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Read advance reader review of The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer, page 3 of 5

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The Cairo Affair

by Olen Steinhauer

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer X
The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer
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  • Published Mar 2014
    400 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Page 3 of 5
There are currently 34 member reviews
for The Cairo Affair
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  • Nanette S. (Indiana)
    The Cairo Affair
    Intrigue and mystery wind through this tale of espionage, deceit, and double dealing. The author infuses all aspects of spycraft into his characters and their actions. The story begins with Sophie, who must decide who to trust when trying to find out who and why her husband, Emmett, a diplomat, was killed while they were having lunch in a Budapest restaurant, Emmett had just confronted her about an affair she had when they were living in Cairo. No sooner had he brought up the subject, a strange man had entered the restaurant, shot him dead, and walked out.

    Good story with different points of view used to portray Sophie's actions, although it is sometimes confusing to decipher what time frame, present or past, is being described.
  • Mary O. (Boston, MA)
    Twists and Turns
    This is a multiple-faceted spy novel of international espionage set in the a Middle East. It is fast paced, at times a real page turner, with some unexpected twists and turns. There is good character development and depiction of the culture in the Middle East. A very enjoyable read if you are a lover of espionage novels!
  • Karen K. (West Bloomfield, MI)
    Espionage intrigue
    This is my first Olen Steinhauer book. The writing is easy to read. The story has many layers and twists as expected from a spy novel. Just as you think you understand where the story is going, something surprises you. I liked this book, I didn't over-the-top love it. the author is clearly in the same genre as Le carre'. If you are a hard core espionage reader, than this is for you. I'm more of a Vince Flynn, Ben Coes thriller reader. Very different. So this selection was not the best for me.
  • Randi H. (Bronx, NY)
    The Cairo Affiar
    The Cairo Affair was an entertaining spy thriller in the vein of John Le Carre. It was full of so many twists and turns that a few times I got confused and had to look at sections previously read (although that may have been because it took me longer to read than usual, due to holiday craziness). Overall though it was very entertaining, and I was surprised by a few of the plot twists. I enjoyed the international locations, although would have liked to have those settings played up even more.
  • Mary B. (St Paul, MN)
    The Cairo Affair
    I had heard of Olin Steinhauer, but had never read any of his books. After reading The Cairo Affair I will be reading more of his works. The main characters stories are told in separate narratives as they relate to the events in the story and the other characters. The stories also go back and forth in time. This can be confusing at times. Just as one is engrossed in one characters story, it stops and we continues with another character's story. It did make me want to keep reading as each story line added to the intrigue and suspense. There are violent themes in the story which might not appeal to some.
  • Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)
    The Cairo Affair
    This was my first book by Olen Steinhauer. It won't be my last. I read it from cover to cover in 2 days. The twists and turns of the book keep you wondering and turning the pages. One can't help but mentally debate how much of this story could actually happen and just how plausible is it.
  • Claire M. (Sarasota, FL)
    The Cairo Affair
    Engrossed in reading the story, towards the end I put the book down and thought about spies and diplomats, moles, double agents, wives of any or all of them and wondered what possesses them. Although I felt the story was plot driven I was pushed to think about what drove the characters, possibly because I didn't understand who Sophie was, and because they seem to me to represent a variety of human motivation for the sins we commit.

    I've lived long enough to know that we don't remain static in our beliefs forever, particularly when events and human characters press on our nerves. Most people probably enter the intelligence services in their formative twenties, having an unexamined sense of patriotism and perhaps they are true believers, but the events and people with which the spymasters, spies and the assassins deal have to impact on their sense of who they really are and what they are doing . And for what reason. For Zora, perverse pleasure in controlling another as well as money. For Emmett, a belief in country because he wasn't a spy but an economist thinking he could further the interests of his country. For Sophie, an undeveloped woman who was essentially amoral. But imagine Omar, a drone who finally figures out the whole damn series of betrayals, double agents, and what it was all for who then co-opts the evil assassin in a world that has changed dramatically. Omar is the most interesting character because he has worked for the state under Mubaryk for most of his career and it is only when weird happenings in the Arab Spring put him in play and each time he is onto something he is yanked back by his boss that he ultimately becomes the master of the game. He has a moral center, or does he? Power backstage on the world theatre is a devil's game.

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