…is Jim “The Evil J” Winter in January Magazine. He says some wonderful things about the book, and I appreciate the detail he goes into communicating what happens in the opening—and getting it right. There’s a lot going on, and some earlier readers had trouble keeping things straight.
But Winter’s not just patting me on the back. He brings up one detail that, for him, just didn’t work. And it’s something that has nagged at me ever since I wrote it, wondering if people would buy it. He’s the first person to bring it up, so I know that while it works for most, it doesn’t work for all. Which is fair enough. But in the end he seems won over by the novel:
In The Tourist, Olen Steinhauer has composed a hugely complex successor to The Spy Who Came in from the Cold. Unlike most espionage tales written in the years since that classic work first saw print in 1963, however, he manages to give his characters — even the most reprehensible ones — a human side and a degree of warmth. Spying is a nasty business that chews up and spits out the people involved in it. The Tourist shines a light on the mortal costs.