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The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauser

If you like convoluted tales of CIA intrigue then you might enjoy this book. This is not just about Cairo, though it has lots of action set around this famous city, the story takes us to many other regions around the Mediterranean area.

The format, to me, was strange. There is one central theme, the apparent resurrection of an old CIA plan called ‘Stumbler’. A plan to de-stabalise Colonel Muammar Gadhafis Libya causing a revolt against his regime. The plan was shelved as being impractical at the time. Now this Top Secret plan seems to have been brought to light and operated. By whom ? Why?

The central characters of the book tell their story of how things came about. Each chapter giving a little more content. It is a diplomatic whirl, bodies dis-appearing at alarming rates. Each tale goes over the same ground from each persons perspective.

I freely admit that at times I found myself a bit lost in the intrigue. I am used to having a central character in my books who lead me along, taking me on a journey. In this book no sooner had I found, what I thought, was the central character, they’d end up dead.

The tales the characters tell eventually began to come together. Slowly unfolding the intrigue that is taking place.

I found that this was not an easy flowing book to digest. Too many counter plots happening involving Police, Diplomats and, of course, the inevitable Security Services.

This is the first book, by Olen Steinhauer, that I have read so I have no knowledge of his other books, whether they follow a similar trail. For myself I didn’t enjoy the journey as I was, at the end, dissatisfied with the outcome. For that reason I give this book

2 anchors.