Nine years ago, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison were
stationed in Vienna, Austria, with other CIA colleagues
when an attempt to rescue hostages of a hijacked airliner
failed miserably. Everyone on the plane was killed,
including the CIA operative on board who was trying to save
them. Was the plan compromised from the inside? If so, by
whom? That is the question now being probed by the
Austrians, as well as the CIA.
Henry and Celia were lovers at the time of the disaster,
but Celia made a complete escape from the agency shortly
afterward. Married with two young children, Celia built a
wall around herself with an entirely different life in
California. Will that wall protect her from the
investigation -- or will it entrap her? Henry is still part
of the agency and the one most intent on finding answers to
what happened nine years ago.
Meeting in a small restaurant not far from her home in
California, Celia and Henry recall the events that
transpired that fateful day. Told from differing points of
view, it is clear they both feel someone betrayed the
rescue operation. As Henry delves deeper into Celia's
recollections, while revealing his own, she becomes even
more convinced of the traitor's identity. Will Henry agree
-- or will this meeting turn into something else entirely?
ALL THE OLD KNIVES by Olen Steinhauer is an
intriguing tale of political espionage with numerous,
unexpected twists and turns. Vivid portrayal of the
paranoia associated with government spies leads to a
surprising conclusion. Steinhauer wields a deft pen in this
exciting political thriller.
Nine years ago, terrorists hijacked a plane in Vienna.
Somehow, a rescue attempt staged from the inside went
terribly wrong and everyone on board was killed.
Members of the CIA stationed in Vienna during that time
were witness to this terrible tragedy, gathering intel
their sources during those tense hours, assimilating facts
from the ground with a series of texts coming from one of
their agents inside the plane. So when it all went wrong,
the question had to be asked: Had their agent been
compromised, and how?
Two of those agents, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, were
lovers at the time, and in fact that was the last night
they spent together. Until now. That night Celia decided
she’d had enough; she left the agency, married and had
children, and is living an ordinary life in the suburbs.
Henry is still an analyst, and has traveled to California
to see her one more time, to relive the past, maybe, or to
put it behind him once and for all.
But neither of them can forget that long-ago question: Had
their agent been compromised, and how? And each of them
also wonders what role tonight’s dinner companion might
have played in the way things unfolded.
All the Old Knives is Olen Steinhauer’s most
intimate, most cerebral, and most shocking novel to
date—from the New York Times bestselling author
deemed by many to be John le Carré’s heir apparent.