cover image Dimiter


William Peter Blatty. Forge, $24.99 (302pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-2512-9

Blatty fans looking for straight-up horror in the vein of The Exorcist will be disappointed, but those with broader tastes will find this a beautifully written, haunting tale of vengeance, spiritual searching, loss, and love. In 1973 Albania, Colonel Vlora (aka “the Interrogator”), the head of a team of torturers, questions “the Prisoner,” who the reader later learns is Paul Dimiter, “an American clandestine agent referred to in some quarters of the world as 'legendary,’ while in others as 'the agent from hell.’ ” (Rumor has it Dimiter poisoned Ho Chi Minh while the Vietnamese leader was visiting Albania shortly before his death in 1969.) Dimiter escapes to Jerusalem, where he encounters a number of engaging characters, including a doctor of neurology, a sharp-tongued nurse, and a grief-stricken Israeli policeman. The complicated plot confounds until the isolated pieces of the psychological puzzle that’s Dimiter match up and fall into place, revealing surprising truths. (Mar.)