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An American Spy (Milo Weaver) Hardcover – March 13, 2012

211 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Milo Weaver Series

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Editorial Reviews


"The plot unfolds with such ease, grace and force that you simply don't want it to end."
---Alan Cheuse, The Dallas Morning News

"Right now the hottest name in [the spy thriller genre] is Olen Steinhauer. He's been called John le Carré's heir apparent, and the best espionage writer of his generation. For anyone who reads spy novels, that's high praise."
---Christian DuChateau,

"...highly charged ... Olen Steinhauer is one terrific story plotter. In these three books you expect the unexpected. ... fiendishly clever."
---Vick Mickunas, Dayton Daily News 

"Not since John le Carré has a writer so vividly evoked the multilayered, multifaceted, deeply paranoid world of espionage, in which identities and allegiances are malleable and ever shifting... Real espionage is actually like this."
---Ben Macintyre, The New York Times Book Review (Editor's Choice)

"stunning ... Steinhauer is at the top of his game -- but when isn't he?"
---Carol Memmott, USA Today 

Stunning. . .Readers are irresistibly drawn into Weaver's dogged struggle to unravel a complicated game of cat and mouse. . .Steinhauer is at the top of his game--but when isn't he? (USA Today)

The action is lickety-split and spiked with exceedingly satisfying spy craft. (The New York Times)

Not since Le Carre has a writer so vividly evoked the multilayered, multifaceted, deeply paranoid world of espionage, in which identities and allegiances are malleable and ever shifting, the mirrors of loyalty and betrayal reflecting one another to infinity. In this intensely clever, sometimes baffling book, it's never quite clear who is manipulating whom, and which side is up. (The New York Times Book Review)

This ambitious, complex story spans the globe. Even when the intricacies of its plot are most challenging, we are fascinated and swept forward. Steinhauer has been likened to John le Carre and rightly so. Both men carry readers deep into a rival spy agency, one Soviet, one Chinese. . .Zhu may in time be to Weaver what the Soviet spymaster Karla was to le Carre's George Smiley. Olen Steinhauer's Milo Weaver novels are must-reads for lovers of the genre. (The Washington Post)

About the Author

OLEN STEINHAUER is the New York Times bestselling author of eight novels, including The Tourist and The Nearest Exit, winner of the 2010 Dashiell Hammett Prize. He is also a two-time Edgar Award finalist and has been shortlisted for the Anthony, the Macavity, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and the Barry awards. Raised in Virginia, he lives in Budapest, Hungary.

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Product Details

  • Series: Milo Weaver (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books; First Edition edition (March 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312622899
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312622893
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 9.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (211 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #765,161 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Olen Steinhauer grew up in Virginia, and has since lived in Georgia, Mississippi, Pennsylvania, Texas, California, Massachusetts, and New York. Outside the US, he's lived in Croatia (when it was called Yugoslavia), the Czech Republic and Italy. He also spent a year in Romania on a Fulbright grant, an experience that helped inspire his first five books. He now lives in Hungary with his wife and daughter.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

66 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Brian Baker VINE VOICE on February 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Olen Steinhauer's third installment of the Tourist saga is a very complex tale of espionage and human vulnerability.

This third installment of the saga picks up where the last book left off. Milo Weaver is still recuperating from the gunshot wound he suffered, and has quit the CIA, preferring to focus his attentions on his family and starting a new career in the civilian world. His friend and former boss Alan Drummond is obsessed with seeking revenge for the slaughter of the Tourist section of the CIA of which he was chief. Chinese spymaster Xin Zhu, the mastermind of that massacre, is trying to consolidate his position in the espionage hierarchy of his country by identifying an American-controlled mole high up in the government bureaucracy that controls Chinese intelligence functions and departments.

How these complex and conflicting story lines converge and interact is the plot of this novel.

The opening segment of the book focuses on Xin's activities, and Weaver doesn't even enter onstage until well into the story. Overall, the book has a broader focus than the previous entries; not as much time on Weaver, and more focus on Xin. That actually serves the story well.

Many of the characters have very complex motivations, and act in ways that are confusing at first, until the resolution at the end of the book makes things clear. This is very well done, illustrating the moral complexity and ambiguity inherent in the world of espionage Steinhauer has created. In many ways this is reminiscent of themes Len Deighton and John Le Carre explored in their classic works in the genre.

Though there is action were appropriate, I wouldn't categorize this book as a "thriller". It's better than that. The characterizations are all fully realized with three-dimensional people. The plot is complex and fully developed, with a satisfying conclusion that isn't predictable.

Highly entertaining. 4 ½ stars.
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41 of 46 people found the following review helpful By Bobbewig TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
An American Spy is Olen Steinhauer's third novel featuring Milo Weaver. If you read the first two books in this series -- The Tourist and The Nearest Exit , both of which are excellent -- you know that Milo Weaver was a CIA "tourist," until almost all of his fellow operatives were decimated by a Chinese spymaster, and the clandestine Department of Tourism was shut down.

Now, in An American Spy, which I enjoyed a lot (but not as much as the other two), Milo's old boss is bent on revenge, and when he vanishes in London, Milo finds himself back in the shadow world of espionage, unsure who is an agent and who is the target, who is pulling the strings and who is being played. I won't say any more than this about the plot so that you can work your own way through unraveling all of the layers of intrigue, double crosses and plot twists.

Be forewarned that to an even greater extent than in The Tourist and The Nearest Exit, the experience of reading An American Spy is very complex and at times confusing, and will make you feel that you need a scorecard to keep track of the large cast of characters, particularly since many of the characters have Chinese names that will likely be unfamiliar to many readers. It is a reading experience that will require you to pay full attention throughout the book so that you can appreciate all of its nuances and, most importantly, so that you will be able to understand how all of the complicated and, at times, confusing elements get tied together by the end of the book. Also, be forewarned that An American Spy is not a fast-paced book and while it is a first-rate spy story, it is not an action-oriented thriller.
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48 of 57 people found the following review helpful By David Rodgers on April 5, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I don't usually write reviews but felt I needed to after reading this book. I have read all of Olen Steinhauer's books and was excited when the third book in the Milo Weaver saga was released. The book starts off well enough but by the time I had finished the book I had no idea what I had just read. Who was operating for who and what really was the point of any of the operations! It was a chore to get through the last 100 pages. I consider myself a fairly proficient reader but I was really confused by the time this book had ended.
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23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Old Asia Hand on March 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I don't write many reviews for fiction because I think that fiction is, on the whole, a matter of personal taste and you should simply judge novels for yourself. But this is just such an awful book that I thought somebody ought to offer a small counterweight to the inevitable praise that is being heaped upon it. Yes, I know Steinhauer has been elevated to sainthood by a lot of readers already, but on the strength of this badly misbegotten novel they really ought to revoke his deification.

I loved the first book in this series, and looked forward to the second. I was shocked to discover how much I hated it. Now we have number three and I was anxious to give Milo another chance. Alas, AN AMERICAN SPY is an utterly unreadable mess. It's probably been a decade since I abandoned a book, but I abandoned this one. I struggled along manfully for nearly a hundred pages, but then I could go no further. Reading it was like trying to swim in tapioca pudding. The plot (?) is incomprehensible and the characters are completely unmemorable. There is so much good fiction out there, you really shouldn't waste your time here.
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