Review: The Cairo Affair by Olen Steinhauer


17934481The Cairo Affair
Olen Steinhauer
Minotaur Books March 18th 2014
Pages 416
ISBN 9781250036131
A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review

goodreads    buy from amazon

SUMMARY:
Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed.

Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated.

Omar Halawi has worked in Egyptian intelligence for years, and he knows how to play the game. Foreign agents pass him occasional information, he returns the favor, and everyone’s happy. But the murder of a diplomat in Hungary has ripples all the way to Cairo, and Omar must follow the fall-out wherever it leads.

American analyst Jibril Aziz knows more about Stumbler, a covert operation rejected by the CIA, than anyone. So when it appears someone else has obtained a copy of the blueprints, Jibril alone knows the danger it represents.

As these players converge in Cairo in The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer’s masterful manipulations slowly unveil a portrait of a marriage, a jigsaw puzzle of loyalty and betrayal, against a dangerous world of political games where allegiances are never clear and outcomes are never guaranteed.

MY THOUGHTS
This book had my full attention from the beginning and it kept increasing. From the turn of the first page until the turn if the last page I was completely and totally immersed. Steinhauer designed a climax worth noticing and since this novel is similar to a maze he masterfully succeeded. An amateur could not have pulled the apex off but Steinhauer is not an amateur.

Cairo is vividly described, you take in the environment and its senses. The characters seem ‘real’ and immediately you find yourself involved in their presence. The spies are human and not overly theatrical or dramatized, rather every day people doing what they do. With their ‘real’ portrayal it causes the reader to be empathetic, you have an understanding of the reasons they did what they did. If they were portrayed in another fashion I am certain having this unspoken understanding and empathy would not be possible.

Reading The Cairo Affair was similar to finding your way out of an intricate maze, just when you think you have grasped the maze you find a blockage – every bit a spy thriller with numerous suspenseful moments. No question this would make for an incredible movie, no small undertaking but incredible in the very least but the book will always reign supreme – far too many details to translate to film without taking away from its beauty.

Steinhauer crafted an outstanding piece of work in both writing and narrative with multiple heart stopping moments, character driven and every ounce a thriller.

4-stars

Mal

 

Erasing: Shadows by K.D Rose


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Buy link:
Synopsis:

What if to save the ones you love, you had to unlock the key to a different reality?

Generations of mystery smash together when a seemingly traditional family must shatter their illusions of normality to confront themselves and their friends, leaving no possibility unexplored in order to rescue—well, who exactly? Watch the Ross family, the High Five Gang, and multiple generations dig into an innovative explosion of imagination where they must confront numerous realities, real-world danger, and worst of all—their own teenage hormones!

In a place where nothing is as it seems and shocks are around every corner, even the people you thought you knew may find themselves strangers in this moving and provocative reality-bender. With breathless pacing and psychological intrigue, Erasing: Shadows and the High Five Gang will keep you guessing until the very end.

Excerpt:

Exactly one hour later, six raggedy looking teenagers showed up out of nowhere in the astral, sitting on the ground near a farm. For a moment, they weren’t quite sure where they were. Then it all came back to them. The gravel underneath their legs was leaving imprints like always. They smelled hay. It was a sure sign they were there.

The Emergency Meeting Place.

The group surveyed the landscape, and it appeared exactly as it was supposed to be. The field over the hill lay behind Mira’s childhood home. Then they caught themselves staring at each other because of the sheer scale of difference between their before and after appearances.

“Wow.” Jonathan spoke first. He gaped at Michael, who, true to his word, had come back at about sixteen-years-old. Even his clothes were teenage clothes. “You’ve learned some things haven’t you!” He was impressed.

“From Mira,” answered Michael. “And apparently you have too.” Jonathan looked obviously older than Michael. If Michael had to guess, he would say Jonathan was nineteen or twenty. “But, I’ve re-thought this, and maybe I am going to return to age twelve. It’s closer to Mira’s age, and I can build more rapport with her.”

He didn’t mention that also he just plain missed her. If they were both twelve, well, hopefully her former crush on him when they were younger would manifest this time too. In real life she was older than him, though not by much. That was the weirdness of the astral. Playing with ages got really complicated.

Michael amazed the others as he shrunk. Suddenly he wasn’t sixteen anymore. Jonathan knew the technique, but the others were in awe.

“Can I do that too?” asked Zac, who was changing into the clothes he brought. Jonathan noted his older clothes were hanging off of him. Zac was the only other one at about age twelve. He was also the only one who hadn’t seemed to travel into the correct clothes. He had arrived still wearing his adult attire. Somehow his traveling skills were a bit behind the others, who looked their appropriate ages.

“No,” said Michael. “You are the cousin I have that is Mira’s age. The more people her age the better.”

Trina laughed at Zac’s adult clothes falling off. “Okay, Mr. Hobo, about ready there?” she teased.

Then she turned to Onie. “Wow, you’re suddenly a cougar , aren’t you,?” she said laughing, for Onie had turned up as age sixteen, four years older than her husband.

“Ha, ha,” said Zac.

“Yeah, forgive me if I wait until we’re back into the real world to um—oh never mind,” said Onie.

“So you do only love me for my body!” teased Zac.

“Well,” said Jonathan, getting everyone back on track, “we have to be careful how we introduce ourselves to Mira. It needs to be like it was before; except atour current astral age, so we don’t freak her out. I’m not sure where she would end up if she got confused and upset, but it wouldn’t be good.”

“Right,” said Michael. He popped a few more Tums. “She could end up in a forest or a storm. Or alone in the desert—you never know what the unconscious will do, so everyone needs to concentrate hard because Mira won’t be able to. So I will find her first and try to develop our old rapport. Knowing her, she will want to learn, and then I’ll introduce her to Jonathan like before.”

“Let’s write this down,” said Lu.

“I have paper and pen,” said Onie.

Lu looked at the group. “We really haven’t changed much personality-wise. There’s Onie with supplies on hand, Jonathan ordering us around, and Zac falling apart.” She laughed.

“I think it will be easiest if we think of this like a play. We all have our parts that are mimicking how we met and acted before. Only don’t forget how serious it is,” said Trina.

“I agree,” said Michael.

The group spent the next hour recalling their collective memories, remembering the old days, and then reenacted some of their initial encounters with Mira. Michael decided to leave out some of the negative events so as not to traumatize Mira. In the end, they had a plan.

“Does everyone feel comfortable with this?” asked Lu.

“Do you mean, do I feel comfortable as a nineteen-year-old?” said Jonathan. “Hell, yeah. Loving this.”

Everyone laughed. Perturbed, Zac spoke. “I’m surprised that I’m only twelve. I thought I’d be older. Why am I the only one that was automatically so young?”

Jonathan answered, “Well, it is representative of your inner evolution, so physically you may be older, but astrally, in this world, you haven’t really done that much more traveling or advanced your learning so you haven’t particularly grown intellectually or evolutionally ‘here.’ And remember,” he added, “when Michael first came back, he was twelve too. And look at him now—he can stretch to any age.”

Zac frowned. His wife saw and added, “It’s not a bad thing, Zac. Some people get older and can’t go back because they’ve lost their sense of wonder and attitude of learning. Other people never grow up because they never mature. I think we are right where we are supposed to be, and you never know, this adventure may change us a bit.”

“Yeah, hopefully in a good way,” Zac acquiesced.

Lu and Trina at sixteen voiced no complaints.

“Actually, Onie, this may come in handy, because you know we are not exactly the same ages as when we first met Mira, except for me, so I think Zac being closer to her age is a good thing,” said Michael.

“That’s a good thought,” said Zac. “I feel better.”

Jonathan was gathering his things and making moves to go. “It’s getting late. Is everyone clear on what to do? And the order to do it in?”

There were nods all around. Michael added, “Okay, from now on, I am twelve-year-old Michael. Is everyone also clear where to sleep tonight, how to eat, and all the practical things? We sleep in the real world, eat in the real world, but if anyone can, someone should bring some real food to the astral next time.”

Jonathan volunteered to try.

“Okay, unless there are any last concerns, let’s get this show on the road,” said Trina.

Onie had one last comment. “Everyone remembers our name, right? We loved it at the time and believed we were so slick. Mira liked it.”

Michael remembered back to his younger self. “The High Five Gang.”

Biography

K.D. Rose is an author and poet and currently has “Heavy Bags of Soul”, “Inside Sorrow” and “I AM (Poetry in Motion)” on sale at Amazon.com. “Erasing: Shadows” is the first of a Seven Book Series for New Adults in the Fantasy/Paranormal Genre. K.D. is currently at work on Book 2, Erasing: Shattered.

K.D. Rose is now also an author with Lycaon Press.

Just like her books, K.D. Rose is edgy, hits you in the gut and gives you the education you never knew you needed. Writing with irony, truth, and a spiked pen, she takes you past the self into self-evolution.

K.D. has an eclectic mind and loves language, physics, philosophy, photography, design, art, writing, symbolism, semiotics, spirituality, and Dr. Who. K.D. is an avid supporter of music, the arts, cutting edge science, technology, and creativity in all forms that encourage us to expand and explore past the artificial limits we often set for ourselves in order to see the everyday connections that exist among all things.

Join K. D. Rose on the following social media sites:

Website for the Erasing Series: http://kdroseworld.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00830RFC0

Blog: http://www.kdroseauthortales.com

Email: kd.rose@aol.com

Twitter: @kdrose1

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/K.D.RoseWriter

Lycaon Press: http://www.lycaonpress.com/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6038789.K_D_Rose

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=184204909&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Lianne

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal: Tested by Janelle Stalder & Teaser Tuesday!


 

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Tested by Janelle Stalder

Tentative Release: June 24, 2014

Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye.

Faced with the scariest decision of her life, Missy is going behind enemy lines to save the rebel that seems to haunt her every dream. Finding courage is one of the hardest things she’s ever done, especially when she comes face-to-face with a terrifying reality. The green eyes that have fascinated her, no longer gleam with recognition. Now Missy must find a way to not only get them out alive, but to save the mind of the man who is quickly capturing her heart. And she must do it all without getting caught. Put to the test, will Missy be able to rise above her fears and find love, or watch it all blow up in smoke?

*This book is for mature audiences due to sexual situations, violence and strong language

Add to your TBR! Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20982523-tested

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I do not know what anyone else thinks but this cover is UH-MAZING!!!

Teaser Tuesday

This a weekly meme held on Tuesday’s that was created by Should Be Reading

Here are the rules:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

dlb

Don’t Look Back by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Published April 15, 2014 by Disney Hyperion

Samantha is a stranger in her own life. Until the night she disappeared with her best friend, Cassie, everyone said Sam had it all-popularity, wealth, and a dream boyfriend.

Sam has resurfaced, but she has no recollection of who she was or what happened to her that night. As she tries to piece together her life from before, she realizes it’s one she no longer wants any part of. The old Sam took “mean girl” to a whole new level, and it’s clear she and Cassie were more like best enemies. Sam is pretty sure that losing her memories is like winning the lottery. She’s getting a second chance at being a better daughter, sister, and friend, and she’s falling hard for Carson Ortiz, a boy who has always looked out for her-even if the old Sam treated him like trash.

But Cassie is still missing, and the facts about what happened to her that night isn’t just buried deep inside of Sam’s memory-someone else knows, someone who wants to make sure Sam stays quiet. All Sam wants is the truth, and if she can unlock her clouded memories of that fateful night, she can finally move on. But what if not remembering is the only thing keeping Sam alive?

Teaser:

Before I could even respond to that, he was gone. I twisted toward Scott. “He doesn’t like me.”

Scott looked like he wanted to laugh again. “Yeah, he doesn’t.”

A weird, twisty feeling sprang in my chest. “Why?”

Pushing off the bed, he sighed. “You don’t like him.”

I didn’t? Did I not have taste? He was baby-making material. Then I frowned. How did I know who was baby-making material? “I don’t get it.”

h. Lee

Promo: The Last Day King by Liz Newman + Interview


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Buy Link: http://www.lycaonpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=3&products_id=32

Synopsis:

The most magical figure of royal folklore and legendary British king travels to the future to reunite with the girl he fell in love with.

The Legend Lives On

In modern day San Francisco, a young girl rescues a boy king from the treacherous waters. The beloved king of lore longs to reunite with his futuristic fascination. After his trusted wizard proposes a mission to save mankind only days before his prophesied death, the king travels with his mystic companions to our time in hopes of embracing his lady love once again, and to save a world which his rule helped create.

Continue reading

Alejandro’s Book Corner!


Alejandro's Book CornerThis is a new feature here at NightlyReading where Alejandro will give suggestions of books that he has found. This will include different genres featured each week. I hope you enjoy, please let him know your thoughts by posting a comment or visiting his Goodreads page:

goodreads

I still have enough material in the cycle of detectives, but I make a new pause due Easter week to comment on stories focusing on biblical characters where the details of their lives expand and / or taking possible angles about them. No doubt some of them will be known to you because of their popular film adaptations, but perhaps unaware that were originally books, in other cases it is not uncommon that you did not know of its existence, but that’s one of the purposes of these posts, to spread awareness about books of different topics to consider if they fit in your literary tastes.

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“The Secret Magdalene”

This book by author Ki Longfellow is one of my favorites and is on my Top 10 favorite books. This is a novel published in 2005. One of the main reasons that I have enjoyed reading it so much is that it is focused on Mary Magdalene, which is my favorite biblical character ( if the term applies to religious figures like these ). The story told from the point of view of Mary Magdalene herself since she was 14 years old until a little beyond the crucifixion of Jesus. The novel does not attempt to be faithful to the Bible but didn’t also seeks to be offensive, but to offer a wonderful alternative to the true role that Mary Magdalene had in her own life, because honestly if you are satisfied on seeing her as a prostitute who suddenly just started follow a teacher, it is possible that this is not the book for you. But if you want to read the story of a woman who was not satisfied with the limitations imposed upon her by the macho culture of the time and found a way to learn and read everything possible and to find the truth about God, then it is quite possible that this is a book for you. My favorite moment in this book and easily one of the most epic I’ve read in a novel is contemplating the scene of a young Mary Magdalene entering the lobby of the Great Library of Alexandria. My favorite biblical character entering the most famous library in history . No words can reach to measure my excitement.

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“Zealot – The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth”

This book published in January 2013, is the latest work of the writer Reza Aslan and is the product of 20 years of intensive studies not only of the sacred scriptures of the Bible but of all possible documents on the social, political , military and religious issues of the relevant geographical areas in Bible times from all possible reliable sources. The goal is not to present the miracles and esoteric aspects related to Jesus Christ, but to achieve presenting a feasible reconstruction of the life of Jesus of Nazareth from the point of view of the historical frame .

Reza Aslan was born in a Muslim family that were forced to publicly renounce their religion because of the military-political situation in his native Iran, then they had to escape and then in the United States, he found for his own the Christian Faith and his fascination about Jesus’ life began. Later he went to college to obtain a doctorate in religious studies.

Currently, this is the book that I’m reading.

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“Iscariot”

This novel published February 2013 by writer Tosca Lee is to present a feasible scenario of the life of Judas Iscariot, which presents from his tumultuous childhood to the epic moment where he met Jesus of Nazareth and he was convinced that he had finally found the expected messiah that would help liberate Judea from the oppression of the Roman Empire, however soon he realizes that the agenda of his new teacher is very different from what he expected.

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“The Red Tent”

This novel originally published in 1997 as the debut work of the author Anita Diamant quickly became a literary phenomenon and has since remained as one of the most popular new titles in the genre of biblical books. “The Red Tent” used as a narrator the character of Dinah, a daughter of Jacob, which fewer details are known. Jacob is a biblical character recognized by Christianity, but also Judaism and Islam. Through the eyes of Dinah, you get to see not only her coming of age in the rugged environment of a nomadic culture still searching for their place in the world, but also the true role, duties and importance of women in the biblical society.

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“Women of Genesis”

A little-known facet of the controversial writer Orson Scott Card, author of the famous science fiction book “Ender’s Game” is that he published a successful book series on Women of Genesis. From this series of novels, the mainly highlights are the first three books, where the first focuses on the life of Sarah (wife of Abraham), the second centered Rebekah (wife of Isaac) and the third in the lives of Rachel and Leah (respectively second and first wives of Jacob).

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“The Wives of King David”

The writer Jill Eileen Smith published a book series similar to the one by Orson Scott Card books, in this case titled “Wives of the Patriarchs” but using too Sarah (using her changed name to Sarai), Rebekah and Rachel also.

In addition, Jill Eileen Smith also published a series entitled “The Wives of King David,” focused on highlighting the most popular and relevant wives of King David. Each book focuses on one of those three wives: Michal, in the first book. Abigail, in the second one. And finally, Bathsheba, in the third book.

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“Ben-Hur”

You will hardly find a person who has not seen the epic film “Ben-Hur” at some point in their lives. But some may not know that the film is based on a novel of the same title originally published in 1880 by Lew Wallace, who was a lawyer, 11th Governor of the Territory of New Mexico and also a general in the Union Army during the conflict of the American Civil War.

Judah Ben-Hur is a wealthy Jewish prince and prosperous merchant that due an innocent accident it alienates him from Messala, the new commander of the Roman legions in Judea, and with whom he had a friendship in its infancy. Ben-Hur is condemned to be enslaved without knowing the fate of his mother and sister. What Ben-Hur does not know is that their epic experiences will cross the path of certain teacher of Nazareth who came to change the world for those who believe in him.

Besides being an extraordinary novel, his great strength lay in opening the way for the possibility to create stories inspired by Biblical times but without necessarily focusing on the canonical characters in the Bible.

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“The Robe”

Another popular religious film is “The Robe” based on a novel originally published in 1942 by Lloyd C. Douglas, who was a minister of the church and in his later years he decided to enter the field of writing. When the novel was published in 1942 in just four weeks catapulted to the top of the New York Bestsellers list and remained there for almost a year. After that, the book returned to the list several times, including in 1953 when the film adaptation was made. “The Robe” was written just 9 years before the author’s death.

The plot of the film is slightly different but still focuses on Marcellus Gallio, a Roman tribune who due to political intrigue in Rome, is sent to command a detachment in Palestine. There, with his Greek slave, Demetrius, should lead the crucifixion of Jesus, which then earns the mantle of the Nazarene in a gambling game.

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“Quo Vadis”

Undoubtedly “Quo Vadis” is another well known film from Easter week, it is likely that not many people know is that the film is based on a book originally published in 1894 by a Polish journalist, named Henryk Sienkiewicz, which not only was the most popular writer in Poland in the 19th and 20th centuries, but in 1905 he won the Nobel prize for Literature in its fifth year of that award.

The author prepared himself thoroughly studying the Roman Empire in order to present the most historically accurate as possible his story about Roman times under the rule of Emperor Nero and the beginnings of Christianity in that city.

See you next week!

Alejandro

Promo: Witch Way by M.A Marino


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Witch Way by M.A Marino

Buy Link: http://www.lycaonpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=1&products_id=36

Synopsis:

“Evil isn’t something you are, it’s something you become.” Jessica O’Rourke is learning the dangers that young witches face when dabbling in not-so-good magic for personal gain. All of the women in Jessie’s family are witches. Not the kind of witches that fly on brooms or cast spells with pointed sticks. They’re the kind of witches that Jessie’s mother called practical witches—that is, until she got killed. The worst part about her mother’s death is that her father was the one who did it and now Jessie has to live in a house full of witchy aunts who remind her way too much of how sad she is inside. Jessie’s father has gone missing but she knows he’ll back to take down the rest of her family. After an encounter with a group of girls, who Jessie’s Aunt Abby describes as “bad news,” Jessie finds herself in a heated battle with the warlocks that threaten to destroy her entire bloodline. In time, she unveils an unimaginable secret about herself that will surely alter her future. Jessie has to decide which way she will turn and how she will use her new powers to stop her father from hurting anyone else. Can she stop herself from becoming evil in the process?

Excerpt:

The oak tree was at the far end of the orchard by a decrepit old barn. Jessie tucked her phone into her jeans and carried a flashlight most of the way through the orchard. The full moon partially illuminated the land, glazing the foliage in a silvery-blue. Maybe Abby could glamour my hair the color of the twilight. Working her way down the trail, she spotted a basket of freshly picked apples that someone had left. She helped herself to one and tucked it into the pocket of her hoodie. When the apple trees thinned, she was able to see the branches of the oak tree dancing in the moonlight as a gentle breeze passed. A soft orange glow emanated from behind the base of the tree and Jessie imagined that the girls had started a campfire. Pocketing her flashlight, she hurried toward the light. Jessie heard the girls talking as she drew closer. She was suddenly nervous and decided to sneak over and hide in the shadows of the tree trunk hoping to overhear what the girls were talking about. “Did you bring it?” Storm asked. “Of course,” Tandora answered. Continue reading

Horse of Wind and Shadows by L. B Shire + Interview


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Horse of Wind And Shadows by L.B Shire

Published by Lycaon Press * http://www.lycaonpress.com

Buy Link: http://www.lycaonpress.com/index.php?main_page=product_free_shipping_info&cPath=1&products_id=34&zenid=3fef625af355c9add88f63bf7c9204a4

Synopsis:

Evil lurks in the waters off the Oregon coast. A lone girl, a magnificent horse, zombies… Can hope prevail with each hoof beat in the sand? All Taryn wanted was to have a horse again. When she spotted the black steed running through the ocean waves, she knew there must be a way to capture the feral horse. Her best friend, Flyn, said it wasn’t possible. Not one to turn away from a challenge, will she risk friendships and love to make her dream come true? Flyn has been Taryn’s self-proclaimed protector since they were kids. Thrust into a world of unpredictability, he tries his best to keep the strong-willed girl out of trouble. Taryn stumbles upon a horse and decides she wants to make it her own against his growing concerns. Will he be able to keep Taryn safe, or will she be lost to him forever?

Excerpt:

Flyn, her protector and companion. It started from the moment he moved next door to her parent’s house. Like her, he was a single child, left to his own devices much of the time. They’d become fast friends who played together, shared countless secrets, pulled numerous pranks. And now, they’d survived together, when others hadn’t. Continue reading