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.
Any time the story is focused on the details of the heist it stumbles, when it is focused on Grace and the battle between what she knows she should do and what she wants and will do it shines.
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.
The Border Lords: A Charlie Hood Novel
Cynics will enjoy the portrayal of all FBI administrators as butt-covering careerists, but Vail, equal parts Sherlock Holmes and Dirty Harry, strains credulity. Not as strong as The Bricklayer, but fans won’t want to give up on the series yet.
Steinhauer’s adept characterization of a morally conflicted spy makes this an emotionally powerful read.
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