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An American Spy (The Tourist #3)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  2,071 ratings  ·  263 reviews
In Olen Steinhauer’s bestseller The Tourist, reluctant CIA agent Milo Weaver uncovered a conspiracy linking the Chinese government to the highest reaches of the American intelligence community, including his own Department of Tourism---the most clandestine department in the Company. The shocking blowback arrived in the Hammett Award--winning The Nearest Exit when the Depar ...more
Hardcover, 386 pages
Published March 13th 2012 by Minotaur Books (first published March 1st 2012)
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The Bourne Identity by Robert LudlumTinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy by John le CarréThe Spy Who Came In from the Cold by John le CarréThe Hunt for Red October by Tom ClancyThe Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth
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141st out of 732 books — 1,063 voters
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New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2012
55th out of 100 books — 456 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Carol
Where is Milo?


With the first two books in this series, "The Tourist" and "Nearest Exit", Milo Weaver brilliantly takes center stage as a CIA agent who works for a secret sub-division known as the Department of Tourism. Milo is a different kind of spy, suicidal, smart and sometimes funny in a sad defeated kind of way. He is good at handling his assignments even if it is an an unorthodox fashion. He is given the minimal amount of information on his assignment which make them even more difficult. H
...more
Jeffrey
I tried very hard to like this book more than I did, but in the end it was just okay.

The problem was the multiple points of view of the various characters. I typically do not have issues with authors trying to tell a story from different perspectives, but this story got way too convoluted, and that's saying something, in a genre known for convolutions. The double meaning of the title didn't even thrill me.

I have no problem with non linear plots, but Steinhauer's attempt to show the motivations o
...more
switterbug (Betsey)
In Steinhauer’s third installment of CIA double-secret operative Milo Weaver, Milo is cutting his losses due to the violent vanquishing of the Tourist department, and trying to make a go of civilian life. His wife and daughter matter more than his ties to the CIA. His former boss, Alan Drummond, is inconsolable and guilt-stricken. The few Tourists (a liberal euphemism for “trained assassin”) that remain alive are scattered around the globe, and one in particular, Leticia Jones, has enigmatic res ...more
Kevin
Steinhauer continues to explore both the mechanics of spy craft and the moral tension inherent in the trade using Milo Weaver as his lens. With this third volume in the series, Weaver is no longer a Tourist but can't escape the gravity of its destruction.

What from so many angles seems like violence and betrayal fueled by revenge turns out to be each side attempting to turn events to their advantage. Steinhauer plays the story out giving the reader the perspective of a number of characters from
...more
Daniel
The third book in the "Tourist" series and by far the weakest. Also had a most unsatisfactory ending and when i finished it i could not help but think that the only reason this book was written was to set up the coming sequels.....we deserve better from Steinhauer as he is a much better writer than this. Also not much in this book for fans of Milo.
Nancy
. . . Ten pages into An American Spy and I was dazed and confused. I pondered how I would ever be able to comment on this book and then it hit me: Olen Steinhauer was leading me through a muddled maze that was carefully constructed to confound me at every corner. The only way I could personally travel through this spy vs. spy story was to passively surrender myself to the action.

I just let it wash over me;

I didn't try to figure it out (it was literally driving the protagonists crazy trying to pi
...more
Steven
I don't know why I waited so long to read this since I loved the first two books but I was not disappointed. Lots of twists and turn many of which I did not anticipate. Milo Weaver is one of the few agents left alive after the clever master criminal Xin Zhu exterminates his secret group by having the agents kill each other. His former boss Alan Drummond wants revenge and disappears in London while using one of Milo's aliases. It only gets more complicated with many colorful characters. The novel ...more
Tobin
The third installment of the Tourist "adventures" is just as complex, thrilling, and detailed as the other two. While Milo is "The" Tourist, an especially secret CIA asset, he's not the only one in these tales.

Early in this book we meet two others, one enemy and one frenemy. Milo doesn't make an appearance until later. But that's o.k. because he might be the least interesting of the folks in this tale.

As with the previous books the plot, motivations, and actions are so complex as to be irrelevan
...more
Terry Parker
Won this in one of the giveaways - Never read any of the author's other books, but I think I will have to go back and search them out. A very well paced read.

Good read with action, double-crossing, suspense, second-guessing, triple-crossing, abduction and interrogation, quadruple-crossing, and all sorts of spy stuff. The characters seem pretty real, in actions and reactions. Milo Weaver is a guy that seems so normal that you can't picture him being the key to everything happening. And not readin
...more
Dan
Already world-weary, Weaver now has a bullet hole in his gut
“An American Spy,” the third installment involving our principled but reluctant hero Milo Weaver at first seems to lack some of the feints and flourishes that made “The Tourist” and “The Nearest Exit” so compelling.

This time and in the beginning the espionage thriller just doesn’t quite match the craft and subtlety of the previous two. The narrative, a global game of cat-and-mouse, doesn’t really kick in until half-way through. Once it
...more
Sue

I was thrilled to receive this book as a Giveaway. I had read the first two and greatly enjoyed them so I was very eager to read Steinhauer’s latest.

In this third installment of the “Tourist” series, we find that, no matter how hard he tries, Milo Weaver cannot lead a normal life. Since the decimation of the former Department of Tourism, a secret CIA-based organization, and a near-fatal attempt on his life, Milo has been looking for a normal life with his wife and daughter.

However, a number of e
...more
Tim
review for PW:


The start of this fine new thriller, the third to feature Milo Weaver, is convoluted, and those who haven’t read Weaver’s previous outings, The Tourist (2009) and The Nearest Exit (2010), might be a bit at sea. But solid prose and excellent characterizations keep the narrative alive until the plot’s cogs really start to mesh. Weaver is no longer a member of the deeply clandestine CIA’s “Department of Tourism”; in fact, the Department has been shut down, 33 agents have been killed i
...more
Mark

This is my first visit to this series, but I never felt too ignorant about past books or too overwhelmed by backstory insertions to enjoy this spy novel on its own.

It always seems to me that a spy novel writer has to balance the complexity and layers of his plot with understandability. I can still remember people complaining about "The Spy Who Came In From the Cold" as being too obtuse to figure out, but now that the genre is well established, it probably wouldn't seem so complicated in retrospe
...more
Deborah Gray
I've done this backwards. It's the third in a series and I haven't read either of the first two. Although I'm sure I would have benefited from background and character development, I still did not feel a lack of context and was able to fully immerse myself in this story.

It's a complicated spy thriller, where desperate former boss drags CIA trained assassin, Milo Weaver, back into a world he desperately wants to leave, for the sake of his family and his sanity. But ends up drawn in for exactly th
...more
April
I received this book as part of a Goodreads giveaway. I haven't seen or read the first two books in the series and I highly recommend getting caught up as this book references events in the other books often. I had a hard time getting into the book, and honestly probably wouldn't have finished it if I wasn't motivated to write this blurb about it. Towards the middle of the book I was getting it, and everything started to make sense. My overall review is that it was a good book that involved all ...more
Glenj
Obviously if you are reading this you are a fan of Milo Weaver and I cannot imagine reading this book without reading the previous two books in the series. The American Spy picks up directly after the previous book leaves off dealing with the aftermath of the destruction of the Tourism department. The book takes a while to get going as Steinhauer devotes the first 80 pages of the novel to telling the story from the point of view of the Chinese characters who all have similar sounding names which ...more
Adam Shields
Short review: I really like spy novels. This is the best series of any modern spy novels that I have read. The characters are much more nuanced and believable than the older cold war spy novels, but that also means that the good guys are not as good and the bad guys are not as evil. What many people will not like about this book is the way it deals with time lines. It tells about 1/3 of the story from a single character (not Milo Weaver) then from there flips around to a bunch of different chara ...more
Mary
This book is the third installment in Olen Steinhausers novels featuring Milo Weaver, the reluctant spy.

I have to admit that I had a hard time getting into this book. I had not read the first two novels in the series, and I felt like I was lost. The novel has many intricacies and is complex enough that you may need some more introduction to the plot line.

The story did pick up steam for me though and despite some of the convoluted nature of the story, I loved the characters and the interesting
...more
Laurel
Third book in the Milo Weaver/Department of Tourism series; does help to read them in order as the background for this book starts in "The Tourist", the first in the series. The nefarious doings of the Chinese spymaster Xin Zhu comprise the first part of the book. Just when I was wondering "where's milo", he appears along with the other tourists who survived the bloodbath in "The Nearest Exit". Complex and conflicting story lines wind around and you're not sure who's doing what to whom until the ...more
Eric Pollard
I just finished An American Spy, Stienhauer's follow-on to The Tourist and The Nearist Exit. What a great set piece!
I approached Milo Weaver, the reluctant protagonist of the three novels, with some reluctance as his story of disaffection is a familiar one, you know, spy gains a conscience and struggles with his chosen profession. For Weaver the struggles run deeper; his trade is an inherited one, or more accurately, a genetic one. Family, deception, and failure are common themes throughout. Th
...more
Kevin Scott
This was tough for me because I think I see what Steinhauer's trying to do--there's a bit of a Rashomonic approach to unwrapping the story, and I appreciate that more once I finish the novel than I did while reading it--but I'm not sure that this one stands up to The Tourist (maybe the best spy novel I have ever read) or the Neasrest Exit. At the same time, I know this is the third in a trilogy and find myself hoping Steinhauer keeps writing Milo Weaver novels (I guess it's a spoiler to say Weav ...more
Tom Tischler
After a Chinese Intelligence agent named Xin Zhu's son is killed he
blames the CIA's Bureau of Tourism which is another top secret agency.
He manages to infiltrate the Dept. gaining lntimate knowledge of its
workings and then turns the team of assassins upon each other. 33 are
killed and only 4 are left after this and the Dept. is dismanteled.
The first half of this book is full of Chinese plots and unpronouncable
Chinese names. The second half left me thoroughly confused as to what
did happen. The b
...more
Tony Parsons
Milo Weaver (CIA) uncovers a conspiracy that links to the Chinese government (Sam Kuo, Xin Zhu & lots of others). The Department of Tourism (Leticia Jones, Alan Drummond) is also part of the clandestine operations.

Lots of brutal executions & thrills/chills.

A very awesome book cover, great font & writing style. A very well written modern day foreign spy vs spy book. It was very easy for me to read/follow from start/finish & never a dull moment. There were no grammar/typo errors,
...more
Sherry
Much anticipated after the other Milo books, and this was a great disappointment. Sad to write that. The writing was dry, dry, dry, did not have a climax as much as a "partial explanation" and if you stick around and finish the book you'll find it really isn't finished, but in the middle of something unfinished. Boo.
Allison
May 14, 2012 Allison added it
Shelves: dropped
a bit of a slog....I really enjoyed his previous book The next exit (?) that followed The Tourist. But I find this one is hard to engage.....I'm hanging in there because I find it really puts me to sleep fast!! :) But really, sometimes these mysteries are so good they keep me awake!
Joe
This is a more than capable successor to the two previous Milo Weaver novels. There is a good amount of heavy lifting with this one also. Lots of Chinese names. Lots of things going on but moving slowly. I read somewhere that this is the last of the Weaver books. I hope not.
Calzean
Half way through this book, I was thinking this was better than The Tourist. I liked the scenes in Beijing where the Chinese try to figure out what is going on. Then we started to read some flashbacks from the viewpoints of the various characters - at times these flashbacks added very little and I thought dumbed down the story. Then we headed towards a conclusion where you will need to read the next book in the series. By the end I was just glad to have finished and walked away from Milo and fri ...more
Emily
This book shared the flaws of the first two installments in the series--I find all of this author's plots too convoluted to resolve in a satisfying way and some parts of the set-up, like Weaver's Russian background, seem contrived. I like Steinhauer's style of observation and his commitment to setting large parts of this book in China (even though the character names are trickier that way), and I like the character of Weaver, but I'm not sure I'd seek out more of his work at this point.

Nitpick:
...more
Jerry H
The third in the "Tourist" series is a wonderful end to the story even though I suspect, and hope, there is more to come. What makes this series so great is that the primary characters are so 'real'. When Milo Weaver gets in jam he escapes not because he is a world class sniper - he's not. It's not because of some wild, unbelievable car chase- there isn't one. And it's not because he is some martial arts expert, he has trouble keeping up with his six year old daughter. He survives and wins the d ...more
Sharon Worsnup
Won a copy through Goodreads' First Reads program.

Classic spy story with all the right elements to keep you read straight through to the end.
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Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and dau ...more
More about Olen Steinhauer...
The Tourist (The Tourist, #1) The Nearest Exit (The Tourist, #2) The Cairo Affair The Bridge of Sighs The Confession

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