Sunday, January 25, 2009

The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer

Flap Copy from ARC:
"He was once the CIA's most dangerous 'tourist' - an undercover agent with no identity and no home. Now Milo Weaver has become a middle-level manager in the CIA's New York headquarters. With a wife, a daughter, and a brownstone in Brooklyn he's left his secret life behind. But when the arrest of a long-sought-after enemy sets off an investigation into one of Milo's oldest colleagues and exposes new layers of intrigue in his past cases, Milo goes back undercover to find out who's jerking the strings once and for all."

In the interest of full disclosure, I must confess I rarely read this type of spy-thriller novel. That said, I was very impressed by this novel and enjoyed it much more that I anticipated. The writing is tight and the author avoids the tendency to lapse into stereotypical spy novel dialogue. The action in the book moves fast, and I can already seen in my head the blockbuster movie that could be made from this story.

Milo's relationship with his wife Tina and step-daughter Stephanie adds an unusually human touch to this action adventure, and helps flesh out Milo as a character. The plot, though complicated, is well-drawn, and I was guessing right up to the very last pages. All in all, an enjoyable fast read, and an excellent example of the genre.

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