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The Power Couple

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From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Alex Berenson comes a supercharged thriller about marriage and the dangerous secrets spouses keep. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth appear to have it all. A nice house in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Two well-behaved, healthy teenage children. Important government jobs—Rebecca working in counterterrorism for the F From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Alex Berenson comes a supercharged thriller about marriage and the dangerous secrets spouses keep. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth appear to have it all. A nice house in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Two well-behaved, healthy teenage children. Important government jobs—Rebecca working in counterterrorism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brian serving as a coder for the National Security Agency. Their lives stand to improve even more as Brian, in his off-hours, has just developed and sold a highly profitable app. However, the Unsworths’ marriage isn’t as perfect as it seems. After two decades together, they’ve drifted apart, talking little and having sex even less. Seeking to revive their strained relationship, they decide for their twentieth wedding anniversary to take their two kids, Kira and Tony, on a European getaway. They have a blast…until one night in Barcelona when Kira doesn’t come home from a dance club. She’s gone. Abducted. Over the course of a single weekend, the Unsworths will do everything possible to find her—as Kira herself discovers just how far she’ll go to break free of the trap that’s been set for her. And even as Rebecca and Brian come together for Kira, they realize their marriage is more tenuous than they realized. The Power Couple is both a fast-paced, globe-trotting espionage novel full of surprising twists and a nuanced look at modern marriage—the challenges of balancing career, parenthood, sex, and love.


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From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Alex Berenson comes a supercharged thriller about marriage and the dangerous secrets spouses keep. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth appear to have it all. A nice house in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Two well-behaved, healthy teenage children. Important government jobs—Rebecca working in counterterrorism for the F From #1 New York Times bestselling author and Edgar Award winner Alex Berenson comes a supercharged thriller about marriage and the dangerous secrets spouses keep. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth appear to have it all. A nice house in the suburbs of Washington, DC. Two well-behaved, healthy teenage children. Important government jobs—Rebecca working in counterterrorism for the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brian serving as a coder for the National Security Agency. Their lives stand to improve even more as Brian, in his off-hours, has just developed and sold a highly profitable app. However, the Unsworths’ marriage isn’t as perfect as it seems. After two decades together, they’ve drifted apart, talking little and having sex even less. Seeking to revive their strained relationship, they decide for their twentieth wedding anniversary to take their two kids, Kira and Tony, on a European getaway. They have a blast…until one night in Barcelona when Kira doesn’t come home from a dance club. She’s gone. Abducted. Over the course of a single weekend, the Unsworths will do everything possible to find her—as Kira herself discovers just how far she’ll go to break free of the trap that’s been set for her. And even as Rebecca and Brian come together for Kira, they realize their marriage is more tenuous than they realized. The Power Couple is both a fast-paced, globe-trotting espionage novel full of surprising twists and a nuanced look at modern marriage—the challenges of balancing career, parenthood, sex, and love.

30 review for The Power Couple

  1. 4 out of 5

    Meredith ( on Semi-Hiatus until February)

    Exciting Premise The Power Couple is a suspenseful thriller about the kidnapped teen of an FBI agent. I went in blind, and I think this is the way to go, so I am not going to include a plot summary. The narrative is split between “The Power Couple,” Brian and Rebecca, with another view shared from their 19-year-old daughter’s perspective. I didn’t love the characters. I was rooting for one, felt nothing for another, and despised the other.One character was so revolting that they actually made th Exciting Premise The Power Couple is a suspenseful thriller about the kidnapped teen of an FBI agent. I went in blind, and I think this is the way to go, so I am not going to include a plot summary. The narrative is split between “The Power Couple,” Brian and Rebecca, with another view shared from their 19-year-old daughter’s perspective. I didn’t love the characters. I was rooting for one, felt nothing for another, and despised the other.One character was so revolting that they actually made their chapters hard to read because I just wanted to strangle them. This is a gripping read filled with intrigue, espionage, and suspense. Berenson adds a different angle to a familiar trope. The title reflects the power dynamic between Brian and Rebecca. Both characters had me questioning who was going to have the final say in their relationship. There are some flaws that I am not going to get into, but overall I found The Power Couple worth reading. I received an ARC of this book from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Bridgett

    A power struggle within a marriage...and only one, the husband or the wife, can come out on top. The entire premise of The Power Couple revolves around the personal lives and career trajectories of Brian and Rebecca Unsworth...trajectories which led them to the fateful night in Spain when their daughter, Kira, was kidnapped. So...who kidnapped her, and why? This is a beautifully paced novel which, unfortunately, suffers from two completely repugnant characters--Brian and Rebecca. Kira, whose A power struggle within a marriage...and only one, the husband or the wife, can come out on top. The entire premise of The Power Couple revolves around the personal lives and career trajectories of Brian and Rebecca Unsworth...trajectories which led them to the fateful night in Spain when their daughter, Kira, was kidnapped. So...who kidnapped her, and why? This is a beautifully paced novel which, unfortunately, suffers from two completely repugnant characters--Brian and Rebecca. Kira, whose vividly intense scenes ended up stealing the show, almost seemed like an afterthought, as her narcissistic and vaguely sociopathic parents duked it out. Why their son, Tony, was even added is beyond me. He added nothing to the tapestry of the story. The conclusion, while entertaining, was also pretty silly. Despite all my minor grumps, I do think this is a story worth reading. I was never bored, and felt the writing was very much on point. Available February 9, 2021 3.5 stars rounded up My heartfelt thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for my review copy.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Debra (having surgery will be back in a few days)

    3.5 stars Reading the synopsis of the book one would think this book is about the kidnapping of a couple's nineteen-year-old daughter, but it is about more - much, much more. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth decide to take a European trip to celebrate their anniversary. Their two children, Kira and Tony accompany them. The entire family appears to be having a good time, until Kira goes out one night and does not return! In the search to find their daughter, both Rebecca and Brian look back upon their p 3.5 stars Reading the synopsis of the book one would think this book is about the kidnapping of a couple's nineteen-year-old daughter, but it is about more - much, much more. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth decide to take a European trip to celebrate their anniversary. Their two children, Kira and Tony accompany them. The entire family appears to be having a good time, until Kira goes out one night and does not return! In the search to find their daughter, both Rebecca and Brian look back upon their past. Initially I thought this was ridiculous, I would be hysterical and vomiting nonstop if my son were missing, but while I would freak out, they individually decide to take a trip down memory lane. To each their own... While both are looking back, we learn things about each of them. This is where the plot thickens. We also get to see Kira, and for most of the book, her parts were my favorite sections. Her scenes are full of tension, a sense of dread, tinged a sense of danger. This book is not just about a missing daughter, it is also about a marriage and both Rebecca and Brian individually. As the plot thickens/progresses, the book becomes more intriguing and fraught with tension. It becomes a search for answers, full of intrigue, danger and espionage. The title is very apt here for many reasons. None of which I will divulge in my review. Best to go in a little blind with this one. Initially when I started reading this book, I thought it would be like the movie "Taken". I thought they would be working nonstop to find their daughter; I was hoping for nonstop action and danger. But this book took at turn and gave me the unexpected look into a marriage. While at first, I was not sure what to make of this, don't you just hate when characters do not act the way you think they should? - it became an enjoyable book which concluded with an interesting ending. This book had a few twists and turns which I did not see coming. They helped move the plot along especially when things began to get a little muddled down with too much backstory. Overall, this was an enjoyable and entertaining book. Thank you to Simon Schuster and Edelweiss who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. All the thoughts and opinions are my own.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    A domestic thriller with an espionage twist! An international domestic thriller! Great fast-paced and original book. I don’t normally read espionage thrillers and didn’t know this was going to be one — and I’m glad because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this. Though it’s a spy story, it’s primarily a story about a marriage — what happens when that marriage is thrust into crisis and long-held secrets bubble to the surface. I think it’s best to go into this book as blind as I did for maximum fun wi A domestic thriller with an espionage twist! An international domestic thriller! Great fast-paced and original book. I don’t normally read espionage thrillers and didn’t know this was going to be one — and I’m glad because I wouldn’t have wanted to miss this. Though it’s a spy story, it’s primarily a story about a marriage — what happens when that marriage is thrust into crisis and long-held secrets bubble to the surface. I think it’s best to go into this book as blind as I did for maximum fun with the reveals. I really enjoyed the tough female characters (both mother and daughter), the backstory of the marriage and the fast paced plot. This book is My Lovely Wife meets the CIA. It is wickedly delightful. Thanks to Simon and Schuster, Alex Berenson and NetGalley for the advance copy of this book. A totally different kind of domestic thriller that was very fun.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Faith

    Rebecca and Brian have been married for 20 years and have 2 teenaged children, Kira and Tony. Rebecca has been consumed by working her way up in the FBI. Brian has enjoyed taking care of the children and working at non-demanding coding jobs, until he lands a challenging job at the National Security Agency. The marriage isn’t going great and each of the perfect couple fantasizes about the day when the kids are grown and they can finally divorce. While on a family vacation, Kira is abducted in Bar Rebecca and Brian have been married for 20 years and have 2 teenaged children, Kira and Tony. Rebecca has been consumed by working her way up in the FBI. Brian has enjoyed taking care of the children and working at non-demanding coding jobs, until he lands a challenging job at the National Security Agency. The marriage isn’t going great and each of the perfect couple fantasizes about the day when the kids are grown and they can finally divorce. While on a family vacation, Kira is abducted in Barcelona and her parents frantically try to determine why she was taken and by whom. Their search, and the interplay of Kira and her captors, provided the thriller elements that I was expecting from this book. However, Kira is basically irrelevant. The book is about her parents. The book started out very well, but then there was a too-long section of backstory that rehashed how the couple got together and Rebecca’s prior cases and how rifts developed between the couple. Then there was a section from Brian’s point of view, which was an interesting counterpoint to Rebecca’s take on the marriage. Neither member of this couple is particularly likable or sympathetic. This book did not go in an expected direction, or maybe it was just that no one’s actions made sense so it was impossible to predict what was going to happen next. I certainly didn’t expect the ending. Despite the somewhat tedious Rebecca backstory, I wasn’t bored by the book as a whole and found it entertaining. I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Liz

    3.5 stars, rounded up I had mixed feelings about this thriller. Rebecca and Brian take their two teenage kids on a grand 20th anniversary trip to Europe. It’s a way of celebrating the fact that despite problems, the marriage has survived this long. And everything is going well until 19 year old Kira meets a young man and sneaks off to meet him. It’s not giving away a plot point to say she is abducted. The story is told from the perspective of Rebecca, Brian and Kira. Rebecca’s and Brian’s section 3.5 stars, rounded up I had mixed feelings about this thriller. Rebecca and Brian take their two teenage kids on a grand 20th anniversary trip to Europe. It’s a way of celebrating the fact that despite problems, the marriage has survived this long. And everything is going well until 19 year old Kira meets a young man and sneaks off to meet him. It’s not giving away a plot point to say she is abducted. The story is told from the perspective of Rebecca, Brian and Kira. Rebecca’s and Brian’s sections take us back and give us the couple’s history. We learn how they met, her career rise and Brian finally finding his feet and making a mint when he sells an app he designed. I preferred Kira’s sections. She isn’t the normal scared kid. Instead, she tries to find her inner strength. This story wasn’t uniformly strong. There are great taut sections. But there are also sections that lag. I knew there had to be a reason Berenson included such an in depth background on the couple’s history, but that didn’t mean it was exciting. The title actually refers to the power dynamics between the two of them. These aren’t likeable people, but they make for interesting characters. The book works well at keeping the reader off balance. It really ramps up for the last third, with some super twists. Steven Weber does a great job of narrating. It’s a bit of a misnomer to say Marin Ireland also narrates. She narrates at most about five minutes.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Theresa Alan

    Parts of this novel are extremely fraught with tension. Other parts go back over the Rebecca and Brian meeting and raising of children while Rebecca got her law degree and then became an FBI agent while Brian was the primary caregiver who lived where Rebecca’s career took her. When their nineteen-year-old daughter is kidnapped in Spain, Rebecca thinks it might have something to do with her job as a counterintelligence agent. Or it could be that she was kidnapped for a ransom or to be sold into hu Parts of this novel are extremely fraught with tension. Other parts go back over the Rebecca and Brian meeting and raising of children while Rebecca got her law degree and then became an FBI agent while Brian was the primary caregiver who lived where Rebecca’s career took her. When their nineteen-year-old daughter is kidnapped in Spain, Rebecca thinks it might have something to do with her job as a counterintelligence agent. Or it could be that she was kidnapped for a ransom or to be sold into human slavery. Whatever the reason, Rebecca uses all of her skills to track her daughter down. There were some major plot twists that I didn’t see coming, which is always fun. The characters are fully drawn, although this book does not make being married with kids and a successful career—things that are things that many of us dream about—seem all that enviable. Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read this suspense novel, which RELEASES FEBRUARY 9, 2021.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Lyn❤Loves❤Listening #AUDIOBOOKADDICT

    Audio 5 Stars Story 4 Stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Bibi

    *2.5 stars* The Brian/Rebecca flashbacks were at best fillers and unnecessary in moving the story forward. I would have preferred a more linear timeline, but then Berenson would have had to cut nearly a 3rd of the book. Rounded up to 3 stars because that ending was oh so good.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Anissa

    I read this in a day and it was very good at keeping my attention. I wasn't expecting it to be so much an espionage tale but it wove well around the troubled marriage of the Unsworths. I most liked how Kira was portrayed and her relationship with her mother reminded me a bit of Elizabeth and Paige of The Americans. I don't want to spoil (and my mind is a bit on other things this week) but there was something of a lull but the momentum did reengage carrying the story to a decent end.  This is my f I read this in a day and it was very good at keeping my attention. I wasn't expecting it to be so much an espionage tale but it wove well around the troubled marriage of the Unsworths. I most liked how Kira was portrayed and her relationship with her mother reminded me a bit of Elizabeth and Paige of The Americans. I don't want to spoil (and my mind is a bit on other things this week) but there was something of a lull but the momentum did reengage carrying the story to a decent end.  This is my first read by Berenson and I'd read another. Recommended. Many thanks to Netgalley & the publisher for the Advanced Reader's Copy.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Literary Redhead

    Berenson’s latest features a couple who works for the government — Rebecca for the FBI, Brian for the NSA. Talk about D.C. power! When their daughter Kira gets kidnapped during a family trip to Barcelona, all hell breaks loose. Twists, turns, intrigues, and explosive marital secrets make for one wild ride — a treat for lovers of global espionage and family drama. 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 05 May 2021 #ThePowerCouple #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Simon & Schuster, and NetGalley for the review copy. Berenson’s latest features a couple who works for the government — Rebecca for the FBI, Brian for the NSA. Talk about D.C. power! When their daughter Kira gets kidnapped during a family trip to Barcelona, all hell breaks loose. Twists, turns, intrigues, and explosive marital secrets make for one wild ride — a treat for lovers of global espionage and family drama. 4 of 5 Stars Pub Date 05 May 2021 #ThePowerCouple #NetGalley Thanks to the author, Simon & Schuster, and NetGalley for the review copy. Opinions are mine.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Melissa (LifeFullyBooked)

    I enjoyed this book once I got into the swing of the rhythm of the different points of view. One thing I loved about the book overall was that I didn't know who to trust. Every character has secrets, and Brian's and Rebecca's keep building on each other until the end. I personally adored the ending and thought it was perfect for the book. Was the entire premise far-fetched and pretty unbelievable? Yes. Were the characters mostly unlikable? Also yes. Yet I just went with it and enjoyed the thrill I enjoyed this book once I got into the swing of the rhythm of the different points of view. One thing I loved about the book overall was that I didn't know who to trust. Every character has secrets, and Brian's and Rebecca's keep building on each other until the end. I personally adored the ending and thought it was perfect for the book. Was the entire premise far-fetched and pretty unbelievable? Yes. Were the characters mostly unlikable? Also yes. Yet I just went with it and enjoyed the thriller for what it was. There's a missing girl, two high-powered parents who may or may not have the careers you think they do, and an international mystery that alternates between the past events that led up to the present event and from that forward. Fast-paced and enjoyable thriller, recommended. I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book, all opinions are my own.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    3.5 /5 stars The Power Couple is a thriller. This is my first book by this author. The book is divided into 6 parts. Some of the story takes place in Washington (D.C), and some of it takes place in Spain (although there are other locations too). The book starts off in a dual POV. We see Rebecca (the mom) and Kira (her 19 year old daughter). Both are 3rd person POVs. The family goes on a European vacation and something happens to Kira. This is the main focus of the story. There were definitely parts o 3.5 /5 stars The Power Couple is a thriller. This is my first book by this author. The book is divided into 6 parts. Some of the story takes place in Washington (D.C), and some of it takes place in Spain (although there are other locations too). The book starts off in a dual POV. We see Rebecca (the mom) and Kira (her 19 year old daughter). Both are 3rd person POVs. The family goes on a European vacation and something happens to Kira. This is the main focus of the story. There were definitely parts of this book that intrigued me a lot. I was fascinated by Rebecca's high profile job. And I was fascinated by Kira's story. There were parts that were a bit less interesting (we got to see how Rebecca and her husband met). Part 4 was a totally different 3rd person POV. And that really changed the story a lot. It was unexpected. But it was a revelation. Overall, there were things that were riveting about this story. But also parts that moved much slower. And honestly the last part was not what I was expecting at all. But it was an enjoyable thriller. Thanks to netgalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for allowing me to read this book.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Miriam

    5 stars audio 4 stars story

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tammy

    This book was just okay for me. It was a fast paced domestic thriller with a touch of espionage mixed in. There was a lot of focus on their marriage along with many secrets. I personally just had a hard time connecting with the characters and just couldn’t root for either of them.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    The plot of this new Berenson thriller took me by surprise and I don't want my review to spoil the ride for anyone else. As promised, there are bits of 'Taken' and 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' mixed in with some 'My Lovely Wife' bits. Our lead characters are Rebecca and Brian. She works in Russian counterintelligence for the FBI and he works in the elite hacking division of the NSA. When their daughter is kidnapped in Barcelona, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary after navigating some rough sea The plot of this new Berenson thriller took me by surprise and I don't want my review to spoil the ride for anyone else. As promised, there are bits of 'Taken' and 'Mr. and Mrs. Smith' mixed in with some 'My Lovely Wife' bits. Our lead characters are Rebecca and Brian. She works in Russian counterintelligence for the FBI and he works in the elite hacking division of the NSA. When their daughter is kidnapped in Barcelona, they are celebrating their 20th anniversary after navigating some rough seas in their marriage relationship. Pick this one up to see what comes next with some additional insights into what happened before. Thank you to Simon & Schuster and Edelweiss+ for a DRC in exchange for an honest review.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Mogsy (MMOGC)

    4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/02/16/... A domestic suspense with just a hint of espionage and political thriller thrown into the mix, The Power Couple by Alex Berenson was fun read. Best of all, it felt like getting two books in one, and the author won’t reveal how everything is connected until the very end. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth have been married for twenty years, so for their anniversary they’ve decided to do something truly special, like treating themselv 4 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum https://bibliosanctum.com/2021/02/16/... A domestic suspense with just a hint of espionage and political thriller thrown into the mix, The Power Couple by Alex Berenson was fun read. Best of all, it felt like getting two books in one, and the author won’t reveal how everything is connected until the very end. Rebecca and Brian Unsworth have been married for twenty years, so for their anniversary they’ve decided to do something truly special, like treating themselves and their kids to a much-needed vacation in Europe. But behind the façade of this happy all-American family is a rot that has been festering for quite some time. Consumed with her work at the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Rebecca has long been neglecting her relationships with her husband and children, leaving Brian quietly resentful even though her connections had helped him get a coder job at the NSA. Both are aware they’ve been slowly drifting apart, and their hope for this European getaway is that it will also help bring them closer together. But one night in Barcelona, their teenage daughter Kira leaves for a dance club and doesn’t return to the hotel. Witnesses say she met an attractive stranger before leaving with him and some of his friends, the last anyone saw of any of them. Thus begins Kira’s terrifying journey as a kidnapping victim, taken for reasons she knows nothing about, though her captors seem to know a lot about her. Meanwhile, after the local police has done all they can, Rebecca and Brian scramble to mobilize their own resources in the US government to help track down their daughter. Surely, if Kira had just been a random target, her abductors shouldn’t be too hard to find. But what if it hadn’t been random? What if someone had gone after Kira to send a message? Our story begins with practically no preamble, opening with the events leading up to Kira’s kidnapping, all of it unfolding from her point of view. After these harrowing sections, however, the narrative suddenly switches tack, flashing back all the way to Rebecca’s college days in law school. From there on out, we get the story of how she decided she was going to join the FBI, as well as how she met and fell in love with Brian, eventually getting married and starting a family. At first, this abrupt switch seemed counter-intuitive and even unwelcome, considering how rudely we were torn away from the present timeline and the heart-pounding events that were taking place. I wanted to know what was happening to Kira and what her parents were doing to get her back, so why on earth was my time being wasted with a rundown of Rebecca’s life story? Well, suffice to say, I found out why in the end. This book is definitely a puzzle that requires all its pieces to make sense—put together the domestic suspense half with the half about the kidnapping, and voila, you have the key! Thriller fans will enjoy this story, which reminds me a little of Taken, but whereas Liam Neeson’s character was former CIA and Green Beret, Kira’s parents are not quite so badass. In fact, despite the novel’s title, Rebecca and Brian don’t hold much power at all at their respective agencies, though they do have some bureaucratic connections. Still, for the most part, the sections of the book dealing with the parents are less about the action and more about the mistrust and suspicions surrounding a poisonous marriage—themes that leave you on the edge of your seat in their own intense way. As with most thrillers, the personalities of our characters also ended up playing a huge role. Brian and Rebecca are flawed individuals and neither of them inspire much sympathy, though that’s what makes books like this so fun. I loved how we got both their perspectives, allowing readers to compare and spot where their credibility might be compromised and speculate reasons as to why they would lie. It’s a guessing game all the way through, until the story ultimately culminates in a shocking yet satisfying ending. The Power Couple was my first book by Alex Berenson, but after this, I’ll surely be looking out for more of his work. Had a great time with this one, with its compulsive storytelling and electrifying ambience. Recommended.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Susan Johnson

    This is a domestic thriller with espionage thrown in. A female FBI agent and her husband employed by the NSA decide to take a vacation in Paris with their two teen-age children. The children go out on the town and the daughter makes a few dumb choices. She ends up kidnapped. The story alternates between her ordeal and her parents search for her. I didn't much care for the parents. They were two cutesy pie for me. The woman's name is Rebecca and they call her Becks. The husband's name is Brian a This is a domestic thriller with espionage thrown in. A female FBI agent and her husband employed by the NSA decide to take a vacation in Paris with their two teen-age children. The children go out on the town and the daughter makes a few dumb choices. She ends up kidnapped. The story alternates between her ordeal and her parents search for her. I didn't much care for the parents. They were two cutesy pie for me. The woman's name is Rebecca and they call her Becks. The husband's name is Brian and they call him Bri. It's just annoying. They are jut annoying people. The story gets an International twist and goes in directions I certainly didn't see coming. I don't want to go into any more details because the less information you have I think the better. It's a good escapist read. Thanks to NetGalley for a copy on exchange for a fair review.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Bandit

    According to Tolstoy (and who are we to argue) all happy families are alike and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This is a story of a family that doesn’t fit precisely into either of those categorizations, it’s superficially happy to all appearances, two adults, two kids, financially comfortable, with both parents in high powered jobs, she in counterintelligence offices of the FBI) and he as a coder for NSA. Two decades together and the couple still physically fit and mentally and According to Tolstoy (and who are we to argue) all happy families are alike and each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. This is a story of a family that doesn’t fit precisely into either of those categorizations, it’s superficially happy to all appearances, two adults, two kids, financially comfortable, with both parents in high powered jobs, she in counterintelligence offices of the FBI) and he as a coder for NSA. Two decades together and the couple still physically fit and mentally and sexually engaged with each other. All the accoutrements of the happy life. Right?...Wrong. Because there’s only so much you can know about a person from the appearances. Apparently, even after two decades together these two can still surprise each other. And not in a good way. I’ve read another reviewer describe this book as Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets Taken. That’s actually pretty good, though it doesn’t quite cover it. Because this is no mere popcorn thriller, this book deliberately goes further and darker, to create multidimensional characters in a profoundly flawed relationship and take it all the way to its logistical finish. So the plot…Mr. and Mrs. Smith Unsworth are in Europe, with their kids, celebrating their 20th wedding anniversary. Their nineteen year old daughter, usually a fairly responsible child, suddenly forgets mother instilled caution, remembers she is a stupid teen after all and gets herself charmed by some eurotrash and subsequently abducted. And since the local police is jurisdiction tangled and not all that interested in helping, it’s down to the FBI superpowered mother and NSA connected father to save their baby from the evil clutches of the suspicious men. So far pretty Taken, right? But wait…then the author spins it around and takes you back in time, for both of the parents characters, so that you can discover for yourself how they came to be together and their very singular way of power imbalance. You find a potently driven young woman who wanted it all and on her own time, determined to have both career and a family, though knowing that the former would always overshadow the later. You’ll find an aimless young man with detached, almost sociopathic like emotional constitution, who found someone who interested and excited him and hitched a ride, settling for years into the role of a supporting player. By the time you’re brought to the present, where they are working together to save their baby girl, who is actively working to save herself all along, they won’t seem like the same couple, not the couple you met initially. It’s one of those things where the more you get to know someone, the less you knew them, but then again that only works for real life, in fiction, it’s a great thing, it creates much more fascinating conflicts and dynamics. The title is perfectly apt...this book is, after all, all about definition, distribution and balance of power in a relationship. So where do you think two spouses who finally, after all these years together, really got to know each other go after all? Why, to celebrate their 21st wedding anniversary, of course. In a dramatic, inevitable final chapter. So there you go, that’s the book. I’ve never read the author before, thought of him as someone who does the sort of thriller series I normally stay away from, but this was a standalone and it was very good, an excellent introduction, really. It has all the slick finishes of a bestseller along with all the dark psychological thrilling elements I love in this sort of fiction. Normally, I don’t care for spy stories, but here it worked well, actually. In fact, the book somewhat reminded me of the tv show Americans, which I only have a passing knowledge of, but it seemed similar in some way. All in all, this was a very fun ride, long, but didn’t read like it and plenty entertaining. Recommended. Thanks Netgalley.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Laura Peden

    4.5 rounded up! If I would’ve read this with my eyeballs I probably would’ve rated it 4 but Steven Weber nailed the narration 🙌🏼 This is a cool blend of domestic suspense & thriller, with lots of action in some parts & in others the backstory of the marriage of the power couple. I highly recommend this to my fellow thriller lovers! So much fun & a real page turner.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Have not read this author before but the plot summary drew me in. The first part of the plot is taken up with daughter Kira getting kidnapped while the family is vacationing in Barcelona. It’s frightening but pretty straightforward. Why was she kidnapped when the Unsworths are not rolling in money. There are sections that go back in time to give us back story on Brian and Rebecca. So it’s not until at least halfway through the book that we are let in on Brian’s secret life selling secrets to the Have not read this author before but the plot summary drew me in. The first part of the plot is taken up with daughter Kira getting kidnapped while the family is vacationing in Barcelona. It’s frightening but pretty straightforward. Why was she kidnapped when the Unsworths are not rolling in money. There are sections that go back in time to give us back story on Brian and Rebecca. So it’s not until at least halfway through the book that we are let in on Brian’s secret life selling secrets to the Russians. He never really stopped being a player even after he married Becks and his secret life in bars and strip clubs got him in over his head. So he rolls with the punches and makes some extra money. Maybe that will stop Rebecca from picking at him—no ambition, you need to get a job (though at that point, he has one). But it’s really all her fault anyway. Just don’t forget the kidnapping, as none of this would have come about without that episode, though he eventually doesn’t think it did that much harm to Kira in the long run—maybe toughened her up a bit. This is a complex layer of plot. Most of the characters are ultimately likable, though we definitely get a sense that Brian is a stinker. But what couple is perfect anyway?

  22. 4 out of 5

    Heather Fineisen

    An FBI agent and an NSA coder are married with 2 children. Their teenage daughter is kidnapped during a family vacation in Barcelona. While they attempt to find her the story shifts to their past revealing one of them is not necessarily who they seem to be. Well depicted and build a tension. A solid read from a solid author. Copy provided by the publisher and NetGalley

  23. 5 out of 5

    Elaine

    Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Power Couple. Oh look, I actually liked this one! The blurb caught my eye so I was excited when my request was approved. This is not a typical domestic thriller; oh, there are some standard tropes; a marriage gone sour after many years, lies and secrets being kept from the spouses, the day to day grind of work, minutiae and reflection that makes you wonder: why did I marry this person? ** Minor spoilers ahead ** After 20 years of marriage and two kids, R Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC of The Power Couple. Oh look, I actually liked this one! The blurb caught my eye so I was excited when my request was approved. This is not a typical domestic thriller; oh, there are some standard tropes; a marriage gone sour after many years, lies and secrets being kept from the spouses, the day to day grind of work, minutiae and reflection that makes you wonder: why did I marry this person? ** Minor spoilers ahead ** After 20 years of marriage and two kids, Rebecca and Brian Unsworth appear to have a solid marriage. But, on an European vacation celebrating their union, their oldest child and daughter, Kira, is kidnapped. Rebecca and Brian must ignore the strains of their marriage and rely on each other to find their daughter. And, Rebecca will come face to face with some truths about her husband and marriage she has been ignoring for some time. I liked Rebecca and Kira; mother and daughter are both similar and different to be respected for their redeemable qualities. They're not perfect; on one is, but they're relatable and they're not victims. it's rare I find and read a domestic thriller (or any thriller) in which the female main character is smart, savvy and respected. Generally, the women fall the many cliche categories that are too various to name but to start with; whiny, weak, doormats, on the receiving end of continuous gaslighting and/or various forms of abuse from a male partner. Kira was a pleasant surprise; I expected her to wait for rescue, to be your typical privileged whiny brat but she stepped up. She had flaws and she owned up to them; instead, she learned from her past mistakes, dialed back her fears and drew strength from within herself to take control and fight back. A good portion of a narrative is an info dump, exposition on how Rebecca and Brian met, what they were doing to get to where they are now in the book, so there's a lot of telling, no showing, which I get, but the prose was dry, textbook-like. I did like the behind the scenes peek on how the FBI works, and how Rebecca used her influence to get things done. For me, the narrative didn't pick up until close to the end, when the reason behind Kira's kidnapping is revealed, which I guessed right, but not the reason behind it, which made me go "Oooh. Now it's getting interesting." The ending is satisfying, and exactly what I expected from a narrative with a savvy and intelligent female main character. I look forward to the author's next book.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Amanda McHugh

    I haven't read a Berenson book in a few years, but when this title popped in my feed, I knew I had to request it. The cover and synopsis were interesting, and I was thrilled to be approved. On the surface, Brian and Becks have a lovely relationship. Married for twenty years, two beautiful children, and careers they love. A twentieth anniversary trip abroad, however, highlights the cracks in their love, as Kira, their daughter, is abducted one night in Barcelona. Desperate to find her, they must I haven't read a Berenson book in a few years, but when this title popped in my feed, I knew I had to request it. The cover and synopsis were interesting, and I was thrilled to be approved. On the surface, Brian and Becks have a lovely relationship. Married for twenty years, two beautiful children, and careers they love. A twentieth anniversary trip abroad, however, highlights the cracks in their love, as Kira, their daughter, is abducted one night in Barcelona. Desperate to find her, they must figure out if her kidnapping was a random act or was she targeted for a specific reason. Becks works for the FBI counterintelligence; Brian works for the NSA. Both have secrets. One has the answer. I loved this book. After a string of books that covered serious, heavy topics, it was nice to dive into a high-octane thriller with an entertaining, yet high-stakes plot. This gave me definite Mr. and Mrs. Smith meets Taken vibes, and at first, I was a little worried this would fall into a predictable trope. However, where on paper this might sound familiar, the execution proved to be a breath of fresh air. Becks' level-headed and rational approach to the kidnapping was a welcome change in a genre dominated by female characters who worry on the couch while the men go out to Liam Neeson their way to the hero ending. Brian, too, while I didn't like his voice as much as Becks' chapters, I enjoyed his POV and the way Berenson tied their history together. The flashbacks worked well here to highlight their differences and raise the tension of the kidnapping. The plot is cinematic, and I could see this being a perfect fit as a 24-esque mini-series. It has all the ingredients of a watchable action thriller while tackling some serious issues, including mental health, eating disorders, and gender roles. Overall, The Power Couple is an engrossing, fast-paced page turner that will leave you guessing until the very last page. Out in February, this is one you'll want to add to your TBRs now. Thank you to Simon and Schuster for providing an eARC in exchange for honest review consideration.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Chantal Côté

    Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an e-arc in exchange for my honest review. A family vacation in Barcelona? And a teen kidnapping; that sounded terrific. So, the first part of the book which was set in Barcelona was very good and looked promising. I enjoyed the story leading up to the kidnapping and Kira’s storyline. Then the author chose to go back in time and tell both Brian and Rebecca’s dual storyline, known as the Power Couple. Through their family life and careers, we learn about Thank you to Netgalley and the publishers for an e-arc in exchange for my honest review. A family vacation in Barcelona? And a teen kidnapping; that sounded terrific. So, the first part of the book which was set in Barcelona was very good and looked promising. I enjoyed the story leading up to the kidnapping and Kira’s storyline. Then the author chose to go back in time and tell both Brian and Rebecca’s dual storyline, known as the Power Couple. Through their family life and careers, we learn about their lies and shenanigans and how it could have set the motion for a kidnapping. However, that changed the fast pace of the book in a negative way for me. Finally, we get back to Kira and the conclusion which came to be the thriller I had envisioned. However, the second part of the book fid not keep my interest and I struggled to finish the book. I must add that I am not generally a reader of espionnage tales.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Abibliofob

    I have enjoyed The Power Couple by Alex Berenson. Wow! At first I was sceptical to read some freestanding book from this author. I am really glad that I tried this one. It started out a little slow but then... It was a rollercoaster ride in family troubles and espionage with an ending I did not see coming. I have to thank #Edelweiss and #SimonAndSchuster for giving me this wonderful book.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Andrea Pole

    The Power Couple by Alex Berenson is the first novel that I have read from this author. It is, at its heart, a tale of espionage, although a large part of the story falls firmly in the genre of a domestic thriller. Rebecca Unsworth works for the FBI in counterterrorism, and her husband Brian is a coder for the National Security Agency. By all outward appearances a successful couple, Rebecca and Brian treat their two teenaged children to a family holiday in Barcelona. Shortly after arrival, daught The Power Couple by Alex Berenson is the first novel that I have read from this author. It is, at its heart, a tale of espionage, although a large part of the story falls firmly in the genre of a domestic thriller. Rebecca Unsworth works for the FBI in counterterrorism, and her husband Brian is a coder for the National Security Agency. By all outward appearances a successful couple, Rebecca and Brian treat their two teenaged children to a family holiday in Barcelona. Shortly after arrival, daughter Kira goes missing following a night out at a club, and her parents are left wondering if this is a targeted kidnapping given their positions with the US government, or if Kira has had the misfortune to fall in with the wrong people while asserting her independence from her family. The first part of the narrative was, for me, very reminiscent of the film Taken, in a good way. But as the story progresses, we are drawn away from this engaging plotline in order to more fully explore the Unsworths' marriage, and the events that have preceded their Spanish holiday. While I found the bulk of the narrative to be mired in simply too much background information, I remained anxious and impatient to return to the kidnapping plot that initially drew me in, so as to discover Kira's ultimate fate. Overall, this is an intriguing premise, and one with enough twists to keep you turning the pages. 3.5 stars Many thanks to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster Canada for an ARC to read and review.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bob

    Bottom line: It’s just an okay book and not one I’d highly recommend you rush out to read. Without going into detail about the plot, the focus of The Power Couple is on Rebecca and Brian Unsworth - she works in a senior position In counterterrorism for the FBI, he works in software at the NSA — whose marriage has been less than ideal for years due to their differing career and personal trajectories. To try to bring them closer together, they decide to take a family vacation in Barcelona with the Bottom line: It’s just an okay book and not one I’d highly recommend you rush out to read. Without going into detail about the plot, the focus of The Power Couple is on Rebecca and Brian Unsworth - she works in a senior position In counterterrorism for the FBI, he works in software at the NSA — whose marriage has been less than ideal for years due to their differing career and personal trajectories. To try to bring them closer together, they decide to take a family vacation in Barcelona with their 19-year-old daughter, Kira, and teenage son. Shortly after arriving Kira is kidnapped. I was hoping that the parents’ efforts to find Kira, and Kira’s efforts to escape from her kidnappers, would jump start the excitement level of the book; which up that point, pertained to each parent’s perspective on why their marriage is falling apart. While this portion of the book was interesting, I did not find it to be particularly exciting or suspenseful. From there, the plot jumps ahead a few years and returns to focus on Rebecca and John’s continually deteriorating marriage and their suspicions of each other; which eventually devolves into each other’s secret plans to “end” the marriage. Sound a bit like Gone Girl? That’s because The Power Couple and Gone Girl have a good amount in common. The suspense of the book picked up somewhat during the last 50 or so pages, but I found the ending to be pretty predictable and too little, too late. So, as I said earlier, The Power Couple is an okay read — but not much else. #The Power Couple #Net Galley.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Monnie

    For the first quarter or so of this book, I was thinking I might not make it to the end - the characters were barely likable, the writing borderline trite. But I'd just finished reading two of the best books I've read in a long time, so I told myself to hang in there. I did - and by golly, it soon started to get interesting - so much so that I even wondered if a different author was now doing the writing. By the midpoint, the pace really started to pick up, and the last few chapters were an edge For the first quarter or so of this book, I was thinking I might not make it to the end - the characters were barely likable, the writing borderline trite. But I'd just finished reading two of the best books I've read in a long time, so I told myself to hang in there. I did - and by golly, it soon started to get interesting - so much so that I even wondered if a different author was now doing the writing. By the midpoint, the pace really started to pick up, and the last few chapters were an edge-of-seat race to the finish. Front and center are Rebecca and Brian Unsworth, married two decades and parents of teenagers Kira and Tony. Rebecca is a counterterrorism specialist for the FBI, and Brian is a coder for the National Security Administration. Living in the Washington, D.C., suburbs, their budget is strained to the breaking point even with two incomes and - like many couples - they've grown apart over the busy years. Perhaps, they reason, a European vacation is just what the doctor ordered - and off they all go. Everything comes up roses in Barcelona, until Kira, a college student, meets a mysterious, attractive older French man. She agrees to meet up with him later for a couple of hours - unbeknownst to anyone except her younger brother - and doesn't come home as expected nor call to check in as is her custom. Her parents, understandably, are distraught, and they pull out all the stops to use their contacts and influence to find their missing child. The story then shifts to earlier years - first on Rebecca, then on Brian - showing what each was thinking and doing over the years leading up to their marriage-saving vacation. Nothing I read made me warm up to either of them, though; mostly I was thinking that whatever they got was well-deserved. Of course, that part I can't share, because through these insights readers get a glimpse of what's really going on between the two of them and with Kira's disappearance. Interspersed are chapters focusing on Kira's plight and how she's dealing with the possibility that she might never see her parents (or for that matter, any other living human) again. The last few chapters are almost frenetic (and while exciting, not entirely believable). The ending ushers in two possibilities - neither of them good - but honestly, I didn't much care which resolution was reached. All things considered, it's a solid book that except for the lackluster beginning held my attention throughout - one that espionage lovers should enjoy. Thanks to the publisher, via NetGalley, for allowing me to read and review a pre-release copy.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Jayne

    Twist, turn. Twist, turn. Twist, turn. What could go wrong on a European family vacation taken to celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary? The answer? EVERYTHING! When "power couple" Rebecca and Brian Unsworth's teen daughter Kira is abducted in Barcelona during their family vacation, the Unsworth's idyllic world is instantly shattered and both parents go on overdrive to try and find Kira. Rebecca is an FBI agent and Brian works for the NSA -- two "power" execs with exceptional skills and resources a Twist, turn. Twist, turn. Twist, turn. What could go wrong on a European family vacation taken to celebrate a 20th wedding anniversary? The answer? EVERYTHING! When "power couple" Rebecca and Brian Unsworth's teen daughter Kira is abducted in Barcelona during their family vacation, the Unsworth's idyllic world is instantly shattered and both parents go on overdrive to try and find Kira. Rebecca is an FBI agent and Brian works for the NSA -- two "power" execs with exceptional skills and resources at hand. Who abducted Kira and why? A good portion of this intense domestic thriller is dedicated to detailing the backstories of Rebecca and Brian, as well as the challenges faced in their marriage and careers. READER BEWARE: Although "everything you wanted to know about Rebecca and Brian" was interesting, at times I felt that the author devoted much too much time to Rebecca and Brian's backstories and I wish that more of the book was devoted to Kira and her abductors. Overall, this book was fast-paced, well-plotted with many twists and turns and an impossible-to-guess ending. In the end, we learn who has the real "power" in Rebecca and Brian's relationship. I listened to the book's audio version and the narrator was superb, making this book difficult to push the stop button. This was my first Alex Berenson book and I will be looking forward to enjoying more titles by this author.

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