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4.3 out of 5 stars
The Tourist
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Book 1 in the trilogy staring Milo Weaver

This seemingly realistic thriller is a first rate fiction , a tale of the nasty and deceitful world of spies and assassins.

Milo Weaver aka Charles Alexander is one of the CIA's highly skilled assassins, in the trade they are known as "Tourists". When deployed to various corners of the world, their missions are to be executed without question.

The story opens in 2001 with Milo at a low point in his life. Being a "Tourist" for several years has taken its toll..... his only escape at this point is amphetamines and they are leaving him in a suicidal state. A new mission in Venice to stop the hit man known as "The Tiger" gives him a whole new look at life......

The story flashes forward to 2007. Now a married man with a child, away from active duty and bored at his desk job Milo finds himself longing for the excitement and the adrenalin rush of his old job....Once a spook always a spook.... Milo is reinvigorated when he is summoned to the side of the "Tiger" for a death bed conversation.... The man's confessions send Milo off once again on a chilling path into the world of international conspiracies.

This novel is a modern twist of the old days of espionage, a compelling and intricate account of betrayal, manipulation, loyalty and risk. Its central figure is a complicated man with many faults and flaws, but when faced with extraordinary situations he excels. Throughout the novel you will find plenty of breathtaking scenes and heart stopping action. I enjoyed piecing together the various parts of this very entertaining puzzle and would not hesitate recommending it to anyone.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Terrific book , very well written , great story , complex but somehow easy to follow , hope there will be more in the Milo Weaver series.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Milo Weaver, the tourist (a deep undercover CIA agent) is a fascinating character who inhabits the world of international espionage with full reader engagement. While I was a bit confused at the start, I soon learned to relax about the details because Steinhauer has a genius for untangling intricacies on a need to know basis. It is the best espionage/spy/mystery novel I've read in thirty years, since Gorky Park. Every character is built with a deft hand. Each scene is written with precision. I LOVED IT!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2010
This was certainly in the LeCarre class, only easier to follow! It was a chapter by chapter 'hit', each one had something important to contribute, not the usual 'spy' fluff. Looking forward to some more Milo!
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon November 16, 2013
I have to confess that I never heard of Olen Steinhauer. I was just using the OverDrive APP to search my local library and selected this audio book as the next available.

It is almost impossible to keep track of all the characters in an Agatha Christie novel because of the sheer number. This story however does not clutter the story with too many characters to follow at any one time as an audio book.

Being the first in a series we know who is not going to die. Yet you can believe that I may just be wrong. One thing I like about this book is the absence of flashbacks. There may be some background descriptions but you do not have to do much jumping around back and forth in time. The story is mostly told as a third party narration. We occasionally get into most of the characters minds. It is touted as being in the vein of John le Carré and Graham Greene. I think Olen Steinhauer is better in his own way. I am not sure how much of the experience is the narration by Tom Weiner. But it makes it easy to follow while driving and walking.

I do not want to paraphrase the story as that is the reason you are buying the book. However it as about an agent (Tourist) who decides this is not the life to live and tries to settle down to family life. The world will not let him be. There are many parallel threads but the main theme is that he is accused of murder and must find the real culprit before he is caught. The story is how he goes about it. For the most part we get the clues and the next step in this travel story as the main character (Milo Weaver) does.
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TOP 100 REVIEWERon February 12, 2011
A suicidal secret agent shot and in desperate need of medical assistance, uses the last vestiges of energy to contact Venetian emergency services for a pregnant woman who's there with the very man he's been sent to kill. The agent survives to marry the woman whose discomfort he risked his own life to relief. Nevertheless, we're left with a number of questions. Why's the agent suicidal? Who does he work for? How did a pregnant woman happen to lie in the beginning throws of childbirth without only strangers around to help her? The story jumps ahead seven years when our protagonist has changed his identity from Charles Alexander to Milo Weaver. He's successfully escaped the life of an assassin and been given a desk job with the tourist bureau, an arm of the CIA which overseas tourists responsible for performing functions to which the U.S. government can never been seen as having any connection. Unfortunately, the head of tourism needs to eliminate one of their own, a beautiful agent working out of the American embassy in Paris and Milo, being an friend of the woman is seen as the one person who can get close enough to kill her. And so, he's brought back into service and return to a dangerous existence for which he'd come to hate more than death. It's a great read from the first paragraph to the last.
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on December 26, 2012
This book is the first in a series and I have not read the sequels. I finished half the book in an afternoon and limited myself to a chapter a day because I wanted to prolong my enjoyment.

Based on this single book, I would have to say that the Steinhauer comparisons to Le Carré are overstated. Le Carré is still the master of spycraft and espionage writing. The amount of gunplay (in public places) makes it unrealistic and gives a cinematic quality to the writing; i.e. you can easily write a screenplay base on this book than on a Le Carré book.
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I enjoyed this book, although I doubt it will hit the best seller list. In my opinion, it was a little too far
fetched. The relationships between adversaries and friends struck me as totally unbelievable, I just can't see two enemy spies enjoying a cup of tea together. Further, I enjoy a mystery where we are given the occasional hint so we can venture a guess as to where the story is taking us. guessing the outcome of this book was totally impossible.
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on November 20, 2010
I found the beginning of the book a little difficult to get into.

Once I had got past the first 40 pages or so, it really engaged me, and I found I couldn't put it down, a real page turner.

The characters are well developed, especially of course the main character, Milo Weaver, and I found myself riding an emotional see-saw with his trials and tribulations.

A recommended read for anyone who like mysteries and spy novels.
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on May 21, 2014
I was looking for a Robert Ludlum type of action and suspense filled spy story - that is not what I got. This book was boring, nonsensical and poorly written.
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