Thursday, July 13, 2017

Book In My Ears: "Cairo Affair" by Olen Steinhauer

Book In My Ears: Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer, 2014, download.

EDIT: Crap I thought I posted this. I finished the book in early June and don't want to type up too much. I'll be posting spoilers.

Woman is widowed when her diplomat husband in murdered in Hungary. The couple were posted for several years in Egypt and she travels there on the sly when she discovers a connection to the murder.

Sophie and Emmett Kohl married in 1989 - or so - and he joined the diplomatic service. They have traveled around a bit and are living in Hungary when the Arab Spring occurs. Emmett is murdered in a restaurant while lunching with Sophie. Of course Sophie is a bit shaken. Right before the murder Emmett told Sophie her knew she had been shtupping a CIA friend in Cairo while they lived there.

Sophie gets enough information from the Hungarian cops and Embassy staff that she can draw a line back to Cairo.  Sophie starts looking and Steinhauer starts spinning several story lines together. There is CIA guy Jibril who hopes to start a revolution in Libya. Sophie who remembers back to a scandalous 1990 incident in Eastern Europe. Cairo CIA guy who hopes for a full relationship with Sophie. Egyptian secret policeman who hopes to survive in his job and stay out of prison when the current regime is out. A Embassy contractor who drinks too much and is hired to escort Jibril and then Sophie.

Steinhauer builds the story up with a interweaving characters and deceptions. Kinda like a garden trellis. The politics and public stories are the trellis frame with straight and you clearly seen wooden slats that intersect in clear spots. The people are like the vines with secret relationships that twist around and are obscured. This is a spy novel so Steinhauer has his characters trying to figure out who is doing what, who is lying, who is dangerous.

Anyhoo. This was a good listen.

No comments: