The Nearest Exit by Olen Steinhauer

The Nearest Exit is the follow up book after The Tourist.  I read The Tourist early in 2009 soon after it came out but before I started reviewing books here.  I rated it as one of my top fiction books last year.  These are both spy books.  They are post 9/11 spy books, so they are not wrapped up in cold war like the original Borne books.  They are as good, or better, than Robert Ludlum’s version of Borne.  In many ways I would compare them to the movie version of Borne.  They are consciously post-cold war.  Like the movie version of Borne, the bad guys are both inside and outside the US government and the controllers of “the tourists” (the black-ops arm of the CIA) may be as bad as the bad guys they are trying to defeat.

The Nearest Exit follows right on the heals of The Tourist, but you do not realize it at first.  I listened to this on audiobook and so I may have missed some of the written clues about the changing timelines.  I was about half way through before I finally put all the clues together and remembered enough of the first book (it has been over a year) to finally figure out what was going on.  From that point, it was much clearer and much more enjoyable book.

I often read several books at a time.  But this one I listened straight through, more than 12 hours in just 3 days.  I do not read many spy books, but these are good.  I am a fan of tainted heroes.  Milo Weaver, the hero of these books, is definitely not perfect, but he also is not one of those tainted heroes that you just do not want to like.  He has a struggling marriage and devotion to his daughter.  He is less of a super-hero than Borne.  I am not a fan of heroes that walk out of serious car accidents like nothing happened.  Weaver gets hurt, gets blindsided by other spies, etc.  There is a clear ending in this book, but an opening for another sequel.  I hope it is being written.

The audiobook narration was good, but was a different narrator than the first book. (Book Three in the Series is now out)

The Nearest Exit Purchase Links: Paperback, Kindle Edition, Audiobook

One Comment

nice post. thanks.

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