Gloria Feit's Reviews > An American Spy

An American Spy by Olen Steinhauer
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Apr 29, 12

Read in April, 2012

This final novel in the trilogy picks up after the slaughter, in the previous novel, of 33 “tourists” engineered by the Chinese spymaster, Xin Zhu, head of the Expedition Agency of the Sixth Bureau of the Ministry of State Security, setting the stage for a complicated plot in which Milo Weaver, one of the few surviving “Tourists,” is a reluctant participant. The ensuing events are like a chess match played blindfolded.

The Tourists department of the CIA is shut down in the aftermath of the slaughters, and its chief of six months, Alan Drumond, and Milo are unemployed and seeking jobs. But Alan can’t let go and comes up with a scheme to “get” Xin Zhu and revenge what has happened. This sets off a chain of events causing each participant to make moves and countermoves without really knowing what the game really is all about. Nor does the reader.

All in all, the trilogy is a wonderful work, and this novel caps the previous two by being even better-plotted and -written. The characterizations are marvelous and the unexpected twists in the plots sometimes ingenious. The insights into the way the Chinese Republic is governed, and the minds and machinations of its officials, is worth every struggle the reader has with the myriad number of names and the devious plotting of the principals. By all means go out and get a copy and read this fine work.

Highly recommended.
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