The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer; page count 432
Anyone who knows me, or at least anyone who has been on vacation with me, knows how much I enjoy a good espionage novel. I’m a complete action junkie when it comes to movies, and I do like a good, thrilling book, as well. While I normally do read historical fiction novels, I will certainly make an exception for a good shot-em-up.
So when I was at my local Friends of the Library annual used book sale and came across this Edgar finalist, bestselling, starred reviewed book by Steinhauer, I thought it would be worth a shot. (Pun definetely intended.)
The Tourist is about Milo Weaver, CIA case manager, formerly a field agent. The book begins September 10, 2001 when Weaver is in the field, but quickly jumps and remains in 2007 when Weaver is working mostly behind a desk. Weaver is asked to help bring in another CIA agent who is being investigated for treason. Weaver is asked specifically because the agent is his close friend. Soon, Weaver finds himself on the run from his own agency.
Book sidenote: I really hated the main characters wife. First of all, she’s a librarian, which should automatically put me on her side, but instead I kept thinking “couldn’t Steinhauer made this b!tch belong to another profession?” She was a ‘fraidy cat, whiney, and had abosolutley zero tolerance for her husband’s predicament. I constantly got the feeling she was just settling for the guy, and I wanted to kick her in the shins every time she appeared. I’m not entirely sure if that was Steinhauer’s intention, but if it was, kudos! because I hated her.
I did like the book. The writing was first class. I enjoyed that the book was fast-paced and yet the plot unfolded in a lovely, logical manner which took you inside the characters’ heads. I liked all of the side characters (except one) and the “bad guys” were multi-faceted, too.
Now, get ready for an odd result: I don’t think I’ll read any more about this Tourist character. It was good and all, but I do not feel compelled by the lead character to read any more about his exploits. However, I would feel completely comfortable recommending this to other readers interested in a spy book. It’s certainly worth a look-see if that’s your thing.