A young woman finds herself in the crosshairs of powerful and very dangerous enemies when she travels to Cairo to uncover the truth about her brother’s mysterious death in this smart, atmospheric, and propulsive literary thriller from the acclaimed author of A Beautiful Crime and Orient
“Bollen writes expansive, psychologically probing novels in the manner of Updike, Eugenides and Franzen, but he is also an avowed disciple of Agatha Christie."—Daily Telegraph (UK)
When the lifeless body of Eric Castle, a weapons technician for a major American defense contractor, is found under his hotel balcony, both his employer and the Egyptian authorities quickly declare his death a suicide. But the dead man’s sister, Cate, doesn’t believe Eric took his own life and is determined to get to the truth. Traveling to Egypt she begins to piece together her brother’s life in Cairo with the help of a handsome, young, gay Egyptian man named Omar, who yearns to escape the brutality of his nation’s harsh, restrictive government.
Unfortunately, Cate’s quest raises more questions—and problems—than she ever imagined, as she takes on not only the arms company’s top brass but the Egyptian military, secret police, and a slew of American expats with their own reasons to keep the dead buried once and for all. Soon she’s in over her head, and it’s not clear if either she or Omar will get out alive. This riveting thriller of set in loud, boisterous Cairo of Americans lost and found showcases Bollen’s depth of characterization and haunting descriptive powers.
CHRISTOPHER BOLLEN is the author of the critically acclaimed novels A Beautiful Crime, The Destroyers, Orient, and Lightning People. He is frequent contributor to a number of publications, including Vanity Fair, The New York Times, and Interview. He lives in New York City.
“The Lost Americans is a gripping, page-turning tour de force. Christopher Bollen isn’t merely a great storyteller — though he is. He is also a brilliant stylist who, once again, has given us a literary thriller where the action never flags and character and atmosphere never are slighted." — Chris Bohjalian, #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant and The Lioness
"A terrific novel, rich in character and wonderfully atmospheric, with a propulsive plot packed with nerve-wracking peril and satisfying twists and reading enjoyment on every single page. I loved it." — Chris Pavone, New York Times bestselling author of The Expats and Two Nights in Lisbon
"The Lost Americans is a perfectly taut thriller. A deeply atmospheric portrait of Cairo in all its beauty and decay, the novel pulses with energy. Bollen orchestrates a vivid and gripping reading experience." — Emma Cline, internationally bestselling author of The Girls, Daddy, and The Guest
"A gripping thriller with lingering emotional effects...Bollen takes real risks with the story, making it more haunting than the reader may be prepared for. The scarcity of civil rights in contemporary Egypt is captured to shadowy effect, extending to the targeting of gay citizens like Cate's guide and driver, Omar...Cut from the same mold as Robert Stone's great political thrillers with its international intrigue, darkly atmospheric setting, and compromised characters." — Kirkus, starred review
“A bold plot twist bolsters the story’s gritty realism, revealing that the villainy behind Eric’s death shields a lot of human complexity. 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.” — Booklist
"Bollen is a modern master of the Highsmithian literary thriller. His previous book, A Beautiful Crime, was a Venice-set caper about lovers turned con men, a mystery that tapped into the Floating City’s labyrinthine nature. Here, he flies readers to Cairo to uncover a mystery about an American defense contractor who’d reportedly died by suicide and his increasingly suspicious sister working to understand what really happened." — Electric Literature, "Most Anticipated LGBTQ+ Books of Spring"
“Sharp new literary thriller.” — Vanity Fair
“Uncharted territory…gripping and genuinely moving.” — New York Times
“We’re in Graham Greene territory in Christopher Bollen’s The Lost Americans, which takes place in Cairo…The Lost Americans is a sensitively written, keenly observed, hauntingly sad thriller that will make you want to weep with frustration: for the brief, broken promise of the Arab Spring, for the betrayals that take place within families, and for the ugly business of war, which is always booming.” — Air Mail
Praise for A Beautiful Crime — ///