2018 Reading List: The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer

I was about to head out on a flight to Kansas City, Missouri for our annual company meeting and I needed to quickly grab a book to read. That’s usually how it goes, right? So I had The Tourist by Olen Steinhauer on my shelf and threw it in my bag. After the first five minutes of reading the first chapter, I thought I’d made a big mistake. 

This is not the type of book I’d normally pick up to read. I don’t usually love the whole CIA/FBI crime and government type novels, not that I’ve read many of them. But the book jacket looked good and someone in my family must have read it and liked it, so I took a chance.

The beginning was so confusing to me. I couldn’t keep the characters straight, I couldn’t keep the timeline of events straight, I couldn’t follow the clues that the main character, Milo, was piecing together. I just literally had no idea what was going on. But, without a backup book and at least 8 hours of flight time left, I trudged on.

I guess I’m glad that I did. The book was pretty interesting and it started to make more sense as I kept reading. Since I was reading in longer chunks, that helped too, because I could follow and remember more of it, rather than trying to read a page or two at a time. The chapters were short and Milo was likable. So it went quick.

Now that I’m finished with it, I still can’t say that I know exactly what happened. Someone was out to get that guy, who killed this guy, who smuggled 3 million dollars, who was spying on those guys, who were on the run from the government, who was playing double agent, who was manipulating that woman, who was trying to solve the mystery this whole time. Kind of like that. And don’t worry, that little sentence there should give nothing away, because I’m pretty sure it’s not even accurate. But that’s basically the plot.

But even though I didn’t follow every little thing, the book was entertaining enough for me to finish it in less than a week. I literally read the whole second half of the book on Saturday.

This is the first book in a series of “Milo Weaver” novels. However, I have no desire to read any more of them. And luckily, I don’t feel like I’m missing out on something. There wasn’t a crazy cliffhanger ending, or unanswered questions. It was obvious that the story can continue, but I felt satisfied in the ending and the story as it was.

If you like this genre and topic of books, you’ll love this one. If you don’t, you’ll get through it and appreciate it, but you won’t be coming back for more.


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