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An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer

An American Spy

by Olen Steinhauer

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3662146,147 (3.65)17
When the CIA's Department of Tourism is dismantled by an elaborate Chinese intelligence scheme that has caused numerous agent deaths, survivor Milo Weaver is placed at risk by his former boss, Alan Drummond, who uses one of Milo's aliases to exact revenge.



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Showing 1-5 of 21 (next | show all)
Abandoned on page 282. Just too much of everybody watching everybody. ( )
  skraft001 | Aug 23, 2015 |
I had the good fortune to read this right after finishing Steinhauer's "The Nearest Exit"--good fortune, because "An American Spy" picks up immediately after "The Nearest Exit" ends. I already knew most of the major characters and previous events alluded to the latter book were fresh in my memory.
Though the book's title uses the singular, An American Spy, there are so many characters in this book the title could be referring to it could just as well be titled, "American Spies." On the one side are Americans who are spies (working either for our side or the other), and on the other are Chinese, some of who are working for the American side. The main plot revolves around a Chinese spymaster who, while the villain in "The Nearest Exit," remained a very shadowy figure in that book. In "An American Spy" we come to know him quite well. He's gotten himself in fix when his fellow Chinese, and to save his neck he launches a plot which puts Milo Weaver (protagonist of the previous book--as well as of "The Tourist") into a situation where he must save his own neck. Steinhauer's storytelling in masterful, with many twists and turns, and we're left guessing until the very end: "Who's spying for whom?" ( )
  kvrfan | Apr 25, 2015 |
Great ending (?) to the Milo Weaver series, nicely wrapping up all of the many loose ends of all three books, many, MANY loose ends. If you are going to read this series, I highly recommend reading all three back-to-back with no break between them. The storyline is tightly wound and details are lost or forgotten over longer spans of time.
As many reviewers have already pointed, much of this final volume is devoted to characters other than Mr Weaver, but the author is an excellent writer and doesn't fail in the least to keep the reader turning the page well into the night.
I'm looking forward to more in series, and I hope Olen Steinhauer continues to bring us the adventures of Milo Weaver and the Tourists. ( )
  ssimon2000 | Jul 17, 2014 |
A fast-paced conclusion to The Tourist trilogy. It unpeals like an onion, with each part retelling some of the previous story from a different perspective but then pushing the narrative forward further in time. It is an interesting technique that is well executed.

The first layer of the onion is about 100 pages set in China focused almost exclusively on Chinese spies/bureaucrats--with only glimpses of the previous American characters through their eyes. But then it goes around the world and culminates in a focus on Milo Weaver, the hero of the trilogy.

It is morally ambiguous, the espionage itself seems pointless, everyone involved is trying to balance their families and other concerns with their "jobs", all of which makes it a little reminscent of John le Carr̩ and not at all of your Ludlum's or other thriller/adventure writers. It is also decently, although not outstandingly, written.

After the first book I said I wouldn't read the second. But I couldn't help myself and once you've read that, it's worth reading the third as well. ( )
  nosajeel | Jun 21, 2014 |
I read Steinhauer's most recent book, A Cairo Affair not too long ago, and enjoyed it so when I saw this one on the library shelf, I decided to give it a try.
But, after starting I realized that I probably should have read some other Steinhauer books first, The Tourist and The Nearest Exit, because they involve characters and events that deeply impact on this story, but I went ahead and read this one anyway. I think I was able to adequately understand the backstory and enjoyed this book despite any ommissions in my knowledge of the previous stories.

At the start of this book, the Tourist section of the CIA has been disbanded and the raminications of what happens are still going strong in both China and the U.S. The Chinese agent who is responsible to killing the Tourist agents, that cause the section to be closed, is facing opposition for his unilateral actions from other parts of the Chinese intelligence apparatus. When the action moves to America, the former head of the Tourist section is intent on revenge. ( )
  BillPilgrim | Jun 6, 2014 |
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