Reviews for Nearest Exit
Booklist Reviews 2010 February #1
*Starred Review* Since the events of The Tourist (2009), Milo Weaver has served time in prison, worked in administration, and tried to reconnect with his wife and daughter. But talk therapy is hard when you're trained to keep secrets. When asked to return to the field, he agrees, although, because of his disgust with the Department of Tourism (a black-ops branch of the CIA), he plans to feed information to his father, Yevgeny Primakov, the "secret ear" of the UN. But his handlers don't trust him, either, giving him a series of vetting assignments that culminates in an impossible loyalty test: the abduction and murder of a 15-year-old girl. Ironically, Weaver is then tasked with finding a security breach that threatens the very existence of Tourism--and the lives of the Tourists. Seeing his own brutal compatriots as humans, he does his best to save the thing he despises, a conundrum that pretty much sums up the shades of gray that paint this modern-day espionage masterpiece. The Tourist was impressive, proving that Steinhauer had the ability to leap from the historical setting of his excellent Eastern European quintet to a vividly imagined contemporary landscape. But this is even better, a dazzling, dizzyingly complex world of clandestine warfare that is complicated further by the affairs of the heart. Steinhauer never forgets the human lives at stake, and that, perhaps, is the now-older Weaver's flaw: he is too human, too attached, to be the perfect spy. His failure to save the girl he was told to kill threads the whole book like barbed wire. Copyright 2010 Booklist Reviews.
Kirkus Reviews 2010 April #1
Proving there's still juice in the le Carré formula, still another spy comes in from the cold.There's a sort of Tourist who, when he or she visits a church or museum, wants to blow it up. In the clandestine community, Tourists--note the capitalization--are spoken of with the reverence reserved for the best and brightest--and the most lethal. The Department of Tourism, established by the CIA, is so hush-hush that within the Company itself there are those who doubt its existence. Who can blame them? Who ever sees a Tourist? In the entire world, there are only 63 of this special breed, who murder in the service of their government. Essentially decent, though deeply committed, Milo Weaver was one of them. Was, then wasn't, and then suddenly, inexplicably, he's back. So there's Milo, a Milo now with wife and daughter, presumably again ready to kill on command. Soon enough, he discovers that disconcerting changes have taken place: That old gang of his is no longer at command center. But blow away a 15-year-old girl? How does one go about preparing for an assignment that far beyond the pale?Â Long ago, Milo trained himself to accept on faith that certain acts of wickedness were in fact patriotic acts when ordered by people who loved their country as wholeheartedly as he did. Now, however, a new pragmatism may be undermining the Tourist trade. And maybe murder will turn out to be just murder.Excessively complicated, but it's a Steinhauer (The Tourist, 2009, etc.), which means it's good all the same.Author tour to New York, Washington, D.C., Boston, Minneapolis, San Francisco, Seattle Copyright Kirkus 2010 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.
Library Journal Reviews 2010 January #1
After his best-selling The Tourist, Budapest, Hungary-based Steinhauer pits Milo Weaver against suspicious bosses as the former spy tries to regain his old CIA job. Library marketing; six-city tour. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal Reviews 2010 March #1
This sequel to Steinhauer's memorable The Tourist presents an espionage tale as puzzling as any a spy fiction might require. An abundance of characters peppers emotionally troubled ex-superspy Milo Weaver's return to the field to perform a horrifying job he does not want to do for people he distrusts. The reader is suspended over a chasm of ambiguity as to who in which agency has been assigned by whom to do what to whom. As with all excellent spy stories, this one reveals betrayal by professional liars at every level. Tourists, hypersecret operatives of the CIA, appear to be the target of a mole, or perhaps there is no mole, only a loose lip somewhere high among American politicos. Working in Europe and the United States, anguished Milo unravels a skein of knotted plots, amoral officials, and subplots disguising an ingenious, unexpected, and terrible revenge.VERDICT While not quite as focused as The Tourist--at times too many important characters and multiple plots threaten to overwhelm the reader--this is still an extraordinarily complex and compelling thriller. [Library marketing.]--Jonathan Pearce, California State Univ.-Stanislaus, Stockton, CA [Page 80]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Reviews 2010 March #3
Milo Weaver, a former field agent with the CIA's clandestine Department of Tourism, returns to action after a stint in prison for alleged financial fraud in this intense sequel to The Tourist. His handlers want Weaver to pursue a mole rumored to have infiltrated the CIA's black-ops department, but with his loyalty in question, he must first undergo some test missions, one of which is to kill the 15-year-old daughter of Moldovan immigrants now living in Berlin. Such a horrific assignment further weakens Weaver's already wavering enthusiasm for his secret life, and he becomes increasingly preoccupied with reconnecting with his estranged wife and child. When bombshell revelations rock Weaver's world, he vows to somehow put international intelligence work behind him. Can he do so without jeopardizing his and his family's safety? Steinhauer's adept characterization of a morally conflicted spy makes this an emotionally powerful read. Author tour. (May) [Page 36]. Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.