Friday, 24 June 2016

The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer


From Goodreads

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.
My thoughts

Overall I give this a 3.5 stars.  I do love a good thriller style read.  This was a very easy read on the whole.  A minor complaint was that there were quite a few characters that were unrelated that had similar names.

I don't think that I would have chosen this book, if it had not been one of my local Library Reading group reads.  Saying that none of my reading group actually felt that it was a suiitable reading group read.

The story is told from multiple POV.  It's also told in such a way that it repeats itself as each POV is told, this does take some getting used to as at times you feel like you've already read the passage that you're reading.

I didn't sympathise with any of the characters at all.  One of the reading group members did say that she wish she'd known more about that period of history though as she might have appreciated the story more.

You never know who to trust!  Sophie Kohl finds this out for herself as she tries to find out who is behind the death of her husband.  As information is passed on from one set of counter intelligence to another who knows who is telling the truth and who is feeding the misinformation on.  Emmet Kohl is a spy or is he?  He has the perfect job and is privy to lots of information that could be passed on to others or does he.  Why was he killed and by whom?

I will try other books by this Author though, if only to see how the reading style might differ.

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