildly disappointed by the crude sex scenes, the confusion between skipping around between the different characters, the sexist attitude of the story and two of the main, male characters, and the lack of timeline and story line explanation throughout the book. Overall, I felt like the last 150 pages or so were the best part of the book.
I was disappointed in Will’s character. The first scene where he interacts with his wife, he actually seems like he truly loves her, and the sex scene between them is brief and tasteful. As he begins his travels, he starts to behave more like a “pig”, for lack of better words. For being married to the woman he loves, he does a lot of admiring of the opposite sex, and I feel like he gave in all too easy to Elle when he was propositioned. Will’s character leads me to describe his boss, Malcolm, in the same manner, worse in fact. Malcolm has more of a “pig” attitude because he is married WITH children and automatically assumes and believes that it would be a normal expectation for Will to cheat on his wife often while on his travels. I believe that this is a sexist and unrealistic male attitude, and the whole book has this overshadowing attitude of “well she’s hot and in a foreign country, who would know?” Elle and Roger are unrealistically portrayed from the get go, and its obvious what kind of scheme they are running. Chloe seems to be the only believable, likeable character of the story, even though she is the one hiding the biggest secret.
The story line was confusing and jumbled, in my opinion. There were many words in different languages that were used in such a way that the context could not let the reader know what they meant in English, and they weren’t defined. The timeline of the story was never really put into context, so it was hard to tell what the date and time of year was, along with making it hard to believe how quickly Will was able to travel to the different countries he visits. The level of espionage and all the secrets, that weren’t revealed until the last 100 pages, were a little hard to follow. The sex scenes were crude and unnecessary as well. I think the point could have been shown without the extra details. The last 150 pages or so is where the story takes a turn for the better. We learn which parties are working for which agencies, we have a chase, fights, murder, explosion, and finally an explanation for everything. If the whole book had been more like the last chunk I definitely would have enjoyed it more.
If the sex scenes had been less detailed and the sexist attitude had been left to a minimum I would have given this book an extra star rating. If the timeline had been easier to follow and the story hadn’t skipped between so many different characters I would have rated this 5 stars. The detail to the secrets and the espionage, and the explanation at the end of the book, are what kept me in the story and I applaud that effort from the author. For a reader who enjoys the details I did not this would be a good read.
Thank you to http://www.bloggingforbooks.com for sending me this free review copy for my honest opinion.