cover image Vicious Circle: A Novel of Complicity

Vicious Circle: A Novel of Complicity

Robert Littell, . . Overlook, $24.95 (300pp) ISBN 978-1-58567-855-6

Veteran espionage writer Littell, whose 1973 debut, The Defection of A.J. Lewinter , prompted critics to compare him to such British masters as Eric Ambler and John le Carré, stumbles a bit with his take on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, set in a near, post–George W. Bush future. An unnamed woman, who will remind many of Hillary Clinton, is president of the U.S., while, less plausibly, the Palestinian Authority is led by Arafat's successor, who's also nameless. Given Hamas's electoral victory in early 2006, the plot, which centers on yet another U.S.-brokered effort to create a lasting Middle East peace, has already been overtaken by events. The relationship between a terrorist leader and his hostage, a right-wing rabbi and agitator, may intrigue those who can overlook the dated scenario. (Sept.)