In Olen Steinhauer’s latest, All the Old Knives, two CIA case officers meet over dinner to discuss a terrorist attack from six years earlier when over a hundred hostages were taken in Vienna, and the rescue attempt went terribly wrong. 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. 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 all. 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.
The audiobook tells the story from both Henry and Celia’s points of view. Listen to the clips below for a taste of each case officer’s perspective.