Olen Steinhauer evokes the work of spy novel greats like John le Carre with his new novel, The Tourist. After earning acclaim for his historical thrillers set in Eastern Europe, Steinhauer moves the action to contemporary America and Europe, hopefully earning a larger audience for his fine work in the process.
Milo Weaver was a "tourist" for the CIA -- an undercover operative who traveled the globe on secret missions -- before he burned out in spectacular fashion. Now he holds down a desk as an analyst. But when an infamous assassin surfaces and Weaver nabs him, the spy's past is brought crashing into the present.
As in the best of le Carre's work, the clandestine world of The Tourist is as much about bureaucrats as it is about black bag ops. Steinhauer has a solid grasp of the espionage world (either that or a fertile imagination) that enlivens his enjoyable story.
From the Chicago Sun-Times, March 29, 2009