Friday, February 13, 2009

The Tourist-Olen Steinhauer

The Tourist
Olen Steinhauer
Minotaur, Mar 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780312369729

Six years ago Milo Weaver left his CIA field job as a "tourist" to sit at a desk in the New York City office; he knew it was time as the cold means no hesitation whatsoever. After taking some bullets to the chest in Vienna, Milo knew he would never be the same. He has since married and has become a father living with his loved ones in Brooklyn, which has helped Milo somewhat move past the adrenalin rush of undercover operations.

However, once a tourist always a tourist even if the courage has left you scared. His former boss informs him that a sheriff has arrested Samuel Roth for a domestic abuse incident in Blackdale, Tennessee; Samuel is thought to be the ferocious assassin Tiger and the brass want Milo to confirm his identity. However, the simple assignment turns ugly leaving Milo on the run from unknown adversaries and law enforcement who believes he is a cold blooded killer; his biggest fear is that his beloved spouse and daughter are in peril from his enemies.

THE TOURIST is fast-paced and filled with non-stop action yet as is the case with Olen Steinhauser’s saga in an unnamed Eastern Europe twentieth century Communist series, the frustrations and anguish of the hero owns the story line. Mindful of Patrick McGoohan’s character John Drake in Secret Agent Man, Milo is burned out and suffering from PTSD compounded when friends betray him leaving his family vulnerable. He stoically accepts that Johnny Rivers’ lyrics is right “with every move he makes another chance he takes odds are he won't live to see tomorrow”.

Harriet Klausner