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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.
Sandra S. (Charlotte, NC)
The Cairo Affair
The Cairo Affair is an espionage novel packed with the usual betrayals, double-crosses, etc. I enjoyed it somewhat although it isn't my usual type of book. The book switches back and forth in time and in POV and that created some confusion for me.
Karen K. (West Bloomfield, MI)
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.
Arden A. (Longboat Key, FL)
Some of the best information comes from uninformed people trapped in a stressful situation
That is a quote from Zora, and it speaks volumes, since everyone in this book is looking for information to benefit his side, or country, or both or none. In spite of that, though, I found this book difficult to get through. It took too long to get going, and when it finally did, it sort of just plodded along, and for this reason, it took me way to long to read it. It's a typical spy story where nobody is who they seem, everybody lies to everybody else, and deceit is the operative word. The book would really benefit from a map so the reader can place the characters as they move around the world.
Maggie R. (Canoga Park, CA)
Steinhauer does it again
If you are a true lover of the genre, it is probably a good representation.
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.
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.