Secrets. A number of elements combine to make Olen Steinhauer’s novel, The Tourist, one of the best I’ve read in some time. Steinhauer’s characters, especially protagonist Milo Weaver, are complex and nuanced. The plot moves at a pace that allows the complexity to develop, without the heart-stopping action typical of some spy and thriller novels. Dialogue always sounds right. A tourist is a buzzword that refers to those CIA field agents who operate without a home base or a name. Milo retired from that life and now holds down a desk job at a CIA office in New York. Events demand that Milo re-enter that life, from which retirement was never really possible. Milo finds himself and his reputation damaged, and is hard pressed to recover from alienation. Lies and secrets are everywhere, and Milo tries to protect himself and others in a struggle for life. Whether you like spy novels or not, the fine writing in The Tourist is likely to appeal to most readers.
Rating: Four-star (Highly Recommended)