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The Terrorist

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The War on Terror has serious consequences, even for Louis Morgon, even in his small, not quite forgotten French village.  When he learns that a misguided CIA campaign has led to the arrest and extreme rendition of Zaharia, who has been like a son to him, Louis is determined to find a real terrorist to exchange for the boy.  His body may be failing, but his mind is still n The War on Terror has serious consequences, even for Louis Morgon, even in his small, not quite forgotten French village.  When he learns that a misguided CIA campaign has led to the arrest and extreme rendition of Zaharia, who has been like a son to him, Louis is determined to find a real terrorist to exchange for the boy.  His body may be failing, but his mind is still nimble.  It better be.  He has to play a double game navigating the dangerous no-man’s land between the CIA and Al Qaeda, turning up old scorpions who, like Louis, would rather be left alone. His quest takes him to Algiers, Cairo, the slums of Paris and finally New Jersey.  He makes some sinister enemies.  But he also assembles an unlikely collection of friends and allies, including a bona fide al Qaeda terrorist, some gang-bangers in Newark, and a dog named Buster.  And he even finds love along the way.


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The War on Terror has serious consequences, even for Louis Morgon, even in his small, not quite forgotten French village.  When he learns that a misguided CIA campaign has led to the arrest and extreme rendition of Zaharia, who has been like a son to him, Louis is determined to find a real terrorist to exchange for the boy.  His body may be failing, but his mind is still n The War on Terror has serious consequences, even for Louis Morgon, even in his small, not quite forgotten French village.  When he learns that a misguided CIA campaign has led to the arrest and extreme rendition of Zaharia, who has been like a son to him, Louis is determined to find a real terrorist to exchange for the boy.  His body may be failing, but his mind is still nimble.  It better be.  He has to play a double game navigating the dangerous no-man’s land between the CIA and Al Qaeda, turning up old scorpions who, like Louis, would rather be left alone. His quest takes him to Algiers, Cairo, the slums of Paris and finally New Jersey.  He makes some sinister enemies.  But he also assembles an unlikely collection of friends and allies, including a bona fide al Qaeda terrorist, some gang-bangers in Newark, and a dog named Buster.  And he even finds love along the way.

30 review for The Terrorist

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michael Martz

    Louis Morgon is an interesting character. He’s in his early 70s, involuntarily ‘retired’ years ago from the CIA, living a quiet life in a small village in France, yet still paying the price for his past secret work. In ‘The Terrorist’, the 3rd novel in Peter Steiner’s series, Morgon’s ex-employer needs his help in the War on Terror and figures the best way to obtain it is to wreak havoc on one of his international relationships. Steiner is a fine writer and he’s done an excellent job developing M Louis Morgon is an interesting character. He’s in his early 70s, involuntarily ‘retired’ years ago from the CIA, living a quiet life in a small village in France, yet still paying the price for his past secret work. In ‘The Terrorist’, the 3rd novel in Peter Steiner’s series, Morgon’s ex-employer needs his help in the War on Terror and figures the best way to obtain it is to wreak havoc on one of his international relationships. Steiner is a fine writer and he’s done an excellent job developing Morgon’s character. Through the series he’s aged, found, lost, then found love again, tried to live a pastoral life, developed a disease, and been constantly screwed with by the CIA. His ‘supporting cast’ is great and has likewise been expertly developed. The tone and pace of ‘the Terrorist are consistent with the rest of the series, mostly unhurried and, especially for this genre, not overloaded with action and violence. It’s a different sort of spy novel, but if you enjoy good writing with an international twist, check out this series starting with his first.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Deborah Balzotti

    Don’t let the title scare you – wait, government conspiracy novels are a little scary. Peter Steiner writes another thriller for those of us who enjoy the occasional great spy novel. It’s an addiction which began when I read every LeCarre book published. Or maybe it was even earlier when I discovered Agatha Christie in elementary school. Like chocolate, once you’ve tasted a good spy novel you just have to have more. “The Terrorist” continues to follow Louis Morgan who left the CIA as an accused t Don’t let the title scare you – wait, government conspiracy novels are a little scary. Peter Steiner writes another thriller for those of us who enjoy the occasional great spy novel. It’s an addiction which began when I read every LeCarre book published. Or maybe it was even earlier when I discovered Agatha Christie in elementary school. Like chocolate, once you’ve tasted a good spy novel you just have to have more. “The Terrorist” continues to follow Louis Morgan who left the CIA as an accused terrorist. He was innocent but set up by his now deceased former boss in a complicated plot. The file was supposed to be buried deeply in the dusty archives of the CIA but with the increased search power of new computers and a zealous employee, the file is resurrected and another conspiracy begins. Louis, who now paints quietly in the French countryside, is visited by a CIA official and asked to help find links to al Queda using his former contacts in the Middle East. At first he refuses, but when a young boy is kidnapped Louis knows he must agree to help. Louis suspects he is being manipulated and that once again things will not end well. Using his intelligence, intuition and experience, the retired spy takes control of the game and changes all the rules for an exciting conclusion. Steiner sketches his characters and countryside so simply and brilliantly, they are unforgettable. Louis is a reluctant hero making life and death choices for himself and others. His recent romance with Pauline brings tenderness and wisdom into his lonely life but he must risk it to reenter the dark and sinister world of spies. The innocent young boy Zaharia gives us a glimpse into the terror of false imprisonment and provides additional tension as we fear Louis will not succeed in time to save him. Since this is the third Louis Morgan novel, you may want to read “L’Assassin” and “Le Crime” first, but it’s not necessary. The novel is short but satisfying – sometimes you just want one chocolate, not a whole box. If you need a delicious spy novel to read, “The Terrorist” will satisfy your craving at least for a little while.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    In The Terrorist: A Thriller Louis Morgon's nemesis, Hugh Bowes, is dead and gone (?), but has left a little time bomb in the archives. Louis's file still exists but is sealed. This arouses the interest of a CIA officer named Philip Dimitrius, who concocts a whole Morgon-as-terrorist theory and goes after him. Meanwhile, another CIA officer, Peter Sanchez, wants Louis to come out of retirement and contact some of his old agents to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Louis declines. Louis is no In The Terrorist: A Thriller Louis Morgon's nemesis, Hugh Bowes, is dead and gone (?), but has left a little time bomb in the archives. Louis's file still exists but is sealed. This arouses the interest of a CIA officer named Philip Dimitrius, who concocts a whole Morgon-as-terrorist theory and goes after him. Meanwhile, another CIA officer, Peter Sanchez, wants Louis to come out of retirement and contact some of his old agents to help in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Louis declines. Louis is now 70, has discovered he has prostate cancer and also has a new love. But when Louis's young friend, Zaharia Lefort, is arrested and shuffled off to an interrogation center, Louis re-enters the intelligence game he was - and is - so good at. Peter Sanchez gets much more than he bargained for. St. Leon-sur-Deme does not figure in this story as much as the previous two. Louis travels to Algiers, Cairo, Paris and Newark is his quest to free Zaharia. Peopled with assorted intelligence agents, terrorists and gangbangers, The Terrorist moves along at a brisk pace. This is not an action tale, but one of intrigue and sly humor. I particularly enjoyed the scenes in Cairo when Louis starts to run Peter Sanchez around.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joanne

    Apparently this is the third in a series, but I just found it. Louis Morgon is a retired seventy-something ex-CIA operative who was active in the Middle East in the 60s and 70s, so the agency finds him again and wants him to draw on old contacts to fight their current war on terror. He's not interested. He's tired and grumpy and ill and doesn't want to play the game any more. So they snatch a teenager he's befriended and hold the teen hostage in some unspecified torturing prison, which seems a l Apparently this is the third in a series, but I just found it. Louis Morgon is a retired seventy-something ex-CIA operative who was active in the Middle East in the 60s and 70s, so the agency finds him again and wants him to draw on old contacts to fight their current war on terror. He's not interested. He's tired and grumpy and ill and doesn't want to play the game any more. So they snatch a teenager he's befriended and hold the teen hostage in some unspecified torturing prison, which seems a little...cliched somehow. I loved Morgon. He's witty and realistic-sounding, and I love that this is a thriller featuring an older protagonist. No Jason Bourne-like super feats of strength here, just cunning and a lot of self doubt. I also like that for a thriller, it's pretty understated in its violence and profanity, which lets us focus more on character and dialogue. I'll happily look for the first two in the series.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Shelley Fearn

    I read this and liked it but not nearly as much as I liked L'Assassin. Former CIA operative Louis Morgan is being roped in although I really can't remember why except that agency people seem to have a grudge against him. The story was a little weak -- obviously as I can't really remember why he gets roped in to the whole endeavor. However, saying that I liked two things particularly about this novel. The first is that Louis Morgan is getting old and I like that I'm not reading about a buff, manly I read this and liked it but not nearly as much as I liked L'Assassin. Former CIA operative Louis Morgan is being roped in although I really can't remember why except that agency people seem to have a grudge against him. The story was a little weak -- obviously as I can't really remember why he gets roped in to the whole endeavor. However, saying that I liked two things particularly about this novel. The first is that Louis Morgan is getting old and I like that I'm not reading about a buff, manly spy type yet again. I like to think that regular people are just as competent as the "beautiful" ones. The second is that the people of Middle Eastern descent are portrayed in a more complex manner. Good for Steiner. I'm looking forward to the next one in the series.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Brick

    I rated this a 5, in the context of having read all of the prior Louis Morgon novels by Steiner. Once more the rediscovered humility, reticence and humanity of the aging Louis succeeds in contrast to the hard edged and inhumane activities of his old organization. A subtle point in the denouement, when Sanchez, who has convincingly denied all knowledge of the torture and reason for the continued imprisonment of Louis' young friend Zaharia, intervenes, because of the leverage Louis has gained with I rated this a 5, in the context of having read all of the prior Louis Morgon novels by Steiner. Once more the rediscovered humility, reticence and humanity of the aging Louis succeeds in contrast to the hard edged and inhumane activities of his old organization. A subtle point in the denouement, when Sanchez, who has convincingly denied all knowledge of the torture and reason for the continued imprisonment of Louis' young friend Zaharia, intervenes, because of the leverage Louis has gained with his knowledge of the real threats from Queda, and orders Demetrius to release Louis and all of Louis' friends. Perhaps just romanticism and wishful thinking on my part, but I really enjoyed thinking if even for a moment that goodness might prevail.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Cynthia

    Well, not as endearing as the first two books in the series. Where the other ones were more personal and were set in the French countryside, this one is more of a political statement. Hero Louis Morgon's young ward (well, kind of), gets whisked away to a foreign country to be interrogated and waterboarded etc because the us government wants to get back at louis for something or other. The dialogue is very stiff and the characters are a bit stereotyped. One hopes Louis will return to the south of Well, not as endearing as the first two books in the series. Where the other ones were more personal and were set in the French countryside, this one is more of a political statement. Hero Louis Morgon's young ward (well, kind of), gets whisked away to a foreign country to be interrogated and waterboarded etc because the us government wants to get back at louis for something or other. The dialogue is very stiff and the characters are a bit stereotyped. One hopes Louis will return to the south of France for his next adventure.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Alej

    Poor Louis Morgon. Even while dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the resulting health requirements he is haunted by his CIA/spy past. This time his young friend, Zaharis is the target of the brutal and ruthless gov't agents. Louis must find a way to leverage his past, his connections, and his abilities to help his friend despite being labelled a terrorist. The question throughout is "who is the real terrorist?' Moving on to the fourth Morgon title because I am close to having an opinion about t Poor Louis Morgon. Even while dealing with a cancer diagnosis and the resulting health requirements he is haunted by his CIA/spy past. This time his young friend, Zaharis is the target of the brutal and ruthless gov't agents. Louis must find a way to leverage his past, his connections, and his abilities to help his friend despite being labelled a terrorist. The question throughout is "who is the real terrorist?' Moving on to the fourth Morgon title because I am close to having an opinion about this character, Steiner's writing and the plots overall.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Skip

    Once again, now 71-year old Louis Morgon is compelled to get back in "the game" as his orphan friend Zaharia Lefort is grabbed by the FBI and sent away for interrogation/waterboarding as a terrorist. Morgon gets in touch with long-dormant contacts to uncover an Al Qaeda cells and a plot to manufacture biological weapons. Again, Morgon's humanity and compassion play the central role in the story.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    Fresh new take, for me, on the international terrorist hunt and how the big US agencies work that ... and the personal entanglements that are always in play. Louis circles in a world of hurt, but he is generous of spirit and effective in his job to stop some terrorists, even at a high personal price. Thought-provoking book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Rune

    I really like Peter Steiners books about Louis Morgon. He's the perfect anti-hero, with his uncanny way of solving all sorts of tangles without getting too badly tangled up himself. This one is his biggest challenge yet - his old nemesis is coming to get him, with suppert from the President of the United States...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Frederic

    It is a real,and very rare, pleasure to read a "thriller" that allows the reader to indulge in fantasies of competence and control but within an explicitly anti-fascist context...looking for ward to Steiner's earlier novels...

  13. 4 out of 5

    Brenda Hawley

    The last of 3 novels involving Louis Morgan and his old CIA nemesis who arranges to have Louis' name on a terrorist list in France, causing him much chaos. How Louis manages to get the best of his evil colleague is a terrific ride full of major twists and turns.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Robert Mackay

    This is a page-turner that puts me in mind of Graham Greene with a nod at Ernest Hemingway for its unadorned style. The protagonist is no muscled thirty-something, but a cultured and cerebral ex-spy. Louis is seventy-one, and has concerns about his PSA, but his mind is nimble.

  15. 4 out of 5

    alexander silagin

    Boring It gets worse with every book. No more for me. I skipped so fast through it that I'm so sure I will never read another book from this series. It seems that writer just stopped caring what he puts on paper. Waste of time

  16. 5 out of 5

    Harriet

    Not worth the effort. The characters were nice but the book was very simplistic and I skimmed it.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Ken Fredette

    I gave this 4 stars because there was something missing from the story. I can't grasp it but its like everything happens now. It's as if I wanted something more descriptive.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Lynn Kearney

    3.5 The plot seemed a little simple-minded, but I loved the main character, Louis Morgon and the people who surround him. Will go back to take a look at the earlier "Le Crime" and "L'assasin"

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mark Pool

    I just finished reading The Terrorist for the second time. Wow, what a difference!

  20. 4 out of 5

    Karen

    Second book in a row that was just so-so. Nothing special about this book, but nothing horrible either. Good thing it was short.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Becky

    A book of hope.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Shirley

    Third in the Louis Morgon series. Retired gentleman in French countryside gets re-engaged in spying. On nook.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Sue

    Not your usual "thriller." Short - almost a novella, rather than a novel. I read it in one evening. Interesting plot, no real character development.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Heather Smith

    Great quick read!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Susan Springer

    The third in Steiner's "Louis Morgon" series. Not as good as the second--- but wish he would write faster in anticipation of the next one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ashley

    It was very quick, not a lot of detail but I liked the traveling and the espionage.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Cork Tarplee

  28. 4 out of 5

    Becky Pope

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mildred Miyazaki

  30. 5 out of 5

    howard c. birndorf

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