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Very Mixed Feelings!
on 20 March 2014
I have been a fan of Olen Steinhauer since hist first book. Having now finished his newest book, The Cairo Affair, I have very mixed feelings about it. My overall feeling is that it is just an 'okay' read.
On the plus side, typical of a Steinhauer book, is that his characterizations in The Cairo Affair are top-notch, with all of his characters (of which there are many) being fully developed and come across as very "real" people. What they are not, however, are likable; which, as a result, made me not care very much about what happens to them. Also, typical of a Steinhauer book, is a very descriptive sense of place, making me feel that I was right there in whatever location the characters are in.
For me, these plusses were offset by the following weaknesses, which resulted in my opinion that The Cairo Affair is okay enough to finish but not good enough to recommend that you rush out to read.
One weakness is that the plot, which almost from the onset, starts off with a bang (literally), never creates enough of a sense of excitement or suspense to make The Cairo Affair much of a page-turner. As a matter of fact, I, at times, found myself being bored with the book; to the point that on a couple of occasions I thought about giving up on it. A second weakness is that Steinhauer tells the story from the perspectives of a number of different characters who are all involved with each other, which tended to make too much of the story seem repetitive. In addition, Steinhauer has the story jump around too much between the present time and about twenty years or so ago, which, for me, tended to make the slow pace of the book even slower and, at times, a bit confusing.
I hope this review is helpful in deciding if The Cairo Affair is a book you'll want to read.
I received an advance ebook of The Cairo Affair from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest, unbiased review.