Advance reader reviews of The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer.

The Cairo Affair

By Olen Steinhauer

The Cairo Affair
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' rating:

  • Published in USA  Mar 2014,
    400 pages.

    Publication Information

  • Rate this book


Buy This Book


Page 4 of 5
There are currently 34 member reviews
for The Cairo Affair
Order Reviews by:
  • Jeff M. (Morris Plains, NJ)


    The Cairo Affair
    I had read Olen Steinhauer's "The Tourist" which I enjoyed and so was interested in his latest novel. Overall, I thought the story was good. With most of the action taking place in Cairo right after the Arab Spring, it made the backdrop very current in scope. With the story being told by the different characters in their own "sections" of the book, there was some occasional repetition and the plot sometimes seemed to move forward a bit too slowly. But, the novel certainly did keep my interest all the way to the end. For me, it was not a quick read, rather it is a story that will make you think throughout.
  • Jan F. (Santa Rosa, CA)


    The Cairo Affair
    International intrigue done right! Sophie, the main character, is married to a U.S. foreign service officer. You sympathize with her as she flees to Cairo, looking for the truth. But who can she trust in a world where everyone speaks in half-truths and lies. And everyone seems to have at least one secret that needs to be kept. Even the name of the book means more than one thing. The story is told by several narrators, who carry the story forward and provide insights into Sophie and the other characters so you know them very well and understand why they act as they do. They also give you insight into the problem from many different perspectives, but it won't help you solve the mystery until the very end. This book was a great read and I need to find more of Steinhauer's books now.
  • Bess W. (Marlton, NJ)


    An Affair to Remember
    I was already a fan of Olen Steinhauer and was not disappointed with his new novel. The characters are well developed and having the story told from their various perspectives is interesting. The book is a fast paced spy novel with political intrigue.
  • Frederick M. (Wilmington, NC)


    A wonderful spy thriller
    I enjoyed this book more than any of Olen Steinhauer's since his original four Eastern Bloc stories. The technique of repeating the story from the perspective of multiple characters did take a few chapters to get used to, but, by the end of the story, I felt it had enhanced the narrative
  • Norman G. (Washougal, WA)


    Hard to like
    If you like well drawn characters, this book is not for you. If you like action or suspense, this book is not for you. If you like to feel comfortable or identify with someone in the story, this book is not for you. It is a timely story with a modicum of interest but I experienced difficulty in liking any person or portion of the plot involved in the book. I ended up rushing through the final 100 pages just to see how the author concluded the slight mystery. A clever and unexpected close but not enough to give satisfaction. I usually like almost any book but I would not recommend this version and do not even plan on saving my copy.
  • Judith B. (Omaha, NE)


    Interesting but Tedious
    The plot is interesting and timely, but it plods along while various characters repeat the story. I experienced reader fatigue and feel the book needs a good edit to share off at least 50-75 pages. Having a female character emerge from a supporting "wife" role to main character is interesting. The timeline is hard to follow. A map of the area would improve reader comprehension.
  • Carol J. (Isle, MN)


    current day espionage
    Must admit "The Cairo Affair" is on my re-read list. Truly a book one needs to read in one sitting in order to follow the characters and the flow. I felt I lost some nuance by reading it in too many sessions. A re-read, even though I know the twists, would help solidify the details of this very current book. Additionally, I wanted to have a timeline for the Arab Spring events available as I read the book.

    The development of the main characters, Sophie, Emmett and Zora, from 1991 to the present is a glimpse into the maturation of idealists. Plus the long term effects of seminal incidents in the decisions one makes into the future.

    An intriguing book. Looking forward to sharing it with my friends and some great discussions to follow.
Member Benefits

Join Now!

Check the advantages!
Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year

    •  
    • FREE
    • MEMBER
    • Range of media reviews for each book
    • Excerpts of all featured books
    • Author bios, interviews and pronunciations
    • Browse by genre
    • Book club discussions
    • Book club advice and reading guides
    • BookBrowse reviews and "beyond the book" back-stories
    •  
    • Reviews of notable books ahead of publication
    •  
    • Free books to read and review (US Only)
    •  
    • Browse for the best books by time period, setting & theme
    •  
    • Read-alike suggestions for thousands of books and authors
    •  
    • 'My Reading List" to keep track of your books
    •  

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Hyde
    Hyde
    by Daniel Levine
    In Robert Louis Stevenson's 1886 novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, the story ends ...
  • Book Jacket: Shotgun Lovesongs
    Shotgun Lovesongs
    by Nickolas Butler
    Nickolas Butler's debut novel, Shotgun Lovesongs, follows five life-long friends, now in their mid-...
  • Book Jacket: Gemini
    Gemini
    by Carol Cassella
    How good is Gemini, Carol Cassella's book about a Seattle intensive care physician who becomes ...

First Impressions

Members read and review books ahead
of publication. See what they think
in First Impressions!

Books that
expand your
horizons.

Visitors can view a lot of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only

Find out more.

Book Discussions
Book Jacket

The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry
by Gabrielle Zevin

Published Apr. 2014

Join the discussion!

  1.  143Happier at Home:
    Gretchen Rubin
  2.  170The Weight of Blood:
    Laura McHugh

All Discussions

Who Said...

I am what the librarians have made me with a little assistance from a professor of Greek and a few poets

Click Here to find out who said this, as well as discovering other famous literary quotes!

Word Play

Solve this clue:

P Your O C

and be entered to win..

Books thatinspire you.Handpicked.

Books you'll stay up all night reading; books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, books that will expand your mind and inspire you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.