The Tourist, Steinhauer’s first contemporary novel after his award-winning historical series, was a runaway hit, spending three weeks on the New York Times best seller list and garnering rave after rave from critics. Now faced with the end of his quiet, settled life, reluctant spy Milo Weaver has no choice but to turn back to his old job as a “tourist”.
Before he can get back to the CIA’s dirty work, he has to prove his loyalty to his new bosses, who know little of Milo’s background and less about who is really pulling the strings in the government above the Department of Tourism—or in the outside world, which is beginning to believe the legend of its existence. Milo is suddenly in a dangerous position, between right and wrong, between powerful self-interested men, between patriots and traitors—especially as a man who has nothing left to lose.
©2010 Third State, Inc. (P)2010 Macmillan Audio
I liked the first book in the series and looked forward to this book, alas, this story never gets off the ground, instead it just plows through the same terrain as the last book just rearranging the sequence and adding a couple of new names and using the word "tourist" more than I thought possible. The love interest starts out stale - and then stays that way, there are no notable relationships formed, and the arch villain in this story is never developed beyond some shady form in the background. The poor girl killed in this story is just a prop used and discarded in the story for no purpose other than to add a hundred pages and some - as it turns out - useless - interrogation drama which ends up moving the story nowhere, it just ends.
The first book was an intelligent espionage thriller, this is just a phoned in waste of time.
My wife and I struggled through the first two after reading a Canadian's review that Canadians love this book but you need to start with Book 1.
That's true, but what a slug it is. We dubbed the title of both books "Poor Milio - 1 & 2". If you like spy stories where the main character is not a hero but instead gets beaten up tortured, thrown in jail, and generally ripped apart by both of his friends and enemies, this book is for you.
If you also like spy stories where the CIA and indeed all spy agencies around the world are both corrupt and inept and that Republican senators are made of the same mold then you, like the New York Times, will love this author and these books.
I really enjoyed "The Tourist" & "The Cairo Affair" but this book just did not cut it for me. The journey was long and at times tedious; the destination was a BIG LET DOWN!!! As I have said before the measure of a great novel is how long the characters/story stay with you after you have finished the book, I forgot the plot of this book 15 minutes after I finished it. Just did not feel the investment of time to read this book brought me any joy or satisfaction. The plot was convoluted and meaningless at times. I plowed thru it only to fall flat by the ending. I am soooo disappointed I probably wont read "The American Spy". Too much of a good thing can turn sour, unfortunately for "The Nearest Exit" it did. Not recommended.
I would highly recommend this author to anyone who liked early le Carre or enjoys Alan Furst. If they like the more popular authors, Clancy, et al, they might find it a little dull.
This book is part of a trilogy, (at least), so I'd have trouble separating incidences. Overall it was suspenseful, without a lot of gratuitous gore, something I like. The book kept my interest consistently, but without huge and stupid violent scenes. A tightly written book.
Two faults: While I don't expect this sort of book to be realistic, there were moments when I had the "yeah, right", response to plot points. Still, it was far better than most of the more popular author's works. And, the reader cannot read women's voices. He makes the story sound like it occurs in a world consisting of heterosexual men and drag queens. I hate to be that critical, it's hard to "voice" your opposite sex, but it was distracting. Overall, a very enjoyable thriller.
I could rank it among the espionage entanglements as laid out in British spy stories with a setting in Europe.
It is a very intriguing one, not the easiest plot with many fast paced scenes developing after each other. Nice addition is the background of Milo and all the European places he visits, it spices up the whole feel of the story. The dialogues are very good.
His voice is perfect and grips your attention. His depiction of Erika is wonderful with a very nice German/English accent.
When Milo is shot on the steps of his family house by the murdered girl's father.
I would love to read this story again to get a better grip on the story and not losing on the details. Like I do with all spy stories really.
I am glad I didn't listen to one reviewer who said the first 3 chapters were like 3 different books. It was a little complicated at first going back and forth in time but it all resolved itself shortly. Other people complained about Milo being a crazy druggie. I think the author was just showing the angst in him because of his innate goodness and his wanting to do the right thing with the difficult assignments he was given. All in all...I enjoyed Milo's working through his angst while completing his work (I don't want to say more so I don't give away the plot). The narrator, David Pittu, as always did a fabulous job.
Storyline and characters are a bit convoluted. Hard to find a character you can like, which tends to be an important characteristic of a book, for me.
Despite this it kept me listening and the ending made it worthwhile, all the bad guys got what they deserved.
Possibly the most ridiculous and convoluted spy story I have ever read.
The first three chapters sound like the beginnings of three different novels.
The hero is an emotional mess dealing with an amazingly dysfunctional family that I have a really hard time caring about.
It's not sure I will be able to finish this silly story. Good reader though.
It may be time to reread Steig Larrsen.
More action in story line.
Rick Steves has more mystery and action than about 1/3 of this book.
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