Jason's Reviews > The Nearest Exit

The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer
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's review
Oct 30, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, novel, crime
Read in March, 2011

This is the second in a trilogy about a disaffected CIA agent in a special covert op's unit where the field officers are known as tourists and their New York-based controllers as tour guides. I thought the first volume was decent but in my review wrote, "I don't think I'll be reading the sequel anytime soon." Sooner than I expected, I ended up reading the second volume.

The Nearest Exit is better than The Tourist, centering around a single incident where the hero is sent to kill a 16-year old girl for reasons that are unclear. The incidents around this cascade and unravel over an increasingly large canvas.

Although filled with very conventional and hackneyed tradecraft and double crosses, and with some especially silly elements (like a Senator who takes over operational control of the CIA unit with help from his Chief of Staff and Legislative Director), the plot is reasonably gripping, the writing is not distractingly bad, and overall I do plan to read the final book in the trilogy as soon as it's released.

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