George M. (Antioch, CA)
The Cairo Affair. Extraordinary
From the very first sentence I was pulled into a tense and exciting thriller, reminiscent of Le Carre. What a white knuckle adventure, set in today's Arab turmoil. A tale of romance. Of intrigue. Of betrayal. The Cairo Affair is something to be savored. Take your time reading it, because you will not want it to end.
Rosemary C. (Austin, TX)
Intriguing and multi-layered
Steinhauer sets a fast-paced tone, develops his interesting and, at times, sympathetic characters, and shows the world of espionage and its political ramifications from multiple points of view. Set against the backdrop of current events in the Middle East, the novel is relevant and instructive as well as exciting.
Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)
Steinhauer does it again
I became a fan through the Milo Weaver trilogy. The Cairo Affair convinced me that even with a new cast of characters, Steinhauer concocts a fine tale that depicts an almost alternate universe. A definite must read for those who like to become lost in the worlds of LeCarre and the less often mentioned Charles McCarry.
Sandy P. (Gainesville, FL)
Well worth your time
The story centers around "Stumbler" an American plan to orchestrate a regime change in Libya. Or is it the Americans enacting Stumbler? The prime characters: Emmett and Sophie Kohl, John Calhoun, Stan Bertolli, Zora Balasevic, Ali Busiri and Omar Halawi all appear to have something to hide and their own agendas. "Are you saying he was one of ours?" Quite a bit of cross and double cross which makes for a very entertaining book.
Chris W. (Temple City, CA)
The plot kept my interest and I appreciated this timely story being told from several points of view. I would have benefited from a map of the regions and a timeline of that period of history, just to add to my understanding of the historical background. The characters were not fully developed but were believable. There is much to discuss for book clubs and others about ever-changing international events, America's involvement or lack of involvement in those events, the idealism of spies, what attracts some people to immoral behavior, how people's world views and philosophy change over time, etc. There are a lot of characters to remember. For me, it was a page turner and I enjoyed the surprises along the way. I will look for more books by this author.
Lauren C. (Los Angeles, CA)
Really excellent spy mystery novel
A Libyan-American desk agent with the CIA realizes that someone has been implementing a plan to topple the Libyan government that he developed several years earlier. He starts to investigate. This leads to a string of murders and disappearances.
If you like spy novels, you'll love this one. I found it to be extremely well-written. The narrative unfolds from the point of view of several different characters. What makes it so interesting is that each person knows only a piece of what is going on-- or thinks they do. Often their information is incorrect, or they lie to others about what they know. No one has the entire picture. This creates a very effective mystery, where even the reader isn't sure which information is correct, or is led to believe that one scenario is correct only to find that the person relaying the information didn't know what was going on.
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.