The Cairo Affair

The Cairo Affair

Book - 2014
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Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed.

Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

Omar Halawi has worked in Egyptian intelligence for years, and he knows how to play the game. Foreign agents pass him occasional information, he returns the favor, and everyone's happy. But the murder of a diplomat in Hungary has ripples all the way to Cairo, and Omar must follow the fall-out wherever it leads.

American analyst Jibril Aziz knows more about Stumbler, a covert operation rejected by the CIA, than anyone. So when it appears someone else has obtained a copy of the blueprints, Jibril alone knows the danger it represents.

As these players converge in Cairo in The Cairo Affair , Olen Steinhauer's masterful manipulations slowly unveil a portrait of a marriage, a jigsaw puzzle of loyalty and betrayal, against a dangerous world of political games where allegiances are never clear and outcomes are never guaranteed.

Publisher: New York : Minotaur Books, c2014.
ISBN: 9781250036131
Branch Call Number: FICTION STE
Characteristics: 408 p. ; 25 cm.


From the critics

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athompson10 Jun 08, 2016

The plot is complex and interesting, but the constantly shifting points of view and jumping back and forth between past, near past and present gets complicated. Solid but not great.

ShipsMind Mar 16, 2015

if you are addicted to plot twists and writing that is so good you forget you are reading, this book is for you.

May 09, 2014

Great book from a great espionage author. Thoroughly enjoy all his books. Great twists and fast paced.

May 05, 2014

Olen Steinhauer is a master spy novelist with many awards to his credit. In this work, he weaves together the viewpoints of many characters and their involvement in the death of an embassy attache. Nothing happy here. No winners.

ChristchurchLib Apr 13, 2014

"The assassination of American diplomat Stan Bertolli in Hungary sends his wife, Sophie, on an under-the-radar hunt for answers that brings her first to Cairo, where she seeks answers from former lovers and WikiLeaks alike. It's 2011, and the region is roiling with Arab revolutions, but while some think Stan's death is connected to a rejected CIA plan to get rid of Gadhafi, others think the answers lie in the past, specifically his 1991 honeymoon in Yugoslavia. Shifting allegiances and political deceptions spell danger for everyone caught up in the action." Thrillers and Suspense April 2014 newsletter.

Nov 02, 2013

When you first pick THE CAIRO AFFAIR up, you might be disappointed. No Milo Weaver? Sigh. But give the book a chance, because Steinhauer is going to take you for a fantastic ride. This book is the perfect marriage between the old school spy novel and today's complex information economy. Told through the perspective of Sophie, Omar, John, and Stan, the constantly shifting narrative and slow tease of information makes for a smart and fast-paced read.

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