A slow moving, but creative, mix of history, espionage and confidence games. It does take a while to build momentum and the ending felt odd. Still, the multi-layered meaty middle was quite compelling and for a debut model it is pretty impressive.
A Death in Sweden is a quick and entertaining read. With a nice blend of tension, mystery, action and, yes, a little romance. It isn’t really an action thriller and not your typical spy thriller either. It felt to me more like a mystery with espionage and action elements.
All the Old Knives is a great read. Taut, fast-paced, and full of suspense and intrigue. It has the quintessential Steinhauer exploration of the human psyche and the espionage world as a stage for asking questions about truth and deception; about the way lies warp and change our relationships and our own self-conception.
Like so much of Clarke’s work it is full of brutally honest appraisals of human nature and tendencies but also absurd events and dark humor. But Clarke’s characters seem remarkably realistic despite the absurdity. He has a way of shining a light on the absurd nature of much of “everyday life.”
In the second part of our conversation Olen Steinhauer and I discuss the life of an expatriate and its impact on your perspective toward your own and other cultures, the future of publishing, and his plans for the future, among other things.
A conversation with Olen Steinhauer in which we discuss his latest book, the risk of bringing current events into a novel, the magic of fiction, his approach to writing, plot and character development, and more.
Steinhauer use an ensemble cast, and his more literary style, to create a unique espionage thriller with current events and Eastern Europe’s dark history as the backdrop.
Tension, bursts of action, complex attempts at the sorting of truth from lies and the inevitable resulting grays, questions about identity and the choices we make: classic Steinhauer really. Certainly made me want to read the full length novel but whether it is worth less than a dollar is up to you.
One of my favorite authors, Olen Steinhauer, has a book coming out in 2014, The Cairo Affair, and I … More