All The Old Knives

3.68 based on 2772 ratings & 506 reviews on

Publication date: 13.08.2015
ISBN: 9781447295778
Number of pages: 0


'This is one of the sparest, most elegant spy novels I have come across in a long time . . . Written in glistening prose - with not a word wasted - it proves Steinhauer truly is John le Carre's rightful heir.' Daily Mail

Celia used to lie for a living. Henry still does. Can they ever trust each other?

Six years ago, Henry and Celia were lovers and colleagues, working for the CIA station in Vienna, until terrorists hijacked a plane at the airport. A rescue attempt, staged from the inside, went terribly wrong. Everyone on board was killed.

That night has continued to haunt all of those involved; for Henry and Celia, it brought to an end their relationship. Celia decided she'd had enough; she left the agency, married and had children, and is now living an ordinary life in the Californian suburbs. Henry is still a CIA analyst, and has travelled to the US 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 question: had their agent been compromised, and how? And each of them also wonders what role their lunch companion might have played in the way things unfolded...

All the Old Knives is Olen Steinhauer's most intense, most thrilling and most unsettling novel to date - from the New York Times bestselling author deemed by many to be John le Carré's heir apparent.

In the media

Compelling . . . Delivers intrigue, suspense, and a heart-stopping finale . . . You'll devour it in one night
Booklist (starred review)
This genre-bending spy novel takes Hitchcockian suspense to new heights
Library Journal (starred review)
A splendid tour de force. While some spy novels are globe-trotting and action-packed, this one centers on a single meal - but with just as hearty a helping of suspense . . . The mystery here works with the dexterity and precision of Agatha Christie's best - the answer to whodunit and whydunit being both surprising and ultimately inevitable because the clues are in plain sight... But the puzzle is just one aspect of a story that's freighted with considerable emotional and moral weight. If the ending is crisp with irony (like one of those old Spy vs. Spy cartoons from Mad magazine, but elevated to elegant purity), it's also hauntingly ambiguous, both morally and dramatically
Washington Post