Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, Emmett, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed.
Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when, this time, he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.
Omar Halawi has worked in Egyptian intelligence for years, and he knows how to play the game. Foreign agents pass him occasional information, he returns the favor, and everyone's happy. But the murder of a diplomat in Hungary has ripples all the way to Cairo, and Omar must follow the fall-out wherever it leads.
American analyst Jibril Aziz knows more about Stumbler, a covert operation rejected by the CIA years ago, than anyone. So when it appears someone else has obtained a copy of the blueprints, Jibril alone knows the danger it represents.
As these players converge on the city of Cairo, Olen Steinhauer's masterful manipulations slowly unveil a portrait of a marriage, a jigsaw puzzle of loyalty and betrayal, against a dangerous world of political games where allegiances are never clear and outcomes are never guaranteed.
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"...the novel is like a Franck Muller watch, a construct of beautybut metallic and cold. No matter. One marvels at the intricacy of its imagination and the elegance of its maker's craftsmanship." - Publishers Weekly
"Readers yearning for a fiendishly complex plot, penetrating characterizations, and a new warrior in the ancient struggle between anomie and truth will welcome Sophie and her brash courage." - Library Journal
"Could easily dispense with a third of the pages in this le Carré wannabe." - Kirkus
"A genuine page turner - cleverly conceived and intricately plotted. Steinhauer juggles political and personal loyalties with a master storyteller's sleight of hand." - Joseph Kanon
"The Cairo Affair is the espionage novel at its best, packed with betrayals, double-crosses, hidden agendas, moral conflicts, international relations, and even a delectable double-entendre of a title." - Chris Pavone
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Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has lived throughout the U.S. and Europe. He spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and daughter.
His first novel, The Bridge of Sighs (2003), began a five-book sequence chronicling Cold War Eastern Europe, one book per decade. It was nominated for five awards. The rest of the sequence includes: The Confession, 36 Yalta Boulevard (The Vienna Assignment in the UK), Liberation Movements (The Istanbul Variations in the UK)this one was nominated for an Edgar Award for best novel of the yearand Victory Square, which was a New York Times editor's choice.
With The Tourist (2009), he began a trilogy of spy tales focused on ...
Blood at the Root
"A gripping, timely, and important examination of American racism."
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