The Middleman
New York Times bestselling author Olen Steinhauer's next sweeping espionage novel traces the rise and fall of a domestic left-wing terrorist group. Told from the individual perspectives of an FBI agent, an undercover agent within the group, a convert to the terrorist organization, and a writer on the edges of the whole affair, this is another tightly wound thriller, and an intimate exploration of the people behind the politics, from a master of suspense.

The Middleman Details

TitleThe Middleman
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseAug 7th, 2018
PublisherMinotaur Books
ISBN-139781250036179
Rating
GenreFiction, Thriller, Mystery, Mystery Thriller

The Middleman Review

  • Maureen Carden
    January 1, 1970
    Opening an Olen Steinhauer book is what I imagine opening a Tiffany’s gift box would be like, with joy, anticipation, and the smug satisfaction of being one of a lucky ones. Lucky comes because Steinhauer is too unknown. Maybe his TV show-Berlin Station will bring him the readership he deserves.The Middleman returns Steinhauer, in spirit only, to the original stomping grounds of his police procedurals in an unnamed communist country. In those books, terror is mostly a product of the state, as i Opening an Olen Steinhauer book is what I imagine opening a Tiffany’s gift box would be like, with joy, anticipation, and the smug satisfaction of being one of a lucky ones. Lucky comes because Steinhauer is too unknown. Maybe his TV show-Berlin Station will bring him the readership he deserves.The Middleman returns Steinhauer, in spirit only, to the original stomping grounds of his police procedurals in an unnamed communist country. In those books, terror is mostly a product of the state, as is media control. There are also tiny pockets of resistance, sometimes only by individuals. In The Middleman the country is the United States, not some unnamed communist country. Also, this is not in some dystopian future, this is now.One day, four hundred people walk away from their lives. The FBI knows a bit about the Massive Brigade, the group these people are joining. As the FBI does with many groups, even those not considered to be a threat, it has assigned S/A Rachel Proulx to monitor the group. With the disappearances, Proulx is suddenly given a much larger budget, a larger office and more people to work with. The Massive Brigade could be hot stuff! The end of the world as we know it, as certain media commentators would have us believe. Maybe The Massive Brigade is hot stuff, because the world is most certainly changing and maybe the four hundred people of The Massive Brigade are enough to hold back the tide and make their own changes. Steinhauer is masterful in portraying “the what ares” and “the what ifs.”Told by four major POV’s, The Middleman explores the motivations and the growth of those characters, including us on their journeys. The journeys sets the four antagonists on their separate dangerous paths, bringing them together at various times in surprising ways.They are all pawns in a fascinating, topsy-turvy world, pawns just not in the United States but in Europe too.Here is where I am disappointed, the diamond in my Tiffany box doesn’t fit, too large, maybe? The ending is just too convoluted. I had to read it twice, and even then I had questions. As a gift to Sheinhauer’s fans a character from a couple other books shows up to explain his role as a sort of deux ex machina. Thank you to NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
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  • Zoe
    January 1, 1970
    Intricate, fast-paced, astute, political thriller that immerses you in a world of greed, power, murder, and corruption.Full review to follow shortly!
  • Cindy Burnett
    January 1, 1970
    The Middleman is a timely book that focuses on politics and the difference in what the public knows and what is really happening. It is a thought-provoking tale especially in today’s political climate. Steinhauer writes beautifully, and the story, while not too fast-paced, certainly kept me engaged. The ending is not completely resolved which makes me think it must be the start of a new series. For those who love espionage, this is a good choice.
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  • Maine Colonial
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to the publisher for lending me a digital ARC via Netgalley.I started reading Olen Steinhauer’s books 15 years ago, with his Cold War-era novel, The Bridge of Sighs. I followed him through that series, then his Milo Weaver series and in recent years, his standalone books. I’ve always been surprised that Steinhauer hasn’t achieved a lot more recognition. He’s one of the most talented espionage writers we have today, with a real genius for blending spycraft and espionage situations with ful Thanks to the publisher for lending me a digital ARC via Netgalley.I started reading Olen Steinhauer’s books 15 years ago, with his Cold War-era novel, The Bridge of Sighs. I followed him through that series, then his Milo Weaver series and in recent years, his standalone books. I’ve always been surprised that Steinhauer hasn’t achieved a lot more recognition. He’s one of the most talented espionage writers we have today, with a real genius for blending spycraft and espionage situations with fully-developed characters. In All the Old Knives, his tour de force from 2015, his entire story plays out over a single dinner in a placid, upscale California restaurant, and it’s one of the tensest espionage tales I’ve ever read.After taking us all over the world in his previous novels, in The Middleman Steinhauer grounds us at home in the US. Set in an almost recognizable present, the novel seems like a slightly alternative history—or maybe prophecy. An FBI undercover agent, Kevin Moore, and Special Agent Rachel Proulx are separately tasked to investigate Massive Brigade, a mysterious group led by Martin Bishop. Bishop is said to have belonged to a terrorist group in Germany that bombed a building, but nothing was proved. And now he is back in the US, and the fear is that he is building a far-left anti-corporate domestic terrorist army. When multiple violent attacks take place one July 4, the plot takes off. This political thriller explores issues about the manipulation of the media and public opinion by politicians and the corporate interests they too often serve—but not in a pedantic or strident way. Steinhauer lays out his plot so well that we go along for the ride and only at the end does it all come together. When I read the last page, I thought back and realized just how well he executed his intricate plot. I was always one step behind as I read, but at the end it all fell into place and the whodunnit element of the plot seemed so clear and obvious. I was impressed.If you like political thrillers, this is a standout. It looks like this is the start of another series, and I’m looking forward to the next book.
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  • Steve
    January 1, 1970
    I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. And in the interest of transparency, Olen Steinhauer is one of my favorite authors.As I said in my review of Vandals, I had never really considered how the FBI or CIA would be working to cover the Antifa movement, although it makes perfect sense that this anarchist organization has been infiltrated by agents.This book was surprisingly accurate in its portrayal of our modern political environment. Millennials demanding change while I received this from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. And in the interest of transparency, Olen Steinhauer is one of my favorite authors.As I said in my review of Vandals, I had never really considered how the FBI or CIA would be working to cover the Antifa movement, although it makes perfect sense that this anarchist organization has been infiltrated by agents.This book was surprisingly accurate in its portrayal of our modern political environment. Millennials demanding change while the old guard and politicians are fighting to maintain the status quo. In fact, the realism had a huge impact on me, and I almost expected to see events from the book on the news. Scary in that respect, because this could conceivably happen.As with all of Olen Steinhauer's books, there is an incredible amount of detail and plot twists, agents and double agents, betrayal and hidden allies, all over the world.I also appreciated the almost-hidden ties with his previous books. It doesn't impact the story at all if you haven't read any of his books, but the Easter eggs are there and add a layer of "oh, wow" when they are revealed.Good stuff!
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  • Jordan
    January 1, 1970
    This was my first book by Olen Steinhauer, and it was a good one to start with! I am a big fan of thrillers, but this one had a different feel. I would classify this as a political thriller and as such, it had more moving parts. As a result of this, the pace was not what I would have expected from my usual thrillers; the complexity was greater and thus read slower; but not so slow as to lose the readers attention; The plot and suspense kept me reading. The book delves into the world of the FBI, This was my first book by Olen Steinhauer, and it was a good one to start with! I am a big fan of thrillers, but this one had a different feel. I would classify this as a political thriller and as such, it had more moving parts. As a result of this, the pace was not what I would have expected from my usual thrillers; the complexity was greater and thus read slower; but not so slow as to lose the readers attention; The plot and suspense kept me reading. The book delves into the world of the FBI, tracking and infiltrating what they dubbed a terrorist organization. Fraught with tension and undercutting, the main character ends up in a fight for her life, and not from whom the potential reader might think. Due to the about information, I found it difficult deciding on what to give this book as an overall rating. However, I'm giving it a 3.5. Overall, a pretty good read!
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  • Paul
    January 1, 1970
    Overall, The Middleman is an authentic, stand-out thriller that has had me thinking: How far will anyone go to ‘protect’ the American people... and themselves?Thank you to NetGalley, St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, and Mr. Steinhauer for an advanced copy to review.Full review can be found here: https://paulspicks.blog/2018/03/05/th...Please check out all my reviews on my site: https://paulspicks.blog
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  • Barbara Senteney
    January 1, 1970
    Great thrills, wonderful flow, however political thrillers, and also spies are not my favorite books. The writing is excellent and I think for many this would be a favorite, and get 5 star ratings.
  • Robert
    January 1, 1970
    A timely novel mirroring the thinking of some fringe groups today in excruciating detail. A political cult recruits disaffected people, most of whom don't realize what they're signing on for. When they go too far the FBI cracks down on them. Then the storyline abruptly shifts to the internal struggles within both organizations.Eventually it morphs into a mystery novel centered around some unanswered questions. Lead investigator Rachel Proulx goes through hell and back trying to unravel the story A timely novel mirroring the thinking of some fringe groups today in excruciating detail. A political cult recruits disaffected people, most of whom don't realize what they're signing on for. When they go too far the FBI cracks down on them. Then the storyline abruptly shifts to the internal struggles within both organizations.Eventually it morphs into a mystery novel centered around some unanswered questions. Lead investigator Rachel Proulx goes through hell and back trying to unravel the story. Very compelling read. my only complaint is one of the sympatico characters is too unlikeable. Thrilling ride to the finish, the alert reader may have figured out most of the ending though there is a little more to it.
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  • Jade
    January 1, 1970
    The Middleman is pretty much what is happening today in real life with some real people whose names have been changed and then some made-up people who probably exist in real life anyway. Of course the plot isn’t real life but it’s so close to real life that everything seems 100% plausible… I mean The Middleman could technically be a leaked very secret classified FBI or CIA file for all we know… Anyway, The Middleman reads as a thriller and will most likely be classed as a thriller and it was a v The Middleman is pretty much what is happening today in real life with some real people whose names have been changed and then some made-up people who probably exist in real life anyway. Of course the plot isn’t real life but it’s so close to real life that everything seems 100% plausible… I mean The Middleman could technically be a leaked very secret classified FBI or CIA file for all we know… Anyway, The Middleman reads as a thriller and will most likely be classed as a thriller and it was a very enjoyable, albeit chilling read. I’m not too sure enjoyable is really the right word though to be honest, because none of the story is particularly enjoyable. The Middleman is a good read though.It’s 2017 and in the US the people are on the brink of a revolution. Regular protests take place because of police brutality, racism, gun violence, violence against immigrants, against women, civil rights are slowly and surely being squashed everywhere (ring any bells?). Suddenly 400 people disappear from their lives without a trace, and the Massive Brigade, up until then just another group on the radar, seems to move into action. Special Agent Rachel Proulx floors the accelerator on her investigation into left-wing activist groups and discovers that nothing is as it seems.Nothing is as it seems right through to the very last words the reader will find. The Middleman is a good book, it brings up some timely events and issues, and basically leaves you with a big glaring question: where are you going to be when it starts going down?Thanks to Netgalley and Minotaur books for the advance copy!
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  • Jay bookworm
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you Minotaur Books and Goodreads for this advance reader edition. I enjoyed being thoroughly freaked out and worried that this could actually happen. Thanks for the amazingly vivid, “what could the world come to?” pontification. I think many of us are looking for a way to resolve what we see (in our millions of different viewpoints) as a world that isn’t living up to our expectations. In this book, a charismatic leader appeals to the many because they identify with being disconnected from Thank you Minotaur Books and Goodreads for this advance reader edition. I enjoyed being thoroughly freaked out and worried that this could actually happen. Thanks for the amazingly vivid, “what could the world come to?” pontification. I think many of us are looking for a way to resolve what we see (in our millions of different viewpoints) as a world that isn’t living up to our expectations. In this book, a charismatic leader appeals to the many because they identify with being disconnected from “the world” although their reasons are different. Why not get mad and want to do something about it even if this massive (wink) group can’t agree on what is wrong? At least you are doing something, right? And all the while, Oz might be behind the curtain relishing this chaos and working it to their own end. Great book!! Once you pick it up, it might not touch the nightstand again. I accidentally left my copy at home while traveling for work. Otherwise it would have been a near binge. Cheers!
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  • Shannon
    January 1, 1970
    https://shannonbooks197.livejournal.c...
  • Maja Lisa
    January 1, 1970
    Olin Steinhauer's new thriller is a zeitgeisty look into the world of domestic terrorism and cult leadership. Special Agent Proulx leads the investigation in the disappearance of followers while the media speculates what Bishop’s group could be up to. What stands out to me most is that the writing is current and attuned to the current political climate. In this story, a political cult recruits fringe lunatics and disaffected people, who then end up going to far. Sound familiar?Thanks to Olen Ste Olin Steinhauer's new thriller is a zeitgeisty look into the world of domestic terrorism and cult leadership. Special Agent Proulx leads the investigation in the disappearance of followers while the media speculates what Bishop’s group could be up to. What stands out to me most is that the writing is current and attuned to the current political climate. In this story, a political cult recruits fringe lunatics and disaffected people, who then end up going to far. Sound familiar?Thanks to Olen Steinhauer and Minotaur Books for giving me an advanced copy in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Helen
    January 1, 1970
    I won this espionage novel in a Goodreads giveaway. I'd almost given up hope of receiving it when it finally arrived after almost 2 months of waiting.The beginning started off a bit too slow for me. I usually like a book to grab my interest in the first couple of chapters so I'll want to keep reading. It does pick up after you get to know a few of the characters better. If you are a fan of political thrillers, then this could be the book for you. Unfortunately, even though the writing was flawle I won this espionage novel in a Goodreads giveaway. I'd almost given up hope of receiving it when it finally arrived after almost 2 months of waiting.The beginning started off a bit too slow for me. I usually like a book to grab my interest in the first couple of chapters so I'll want to keep reading. It does pick up after you get to know a few of the characters better. If you are a fan of political thrillers, then this could be the book for you. Unfortunately, even though the writing was flawless, I just can't give it more than 3 stars (or 3 1/2 stars) because it just didn't engage me.
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  • Katy
    January 1, 1970
    I received my copy free through Goodreads Giveaways.
  • Linda
    January 1, 1970
    This is a complex thriller that engages from the first page. Mr. Steinhauer begins by introducing several characters in several locations who don't really seem to be connected. Quickly the reader is pulled into a mysterious, yet plausible, world where events seem to be grabbed from real-life headlines. On the west coast a young man, Kevin Moore, receives a phone call from "George" telling him it's time to go. On the east coast attendees at a summer party are discussing various worrying topics..t This is a complex thriller that engages from the first page. Mr. Steinhauer begins by introducing several characters in several locations who don't really seem to be connected. Quickly the reader is pulled into a mysterious, yet plausible, world where events seem to be grabbed from real-life headlines. On the west coast a young man, Kevin Moore, receives a phone call from "George" telling him it's time to go. On the east coast attendees at a summer party are discussing various worrying topics..the acquittal of a police officer who killed a man in front of his family, a congressional money-laundering investigation and the current POTUS whose public persona is anything but admirable. Among the party guests are Martin Bishop and Benjamin Mattig, founders of The Massive Brigade currently under the FBI's scrutiny. When Brigade members as well as Bishop and Mattig disappear without a trace, Special Agent Rachel Proulx is assigned the case. Before long it becomes clear that her job is anything but clear-cut. Political infighting, massive manipulation by the media and governments, misguided beliefs and alliances, both past and present, are combined to make for a page-turning spy thriller. Mr. Steinhauer depicts a world fans of John le Carré will recognize and he does so with finesse. The Middleman is not my first Steinhauer read nor will it be my last!Many thanks to First Reads and Minotaur for my advance copy and the opportunity to enjoy the thriller prior to its summer release.
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  • Barbara
    January 1, 1970
    The back cover of this book reads "DEAR 2018, YOU HAVE YOUR THRILLER." I was so hopeful and keen about starting this book and it started off great - very exciting. But then the pace slowed down and became somewhat blah.I believe that you should have some current knowledge of American politics before starting this book as it will help give understanding to what is going on, especially where it relates to domestic terrorism and the FBI. The topic itself was very interesting, but just dragged on a The back cover of this book reads "DEAR 2018, YOU HAVE YOUR THRILLER." I was so hopeful and keen about starting this book and it started off great - very exciting. But then the pace slowed down and became somewhat blah.I believe that you should have some current knowledge of American politics before starting this book as it will help give understanding to what is going on, especially where it relates to domestic terrorism and the FBI. The topic itself was very interesting, but just dragged on a bit too much for me, and I had to struggle to pick the book up and continue reading. Maybe its just me, but I found it difficult to connect with the characters until much later in the book.Once I was three quarters through the book, the pace and action picked up, which made me want to read non-stop and find out what would happen next. There were some "thrilling" sections, but I have read many other books that far exceeded this. Altogether, this book is not a bad read; just a bit too long with dry spells. It was disappointing in a way, that it wasn't as "thrilling" as I was hoping it would be.Thank you to St. Martin's Press and Goodreads for providing me with an ARC of this book.
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  • Jackson
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and was excited to start reading the "2018 Thriller".Was this a good read? Probably. Was it a thriller? Probably not, at least not for me.A thriller is a page turner in which my mind is completely engaged in the characters, in the twists and turns of the plots and the subplots, and in the outcomes.I thoroughly enjoy a Le Carre and Ludlum novel, so why did this not hit the mark for me?I think, perhaps, all the ideology in the first half made it difficu I received this book as a Goodreads Giveaway and was excited to start reading the "2018 Thriller".Was this a good read? Probably. Was it a thriller? Probably not, at least not for me.A thriller is a page turner in which my mind is completely engaged in the characters, in the twists and turns of the plots and the subplots, and in the outcomes.I thoroughly enjoy a Le Carre and Ludlum novel, so why did this not hit the mark for me?I think, perhaps, all the ideology in the first half made it difficult for me to invest in the characters...I'm still not sure.I could just have easily put it on the DNF pile, but I felt I should finish it because it was a giveaway and it deserved a full read.I am certainly glad to see that others readers enjoyed it. I wanted to give it four stars, but just couldn't.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    I received a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway.Admittedly, the biggest problem I had with this book was probably that it's simply not a genre I enjoy. I've never been a fan of political thrillers. Typically I try to make it through at least half of a book before I give up on it, but I was so painfully bored reading this one that I didn't get through much more than 50 pages. I wouldn't say it's badly written or there's really anything wrong with it, but it wasn't for me at all.
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  • Darren
    January 1, 1970
    I won this book as a ARC as part of a good reads giveaway. I enjoyed reading it. It had a good story to it. I liked the variety of characters in it. It was such a good book I read in about five reading sessions in one day. I look forward to the next book by this author. It is the first book I read by this author.
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  • Jennifer
    January 1, 1970
    Political thrill readers will love it as it pulls a lot of threads from our current political-tv climate. The book starts thick with civilian unhappiness and disenfranchisement in which a well known speaker becomes a leader of this tiny revolution to disrupt corporations, greed, and inequality. This group has a bit of a Fight Club feel of people joining a charismatic leader to create change, but each thread is kept in the dark from the next. It also gave the feeling of the tv show The Following Political thrill readers will love it as it pulls a lot of threads from our current political-tv climate. The book starts thick with civilian unhappiness and disenfranchisement in which a well known speaker becomes a leader of this tiny revolution to disrupt corporations, greed, and inequality. This group has a bit of a Fight Club feel of people joining a charismatic leader to create change, but each thread is kept in the dark from the next. It also gave the feeling of the tv show The Following where people start abandoning their lives to join a group in hiding. I found the mysteries here the most exciting and intriguing b/c it felt like something big was coming that had been expertly planned out. There are multiple story-lines that follow characters within the cult as well as the law enforcement trying to catch them. All sides are rife with double crossing spies, dangerous moves, and going down rabbit holes. I was really engrossed in this cult story.The second half focuses on the conspiracies and explanations for the events but was a bit lacking for me as I felt there wasn't a huge bombshell... but I guess that reflects accurately the state of our world in which a lot goes on behind the scenes that the public never knows about. It's a completely fictitious story but draws so much on things in our current political and news climate that seem plausible. The breaking stories on CNN many times are just to distract in order to protect financial interests. The key is to stay on track and put the pieces together without becoming collateral damage. (Goodreads Giveaway Win)
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  • Liz
    January 1, 1970
    This is a complex and intense thriller that had me engaged until the last page. Although it was easy to identify one of the turn-coats in the story, the intricate machinations of the plot created an engrossing story that turned into a page turner. It had a taken-from-real life tone that makes one shudder to imagine how much of this could really happen. I especially liked the two main characters, Rachel and Kevin, and hope to discover them again in another book. I won a copy of this book in a Goo This is a complex and intense thriller that had me engaged until the last page. Although it was easy to identify one of the turn-coats in the story, the intricate machinations of the plot created an engrossing story that turned into a page turner. It had a taken-from-real life tone that makes one shudder to imagine how much of this could really happen. I especially liked the two main characters, Rachel and Kevin, and hope to discover them again in another book. I won a copy of this book in a Goodreads giveaway for this honest review.
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  • Melinda
    January 1, 1970
    I received this ARC book courtesy of Netgalley in return for my honest opinion. This was my first book by this author. It took me a while to get into the book, but once I did, I found it very interesting and wondered where the story line would go. I don't need to rehash the story as you can read the synopsis, but I enjoyed the book which was filled with a lot of intrigue and well written. I will definitely look for other books by this author.
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  • Meg
    January 1, 1970
    The author's social commentary is at the crux of this story and propels this political thriller to its conclusion. Initially, the characters are isolated from each other; but when they begin to interact, the story takes the reader on a verbal roller-coaster ride. The ride ends at a satisfying point but it leaves the reader wondering if the ride really has ended..... I received this book as part of the Goodreads Giveaway program.
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  • Tera
    January 1, 1970
    Before I forget I won this book in Goodreads giveaway. That was a very good thing because this book was fantastic. Great plot, well written, interesting characters and realism that is downright scary. I picked it up and 4 hours later I'm looking for more! A definite book to be added to anyone's TBR pile. Enjoy.
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  • Earl
    January 1, 1970
    The Middleman from Olen Steinhauer is a thriller that is as current as the latest asinine Presidential* tweet, except this novel is from an intelligent mind and makes sense. This is about both domestic terrorism and corrupt government. Neither side comes out clean and, just like life, neither side is perfect.One of the valuable points here is the danger of a charismatic leader, whether that person wants to do good (as in the novel) or wants to do bad (as in real life). I think I will leave the o The Middleman from Olen Steinhauer is a thriller that is as current as the latest asinine Presidential* tweet, except this novel is from an intelligent mind and makes sense. This is about both domestic terrorism and corrupt government. Neither side comes out clean and, just like life, neither side is perfect.One of the valuable points here is the danger of a charismatic leader, whether that person wants to do good (as in the novel) or wants to do bad (as in real life). I think I will leave the overt social and political commentary there since this novel is more than just some left or right wing critique, it is a compelling story.There are plenty of surprises and one or two things that were telegraphed. Overall both the thought-provoking aspects and the mystery aspect kept me wanting to read more. The characters are well developed and generally act as their personalities would indicate. You will find characters to dislike and to like, and maybe a little of both.One more political comment: this book is not a screed on either end of the current political spectrum. Some positives are given to both sides (as if there are only 2 sides, but anyway) and both sides also display their negatives. As long as you aren't afraid of your positions being questioned then you can enjoy the story and perhaps gain some perspective to improve your own views. If you're afraid of light being shed on your positions, on either side, you may not enjoy this as much. It won't be because of the novel, it will be because you are weak in your position, which is far too common nowadays as well.I would recommend this to any reader who can enjoy a political thriller without getting all hurt because it didn't cater to your views exclusively. If you need to only hear what is in your echo chamber, stay on social media.Reviewed from a copy made available through Goodreads First Reads.
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  • Tashfin Awal
    January 1, 1970
    I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways and have chosen to give my honest opinion about it.This book was a very exciting read! The only thing I wish I could change was the shifting of perspectives, there were some points-of-view that were far more interesting and enjoyable than others and I wish I could have implored the author to further develop those points-of-view. That being said, this book is exactly as it fronts it is: an exciting thriller that puts an unfamiliar twist on I received this book for free through Goodreads Giveaways and have chosen to give my honest opinion about it.This book was a very exciting read! The only thing I wish I could change was the shifting of perspectives, there were some points-of-view that were far more interesting and enjoyable than others and I wish I could have implored the author to further develop those points-of-view. That being said, this book is exactly as it fronts it is: an exciting thriller that puts an unfamiliar twist on the threat we know all too well as terrorism. Excellent read!
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  • Kim
    January 1, 1970
    This book was a good read, especially for the times we live in. As I was reading this book, I was never exactly sure who the bad guy was. I do wish Steinhauer had gone heavier on the conspiracy and less heavy on the hiding out and moving around aspect of the novel. All in all an enjoyable read!
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  • Bill
    January 1, 1970
    When I received the email telling me I was a winner in the Goodreads Giveaway for The Middleman I was absolutely thrilled as Olen Steinhauer is one of my favorite writers of espionage thrillers. Read the Steinhauer trilogy that brings intelligence agent Milo Weaver to the forefront of expertly crafted spy novels and you will undoubtedly want to read all of Steinhauer's previous nine novels. Unfortunately my original giveaway copy never arrived, alerting Goodreads did no good, so I contacted the When I received the email telling me I was a winner in the Goodreads Giveaway for The Middleman I was absolutely thrilled as Olen Steinhauer is one of my favorite writers of espionage thrillers. Read the Steinhauer trilogy that brings intelligence agent Milo Weaver to the forefront of expertly crafted spy novels and you will undoubtedly want to read all of Steinhauer's previous nine novels. Unfortunately my original giveaway copy never arrived, alerting Goodreads did no good, so I contacted the publisher directly. Minotaur Books immediately responded to my inquiry and sent the book the same day. I can't thank them enough for their willingness to send an ARC out so quickly. Now to my review.This is a typical Steinhauer thriller that captures your attention from the very first page. We are introduced to Kevin Moore and several other characters around the U.S. who don't really seem to be connected to one another. In San Francisco Kevin receives a phone call from "George" telling him it's time to go. He is told to empty his bank account and to dump his credit cards and cell phone. Others recruited by The Massive Brigade (400 in all) are told the same thing--get rid of your worldly possessions. On the east coast attendees at a fancy summer party include Martin Bishop and Benjamin Mattig, founders of an anti-government revolutionary group, The Massive Brigade, and under the FBI's constant surveillance. Federal law enforcement raids the party only to discover that Bishop and Mattig were tipped off and, along with Brigade members around the country, have gone to ground. Special Agent Rachel Proulx is assigned the case and the fun for the reader truly begins. Proulx goes from investigator to being investigated, then hunted, victim of attempted murder, and back to hunting the hunters while partnering with a former undercover FBI agent that was inside The Massive Brigade. Political infighting, FBI manipulation and misguided loyalties, both past and present, are combined to make for a quick reading spy thriller. Finally, very early in the novel, Special Agent Proulx notices a mysterious character who shows up at a Berkeley student rally talking with Martin Bishop, engages the man at a bar to find out who he is, is unable to, yet this man becomes a central character by the end of the book. Mr. Steinhauer writes about a complex political world fans of John le Carré are familiar with and he does so with his marvelous writing skills. The Middleman is a must-read for espionage fans.
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  • Bob
    January 1, 1970
    Don't Waste Your Time On The Middleman!Given that I received a free ebook of The Middleman from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review, I feel a bit bothered by my rating it only one star and advising you to save your time and money. I'm also surprised about my reaction to this book since I've read all of Olen Steinhauer's previous books and enjoyed each of them, and considered two of his books, The Tourist and The Nearest Exit, to be excellent. Nonetheless, my primary purpos Don't Waste Your Time On The Middleman!Given that I received a free ebook of The Middleman from NetGalley and the publisher in return for an honest review, I feel a bit bothered by my rating it only one star and advising you to save your time and money. I'm also surprised about my reaction to this book since I've read all of Olen Steinhauer's previous books and enjoyed each of them, and considered two of his books, The Tourist and The Nearest Exit, to be excellent. Nonetheless, my primary purpose for this review is to provide feedback that could be helpful to potential readers in deciding if The Middleman is a book for them; and so, the following describes my rationale for reacting so negatively to it.I wont describe the plot summary for this book other than to say that my interest in reading it was piqued by its being positioned as the perfect thriller for our tumultuous, uneasy times, and its delivering a compelling portrait of the USA on the edge of revolution. Further, the reader is led to believe that what its main character, FBI Special Agent Rachel Prioux, uncovers about the movement behind the revolution (i.e., The Massive Brigade) will shock the entire nation. Based on this "buildup," I was expecting it to be another sure-fire winner by Olen Steinhauer.Unfortunately, my expectation of a highly entertaining thriller by an author I consider to be a writer of intelligent espionage thrillers was about as far from being met as I could imagine. My reasons for feeling this way are as follows:...The pace of the book is extremely slow, causing me to put the book down without picking it up again for fairly long periods of time;...Instead of it being a thriller, I found it to be virtually devoid of any thrills and certainly not shocking;...Whereas I liked many of Steinhauer's previous books for the complexity of their plots, I found The Middleman's plot to be very convoluted and disjointed;... The book's large cast of characters is too thinly developed; and those characters that are more fully developed I never came to care about;...and if the above negative reasons aren't enough, my dissatisfaction became greater at the end of the book upon realizing that there's likely to be a sequel to The Middleman, which I presume will tie up some of the book's loose ends.Should it turn out there is going to be a follow-up to The Middleman, I, as you can imagine from my review, won't be reading #TheOtherWoman #NetGalley
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