All the Old Knives by Olen Steinhauer

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.

Continue reading

Writer's Block, Book Burnout and Podcasts

I periodically get in funks where nothing quite seems to "work" for me and I find myself reading three or four books at one time looking for something that will connect or get the juices flowing again; something that compels me to write because I want to get my opinion down rather than writing because I haven't written anything here for awhile.

Continue reading

This Is How You Fall by Keith Dixon

Dixon brings a literary sensibility to the story even as he uses these familiar structures and blends in the noir and heist elements. It is the elegance with which he describes the thoughts and emotions of his characters and the way he maps out the charged relationships. The interplay between Jake, his true love Sally and her dangerous sister Kimber is full of the messy, complex and shifting and potentially dangerous emotions of real life.

Continue reading

Steinhauer on le Carre

"The spymaster-as-hero is gone, replaced by the whistle-blower, the outsider who retains enough of his heart to be appalled by the slaughter of strays. In Cairo they're the young trash collectors living on the city's edge, but in Gibraltar they’re even more insignificant: one mother and her child, around whom the whole novel rotates, and for whom le Carre's rage simmers. By the end of A Delicate Truth, you either share his anger at the injustices between its covers, or you don’t. If you do...

Continue reading