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CIA Agent Milo Weaver is one hot mess at the beginning of Olen Steinhauer's THE TOURIST. Strung out on a variety of chemical enhancements, Milo is protecting a low level government functionary when everything well and truly falls apart. We spring forward a handful of years where Milo has woman in his life and a young daughter to care for. He has extracted himself from the deepest part of his despair with their help, but like the all the best Crime Fiction the past is a door to your future problems.

Of course, Milo is dragged back down into the shadowy world when an assassin, Milo's rival, turns up inauspiciously in a small town jail. There he weaves a tale of deceit and betrayal at the very heart of the CIA. Concurrently, Milo's boss tells him that a colleague is leaking information to the Chinese. These two events combine to reveal to Milo what a pawn he has been all along.

I mentioned in a previous post that I thought THE TOURIST was a 4/5th masterpiece. But writing this review now I couldn't tell you what was wrong with THE TOURIST if I wanted too. Mr. Steinhauer writes a dense and detailed account of men caught up in their own hubris. Convoluted but never confusing. Mr. Steinhauer is able marry richly detailed characters with a plot that is actually about something on a societal and human level. THE TOURIST succeeds  primarily because you feel Mr. Steinhauer putting himself out there to ask questions that have only dark answers. THE NEAREST EXIT is Mr Steinhauer and Milo Weaver's next adventure. The book is out now. If you held off reading his post World War II Eastern Bloc series do your self a gigantic favor and read these books now. The Hungry Detective cannot recommend this book any higher. 


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