Excerpt from The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

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The Tourist

By Olen Steinhauer

The Tourist
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  • Hardcover: Mar 2009,
    416 pages.
    Paperback: Feb 2010,
    416 pages.

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Print Excerpt


“Anyone hear it?”

She shook her head. “Leo had a suppressor.”

Charles leaned back into his seat, involuntarily checking the side mirror. He lowered the volume as a woman tried with limited success to carry a high E-note. Then he cut it off. Angela was being cagey about the central facts of this case—the why of all that money—but that could wait. Right now he wanted to visualize the events. “When did they arrive at the coast?”

“Friday afternoon. The seventh.”

“Legends?”

“Frank, no. He was too well known for that. Leo used an old one, Benjamin Schneider, Austrian.”

“Next day, Saturday, was the trade. Which part of the docks?”

“I’ve got it written down.”

“Time?”

“Evening. Seven.”

“Frank disappears . . . ?”

“Last seen at 4:00 a.m. Saturday morning. He was up until then drinking with Bogdan Krizan, the local SOVA head. They’re old friends. Then, around two in the afternoon, the hotel cleaning staff found Leo’s body.”

“What about the dock? Anyone see what happened at seven?” Again, she glanced into the rearview. “We were too late. The Slovenes weren’t going to ask us why Frank was buying them toys. And we didn’t know about Leo’s body until after seven. His papers were good enough to confuse the Austrian embassy for over eight hours.”

“For three million dollars you couldn’t have sent a couple more watchers?”

Angela tightened her jaw. “Maybe, but hindsight doesn’t do us any good now.”

The incompetence surprised Charles; then again, it didn’t. “Whose call was it?”

When she looked in the mirror yet again, her jaw was tighter, her cheeks flushed. So it was her fault, he thought, but she said, “Frank wanted me to stay in Vienna.”

“It was Frank Dawdle’s idea to go off with three million dollars and only one watcher?”

“I know the man. You don’t.”

She’d said those words without moving her lips. Charles felt the urge to tell her that he did know her boss. He’d worked with him once, in 1996, to get rid of a retired communist spy from some nondescript Eastern European country. But she wasn’t supposed to know about that. He touched her shoulder to show a little sympathy.

“I won’t talk to Tom until we’ve got some real answers. Okay?”

She finally looked at him with a weary smile. “Thanks, Milo.” “It’s Charles.”

The smile turned sardonic. “I wonder if you even have a real name.”

Excerpted from The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer. Copyright © 2009 by Olen Steinhauer. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Minotaur, a division of Macmillan, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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