Read advance reader review of The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer, page 4 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 4 of 5
There are currently 34 member reviews
for The Cairo Affair
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  • Vicky S. (Torrance, CA)
    Mystery in many countries
    This book takes place over a handful of countries and times. I enjoyed moving from country to country and the variety of characters' points of view. There were parts where I did not want to put the book down though I struggled a bit to figure out where the next character started as one ended. I would have loved to have a map of the areas discussed to help me picture the movement of the characters. Book clubs would enjoy the different points of view of the characters.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Rosemary T. (San Antonio, TX)
    The Cairo Affair
    Although Stenhauser might be billed as the master of spy novels, I found The Cairo Affair disappointing. It took me over half the novel to connect all the names and piece together a storyline. The premise that an American could so easily betray their country and loved one because they were bored and looking for excitement was very disturbing to me.
  • Mary D. (Claremont, CA)
    The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer
    I had some trouble reading this book, hence my delay in reviewing it. I wanted to give some time to my thoughts. It is well-written, characters are clearly drawn and, while not as clear and enticing as in some books, the tedious nature of most espionage is well-described, almost too well. I had trouble with the style of the book: there were a lot of flashbacks and flashforths, present to past and back again and I tended to lose the thread of the story. However, my biggest problem with the story is that there is not one redeeming feature in any of the characters. They all use each other and are essentially "in it for the money" rather than any even-remotely noble cause. The only character who seems to have had any "virtue" at all is dead before the book starts!
  • Kelly H. (Chagrin Falls, OH)
    A twisted affair indeed
    I found my attention wandering and had difficulty finishing the book. There are plot and character twists at every turn; perhaps too many twists to make the book a truly engaging read. The third time I re-started the book, I scratched out a cast of characters to keep myself on task. Overall, it was a good, but somewhat overly-ambitious, spy novel.


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