Review: All the Old Knives

All the Old Knives: A NovelAll the Old Knives: A Novel by Olen Steinhauer
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This psychological spy thriller twists and turns as Vienna-based CIA operative Henry confronts former CIA analyst Celia six years after a disastrous hijacking and hostage negotiation with terrorists led to 120 civilian deaths. The exploration of the events and timelines around the botched job is complicated by implications of a mole, a coworker’s suicide, Celia’s resignation from the CIA and the break up of Henry and Celia’s sexual relationship all in the days and months surrounding the incident in question.

With the POV alternating between the ex-lovers and jumping back and forth between the present, as the two have dinner after six years of non-communication, and the year of the hijacking, the story proves extraordinarily rich in intrigue. The Vienna office has a particularly rich array of characters each with unique voice, strengths, weaknesses and motivations.

This quick-read story is highly recommended.
[Check out my other reviews here.]


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