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All the Old Knives: A Novel

All the Old Knives: A Novel


All the Old Knives: A Novel

valutazioni:
4/5 (12 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
5 ore
Pubblicato:
Mar 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781427258106
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Nine years ago terrorists hijacked a plane in Vienna. Somehow a rescue attempt staged from the inside went terribly wrong, and everyone onboard was killed.

Members of the CIA stationed in Vienna during that time were witness to this terrible tragedy, gathering intel from their sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground with a series of texts coming from one of their agents inside the plane. So when it all went wrong, the question had to be asked: Had their agent been compromised, and how?

Two of those agents, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, were lovers at the time, and in fact that was the last night they spent together. Until now. That night Celia decided she'd had enough; she left the agency, married, and had children, and is living an ordinary life in the suburbs. Henry is still an analyst, and has traveled to California to see her one more time, to relive the past, maybe, or to put it behind him once and for all.

But neither of them can forget that long-ago question: Had their agent been compromised, and how? And each of them wonders what role tonight's dinner companion might have played in the way things unfolded.

All the Old Knives is Olen Steinhauer's most intimate, most cerebral, and most shocking novel to date — from the New York Times best-selling author deemed by many to be John le Carré's heir apparent.

A Macmillan Audio production.

Pubblicato:
Mar 10, 2015
ISBN:
9781427258106
Formato:
Audiolibro


Informazioni sull'autore

Olen Steinhauer is the New York Times bestselling author of the Milo Weaver novels, including The Tourist and An American Spy. He is also a Dashiell Hammett Award winner, a two-time Edgar Award finalist, and has been nominated for the Anthony, Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, Macavity, and Barry awards. He is also the creator of the Epix TV series Berlin Station. He was raised in Virginia, and now divides his time between New York and Budapest.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (5/5)
    Six years ago in Vienna, terrorists took more than 100 hostages , and the rescue attempt went terribly wrong. The CIA's Vienna station was witness to this tragedy, gathering intel from its sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts from the ground and from an agent on the inside. So when it all went wrong, the question had to be asked: Had their agent been compromised, and how? Two of the CIA's case officers in Vienna, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, were lovers at the time, and on the night of the hostage crisis Celia decided she'd had enough. She left the agency, married and had children, and is now living an ordinary life in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Henry is still a case officer in Vienna and has traveled to California to see her one more time, to relive the past, maybe, or to put it behind him once and for all. But neither of them can forget that long-ago question: Had their agent been compromised? If so, how? Each also wonders what role the other might have played in the way the tragedy unfolded six years ago.
  • (4/5)
    intrigue, espionage, love. A bit slow in the middle but I'm so glad I finished reading it.
  • (1/5)
    This book held my attention until the very end, at which time I found myself annoyed and frustrated. I was expecting some big twist or series of character revelations for it to all make sense, but it just didn't seem to hold together. (1) Henry made a tragic choice in Russia whereby he betrayed people who trusted him, but he never regains his honor and never faces his responsibility. In his twisted mind, he would have been a worthwhile person after all if Celia had stayed with him. So, he is completely irrational, but never realizes it, not even at the very end. This makes for a pretty unsatisfactory protagonist. What is the journey his character takes? There isn't one, right? He's just a schmuck and then he is killed. (2) So let's look at Celia. There is absolutely no excuse for not turning Henry into authorities from the get-go. How many times has he helped this mass murderer since then? Shouldn't he have at least been monitored and at most interrogated? Why is the solution to let him collaborate freely for three years, and then to kill him, versus interrogating him to find out what else he knows about this mass murderer? So her journey is run away, and then kill. Also, not very satisfying. (3) And midway through the book, there are transcripts to an FBI investigation into the actions of Karl Stein, but the reason for this investigation is never explained -- was he investigated because the waittress turned him in? Why is the FBI involved when it was supposed to be a black op? I find this to be particularly galling because the transcript was used to raise tension, and the technique worked -- but there was never a payoff.
  • (3/5)
    This book was okay. The writing is sound. The characters are well developed. And while it claims to take place mostly at a table in a restaurant, it is filled with flashbacks -- which is where the action, the intrigue, and suspected betrayals occur. This is no Ian Flemming spy novel, but it does make me want to check out more books by Olen Steinhauer. The man can write.Phillip TomassoAuthor of Damn the Dead and Blood River
  • (5/5)
    Could not put it down...read it in one day.
  • (5/5)
    Hitchcock would have loved to film this. A pair of CIA agents, former lovers who worked together in Vienna six years ago, meet for dinner near her home in the Monterrey area of California. First we hear Henry's perspectives - he has arranged the dinner and still works for the agency - in the initial 10 chapters or so. Then it's Celia's turn (she's married with two young kids). After the usual pleasantries, the focus gradually shifts to the topic that still haunts each of them, a terrorist incident that prompted Celia's retirement. In the back and forth between the two as they relive events of that day, it is revealed that..... guess what ? Yes, someone in the agency had passed critical info to the terrorists. Who was it? What is Henry's real agenda here? And here is why Hitchcock would have loved this.....the tension builds deliciously slowly, the conversation shifts from reminiscing to sparring as Celia (she would be filmed as a blonde) gives as well as she takes, and then the twist. A great twist....
  • (4/5)
    I really liked this book, better than The Tourist, which was the first Steinhauer novel I read. Having the story develop from two people having dinner really worked. Readers may also want to pick up Herman Koch's The Dinner, which uses a similar premise but has a shocking back story and revelation. The plot is also based on real events.
  • (4/5)
    All the old knives by Olan SteinhauerSounded like a good book. Starts out with Henry Colham and he's leaving CA, plane is delayed.Celia Fabrough he plans to visit before he heads back to Vienna. She's now married to Drew and 2 boys.She left the spy career behind. Story goes back in time and we find out how they met and their lives then working for the CIA til the terrorists hijack the plane and kill a stewardess.Was their identity comprised? That's what he needs to find out, by asking her more questions of what she knows/remembers.What I like about this book is that it's an audiobook and each of the characters get their own chapters with right voices: female voice for her, male voice for him.Fast paced action and not predictable.I received this book from National Library Service for my BARD (Braille Audio Reading Device).
  • (4/5)
    Great, need to read more Steinhauer
  • (4/5)
    Olen Steinhauer is a terrific writer. "All the Old Knives" has a strong narrative drive and is full of intriguing characters. It is also a tremendous amount of fun.
  • (5/5)
    This title had such a great twist and had me trying to figure out the how's and why's of the situation. I enjoyed how things switched back and forth between the perspectives of the main characters, and seeing how dangerous a world these CIA operatives worked and lived in made me wonder how close to the truth the author came. Not only did I love this title but I won it on the Goodreads Giveaway page, and now I have a new author to add to my favorites list.
  • (5/5)
    'All the Old Knives' may be a departure from Olen Steinhauer's 'typical' novel, but it works. I had read that he was interested in trying the approach he used (an intimate dinner between ex-lover/CIA operatives to solve an old question about loyalty) after witnessing a play or movie based on a similar construct and I think he pulls it off very well.

    Steinhauer can really write, is familiar with exotic locales, seems to understand tradecraft, and knows how to build suspense. I really enjoyed the way he used the dinner setting between a couple people who went their separate ways after a screw up with a terrorist group, told from alternating perspectives, to flash back and finally expose what happened and who betrayed our country. It has a solid, unexpected ending that wraps the whole thing up nicely.

    I really enjoyed the different technique Olen Steinhauer employed in this novel. It may have been a one-off experiment for him, but I recommend it highly!
  • (2/5)
    I definitely had a problem getting through this book even though it is less than 300 pages. The plot line just did not work for me.Two former spies, once romantically involved, meet over dinner in Carmel, California. Both are still bothered by a terrorist attack several years previously. One of them wants to finally know the truth about the tragedy on which terrorists took over a commercial airliner and used the children onboard as pawns. The book is slow paced and takes place over only one evening at dinner. However there are numerous flashbacks to the night of the tragedy. The sections bounce around being told from Henry's viewpoint at times and then from Celia's viewpoint. I often had difficulty determining which character's viewpoint I was reading. Even with that distraction, the book is well written. However, I found the story generally pretty dull. There was just that one small thread in the storyline that kept me reading. But by the end I did not feel the story was worth the time invested.If you are really into spy novels you may enjoy it. It does have a hint of conspiracies and several twists.
  • (4/5)
    All The Old Knives – An Interesting Spy StoryOlen Steinhauer is often compared to John Le Carre with his writing, and he is certainly a master of writing Spy Thrillers and has a prodigious output which is not comparable to many writers. All The Old Knives is a small but punchy spy thriller that is an engagingly well written book without any padding.All The Old Knives Olen Steinhauer has a come up with a plot and a setting in which is unusual in that all the action takes place around a dining table in a restaurant in Carmel, California which is quite ingenious. Henry has flown out to visit his former lover Celia who also happened to be a colleague in the Austrian CIA Station. Henry is still working in the paranoid world of the CIA; Celia has escaped and is married with two children and settled in to a quiet life.Henry wants to talk to Celia about an event in 2006 that had rocked the CIA station when an Airplane hijack at Vienna Airport went wrong and it looks like the hijackers had some help from within the American Embassy. This event had haunted the Station and the CIA operatives since then.We see the story of those events slowly revealed from both Celia and Henry’s perspective of their time in Vienna as lovers and colleagues. This is a truly mesmerising plot that is slowly revealed from both perspectives and able to see the contradictions as the truth is slowly revealed. Even throughout the meeting you are not sure who really was the person giving information to the hijackers in the end.Olen Steinhauer has written a truly mesmerising Spy Thriller that will keep you gripped as you work your way through to the truth. One feels all the true paranoia of someone who operates in the Intelligence Community and at the end feel the relief of when the traitor is revealed. A fantastic short spy thriller, really enjoyable that will draw you in and join them at the dinner table.
  • (4/5)
    They Do Things Differently There: "All the Old Knives" by Olen Steinhauer


    “One part of my history is gone. That gaggle of friends has disappeared. This collection of embarrassing memories can no longer be discovered by someone going through my stuff. [ ] It was always about the future. What’s that they say about the past?” That it’s another country?”

    As a reader I would say, of course, people are essentially the same, doesn’t matter whether we are talking about the past, the present of the future. But is that really true? I think they did things differently, they just weren't different. Hartley's point in his novel “The Go-Between” was that the response to an affair between a wealthy woman and working man was different, but the feelings were the same, which is why they had the affair in the first place. Along the way, in the honoured spy fiction tradition this quote came to have a quintessential meaning.

    You can find the rest of this review on my blog.