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The Cairo Affair: A Novel Audiobook, by Olen Steinhauer Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: Olen Steinhauer Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: March 2014 ISBN: 9781427236104
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Sophie Kohl is living her worst nightmare. Minutes after she confesses to her husband, a mid-level diplomat at the American embassy in Hungary, that she had an affair while they were in Cairo, he is shot in the head and killed. 

Stan Bertolli, a Cairo-based CIA agent, has fielded his share of midnight calls. But his heart skips a beat when he hears the voice of the only woman he ever truly loved, calling to ask why her husband has been assassinated. 

Omar Halawi has worked in Egyptian intelligence for years, and he knows how to play the game. Foreign agents pass him occasional information, he returns the favor, and everyone’s happy. But the murder of a diplomat in Hungary has ripples all the way to Cairo, and Omar must follow the fallout wherever it leads. 

American analyst Jibril Aziz knows more about Stumbler, a covert operation rejected by the CIA, than anyone. So when it appears someone else has obtained a copy of the blueprints, Jibril alone knows the danger it represents. 

As these players converge in Cairo in The Cairo Affair, Olen Steinhauer’s masterful manipulations slowly unveil a portrait of a marriage, a jigsaw puzzle of loyalty and betrayal, against a dangerous world of political games where allegiances are never clear and outcomes are never guaranteed.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Edoardo Ballerini gives the auditory impression of a multicast production. He's so good that it's hard to believe it's just one narrator. A powerful and captivating performance of a powerful and captivating story. AudioFile Magazine

  • This is the kind of audio one wishes were more prevalent: a fine novel, intelligently performed. Mystery Scene

  • “A genuine page turner—cleverly conceived and intricately plotted. Steinhauer juggles political and personal loyalties with a master storyteller’s sleight of hand.”

    Joseph Kanon, New York Times bestselling author

  • The Cairo Affair is the espionage novel at its best, packed with betrayals, double-crosses, hidden agendas, moral conflicts, international relations, and even a delectable double-entendre of a title.”

    Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author

  • “Elaborate, sophisticated…A long, twisty road full of cleverly placed potholes and unexpected turns…Mr. Steinhauer draws his spies as flesh-and-blood characters in whom his readers invest both attention and emotion.”

    New York Times

  • “Steinhauer, author of the bestseller The Tourist and one of the hottest names in spy fiction today, borrows from benchmark espionage novelist John Le Carré in style and structure to create an entertaining read.”

    USA Today

  • “For Steinhauer’s newest international spy thriller, Edoardo Ballerini gives the auditory impression of a multicast production. As the setting moves throughout Eastern Europe and North Africa, Ballerini guides the listener along with graceful changes in dialect. And as the plot alternates perspectives—telling the same story over from different characters’ viewpoints—Ballerini keeps the audience from losing track with a distinctive voice and tone for each person. He’s so good that it’s hard to believe it’s just one narrator. Ballerini’s pacing exudes an atmosphere of deception, darkness, and despair, reflective of both the characters and setting. A powerful and captivating performance of a powerful and captivating story.”


  • “The book confirms the author’s place among the best contemporary-espionage writers.”

    Seattle Times

  • “A stunning stand-alone that is as emotionally rich as it is layered with intrigue.”

    Booklist (starred review)

  • A New York Times bestseller
  • A Los Angeles Times bestseller
  • An NPR bestseller
  • A Publishers Weekly bestseller
  • Among longlisted titles for New York Times Book Review Notable Books of the Year, 2012

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About the Author

Olen Steinhauer is a New York Times bestselling author of ten novels, whose work has won the Dashiell Hammett Award, been a two-time Edgar Award finalist, and was shortlisted for the Anthony, the Macavity, the Ellis Peters Historical Dagger, the Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, and the Barry awards.

About the Narrator

Edoardo Ballerini, an American actor, director, film producer, and award–winning narrator. He has won several Audie Awards for best narration, including for 2019’s Best Male Narrator of the Year, and was named a Golden Voice by AudioFile magazine in 2019. He has narrated over two hundred audiobooks, from classics to modern masters, from bestsellers to the inspirational, from Nobel and Pulitzer Prize winners to spine-tingling series, and much more. In television and film, he is best known for his roles in The Sopranos, 24, I Shot Andy Warhol, Dinner Rush, and Romeo Must Die. He is also trained in theater and continues to do much work on stage.