Six years ago
in Vienna, terrorists took over a hundred hostages, and the rescue
attempt went terribly wrong. The CIA’s Vienna station was witness to
this tragedy, gathering intel from its sources during those tense hours,
assimilating facts from the ground and from an agent on the inside. So
when it all went wrong, the question had to be asked: Had their agent
been compromised, and how?
Two of the CIA’s case officers in
Vienna, Henry Pelham and Celia Harrison, were lovers at the time, and
on the night of the hostage crisis Celia decided she’d had enough. She
left the agency, married and had children, and is now living an ordinary
life in the idyllic town of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Henry is still a case
officer in Vienna, 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
But neither of them can forget
that long-ago question: Had their agent been compromised? If so, how?
Each also wonders what role tonight’s dinner companion might have played
in the way the tragedy unfolded six years ago.
All the Old Knives is New York Times bestseller Olen Steinhauer’s most intimate, most cerebral, and most shocking novel to date.