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Showing results for tags 'Olen Steinhauer'.
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This book started out pretty strong, but really picked up the pace at the end. It takes place 6 or so years after a terrible (fictitious) terrorist incident in Vienna in a restaurant in hoity toity Carmel, California. There, Henry Pelham, who has been tasked with determining if there were a mole in the Vienna CIA office during the incident, interviews Celia Harrison, who had been his lover when the incident occurred, but who retired right after the incident, married a much-older very rich (obviously) man, and had 2 children with him. So this is both a personal and professional reunion. I don't really want to say much more. If you like thrillers that are more intellectual than action, this one if for you. I figured out the very first layer, more or less, pretty early on, but there were twists upon twists and I did not figure all of them out right away. By the time I realized what was going on, I was glued to the book and couldn't wait to read to the end. If anyone reads this, please answer the questions in the spoiler.
This is the second Olen Steinhauer book I've read. The first one was The Bridge of Sighs, which I have not reviewed and don't remember well enough to review except that I remember thinking it was very good and hoped I would be able to find other books by this author. The Tourist is that book. It concerns a CIA Agent named Milo Weaver who was for many years a "tourist," a term which means an off-the-grid CIA agent who is sent in to investigate or assassinate as his superiors direct. He has chosen to get out of the business of being a tourist, although he still works for the CIA, in order to have a normal family life. But he gets sucked back into it when an assassin he has been trying to capture dies and a friend of his is investigated for treason. I won't say much more because it would just be one long spoiler, but the book is very good on two levels. There's the normal espionage level, which I always enjoy even when I think to myself, "What in the world is going on?????" I like those kinds of movies (e.g., the Bourne movies) and I enjoy those kinds of books. The second level is the one that all of the best espionage books deal with: trust, betrayal, manipulation, and loyalty. We all think that we know which of these is a virtue and which is not, but a book where you are manipulated for your own good, trust and are loyal to the wrong person, and betray those whom you realize you should not have betrayed allow us to think more carefully about how those actions impact our own lives. But even if you don't want to make this story that serious, it's a good one. If you like thrillers, you will enjoy it.