Edmund P. Murray, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $24.95 (456p) ISBN 978-0-312-30367-9

Murray's third novel (after The Passion Players ) is a complex spy story set in 1978– 1979 in Iran around the time of the fall of the Shah and the Islamic revolution. CIA agent Frank Sullivan is sent to Iran to judge the durability of the Shah's regime and the increasing influence of an unknown Islamic cleric named Ayatollah Khomeini, as well as to keep an eye on Soviet activities in the region. Frank, however, has some baggage that will greatly complicate an already hazardous mission. He and the Shah share an unusually friendly and trusting relationship, which angers some dangerous people. Frank must also contend with an old enemy, Soviet KGB agent Vassily Lermontov, a clever spy who may either want to defect or kill Frank, and who suggests there is a high-level mole at CIA headquarters. Frank's cover job is with the Iranian military as a media specialist, and what he learns from the Shah, Lermontov, some informers and a scary group of Iranian air force men scares the daylights out of him. Murray, himself a former media adviser to the Iranian military during the Islamic revolution, masterfully depicts the complexities of intelligence collection, the risks and tension of not trusting anyone (even your own people) and the complicated and deadly combination of politics, religion and hatred that brought down the Shah. Add treachery, assassination, torture, petty bureaucratic bickering and turf battles, and some very clever cloak and dagger tricks, and this spy novel offers exciting history wrapped in thoughtful fiction. Agent, Carl Brandt at Brandt & Hochman Literary Agents Inc . (Apr.)

Reviewed on: 03/29/2004
Release date: 04/01/2004
Genre: Fiction
Open Ebook - 464 pages - 978-1-4668-6436-8
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