Saturday, February 16, 2013
"An American Spy", by Olen Steinhauer
The final volume has a complex story that deepens as the plot moves forward spanning the globe going into and developing every nook and cranny of the multilayered and multifaceted world of espionage. The thriller starts off as a very challenging read it masterfully portrays the action from different angles and perspectives as it jockeys back and forth in time. The abundance of Chinese names and the intricacies of their customs and bureaucracies develop into mind bending and complex situations that are highly action packed, concentration is a must but the dividends are rewarding in the end.
The action starts in the aftermath of 37 departmental Tourists (undercover assassins) targeted and eventually eliminated in orchestrated raids by Chinese spymaster Xin Zhu. Milo Weaver although wounded was one of the few who managed to escape. In the ensuing investigation, Alan Drummond was fired and the department dismantled. With revenge on his mind Alan does his best to recruit Milo who unfortunately has one thing on his mind, put the past behind and assume a normal family life.
Alan’s determination is so strong he goes rogue and uses one of Milo’s compromised aliases, attracting immediate attention and setting off alarms in the underworld of international espionage. When Alan suddenly falls off the radar Milo feels he is the one best equipped to track him down and attacks the challenge with the determination of a pitbull. Milo is soon caught up in an endless web of deceit with no backup facing danger on all sides. Hunted by a dragon with many heads even his family is at risk.
I highly recommend reading the two previous novels. With them fresh on your mind it will be easier to make sense of this intricate plot and understand the main characters’ background. I feel it is essential in order to appreciate the full depth of this complicated by highly entertaining story.
I will miss the unique adventures this protagonist brings to the table in his quest to protect country and family back home.