Milo Weaver used to be a tourist for the CIAan undercover agent with no home, no identitybut hes since retired from the field to become a middle-level manager at the CIAs New York headquarters. Hes acquired a wife, a daughter, and a brownstone in Brooklyn, and hes tried to leave his old life of secrets and lies behind. However, when the arrest of a long-sought-after assassin sets off an investigation into one of Milos oldest colleagues and exposes new layers of intrigue in his old cases, he has no choice but to go back undercover and find out whos holding the strings once and for all.
In The Tourist, Olen Steinhauer---twice nominated for an Edgar Award---tackles an intricate story of betrayal and manipulation, loyalty and risk in an utterly compelling novel that is both thoroughly modern and yet also reminiscent of the espionage genres luminaries: Len Deighton, Graham Greene, and John LeCarré.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 10, TO
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Four hours after his failed suicide attempt, he descended toward
Aerodrom Ljubljana. A tone sounded, and above his head the seat
belt sign glowed. Beside him, a Swiss businesswoman buckled her
belt and gazed out the window at the clear Slovenian skyallit
had taken was one initial rebuff to convince her that the twitching
American shed been seated next to had no interest in conversation.
The American closed his eyes, thinking about the mornings
failure in Amsterdamgunfire, shattering glass and splintered wood,
If suicide is sin, he thought, then what is it to someone who doesnt believe in sin? What is it then? An abomination of nature? Probably, because the one immutable law of nature is to continue existing. Witness: weeds, cockroaches, ants, and pigeons. All of natures creatures work to a single, unified purpose: to stay alive. Its the one indisputable theory ...
The Tourist is fast, slick, and gratifying... Though violations of rudimentary spycraft will drive some readers crazy, sometimes a story is so good at granting you an alternative look at your own world that you tug and pull to make it fit just right.
(Reviewed by Amy Reading).
Full Review (847 words).
Representing the Clandestine
If Tourism, Olen Steinhauer's invented black-ops division within the CIA, were real, what would its insignia look like? Trevor Paglen has documented seventy-five shoulder patches designed for United States covert agencies in his book, I Could Tell You but Then You Would Have to Be Destroyed by Me. (The title is a translation from Latin of the patch for the Navy Air Test and Evaluation Squadron 4, at Point Mugu in California).
He submitted hundreds of Freedom of Information requests for the images, then decoded their heraldry and iconography by interviewing military men and women. If, for instance, you see a patch with five stars on top and one star on the bottom, you know it has ...
If you liked The Tourist, try these:
A former CIA case officers novel about two embattled spies who go to extraordinary lengths to keep their informants out of harms way, published as vetted by the agency itself.
Revere Falk is an interrogator at Gitmo, assigned a Yemeni prisoner who may have valuable information about al-Qaeda. But suddenly he is put in charge of an investigation into the death of American soldier washed ashore in Cuba. And there is an unusual level of interest in the proceedings, from his commander, the Cubans, and the ...
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