A few of the early plot turns are fairly guessable for someone who’s read a lot of thrillers (not Cate apparently), but as the story accelerates toward its finale, it veers into uncharted territory, picking up momentum and emotional power, culminating in a series of rapidly escalating revelations and dramatic reversals that are gripping and genuinely moving. While The Lost Americans begins in the heady mood of a fish-out-of-water adventure, the ending is sobering, shocking and, I suspect, all too realistic.
Bollen, known for setting thrillers in alluring locales, skillfully captures Cairo’s beauty and palpable tension, and Cate and Omar’s courage in facing hard truths gives this memorable thriller extra frisson.
Cut from the same mold as Robert Stone's great political thrillers with its international intrigue, darkly atmospheric setting, and compromised characters, Bollen's novel is afloat in self-recrimination ... Bollen... takes real risks with the story, making it more haunting than the reader may be prepared for.
Smoothly written if somewhat slow ... Bollen does a good job capturing the atmosphere of Cairo while exploring the personalities and experiences of his main characters, but he does so at the expense of pace and action. Readers in search of page-turning adventure may be tempted to skim this one.