An Iranian American returns home to help a friend and finds his life in danger: “Remarkable … a smart, eloquent novel. ” —Dalia Sofer, author of The Septembers of Shiraz
The year is 2008. Reza Malek’s life is modest but manageable—he lives in a small apartment in Harlem, teaches at a local university, and is relieved to be far from the blood and turmoil of Iraq and Afghanistan, where he worked as a reporter, interpreter, and sometimes lover for a superstar journalist who has long since moved on to more remarkable men.
But after a terse phone call from his best friend in Iran, Reza reluctantly returns to Tehran. Once there, he finds far more than he bargained for: the city is on the edge of revolution; his friend is embroiled with Shia militants; and his missing mother, who was alleged to have run off before the revolution, is alive and well—while his own life is now in danger.
Against a backdrop of corrupt clerics, shady fixers, political repression, and the ever-present threat of violence, this novel offers a telling glimpse into contemporary Tehran, and spins a riveting morality tale of identity and exile, the bonds of friendship, and the limits of loyalty.
“[A] swift, hard-boiled novel … Shadowy zealots exist everywhere, whether in conference rooms or interrogation rooms or—most often—in rooms that can serve as both. ” —TheNew York Times Book Review
“A gripping portrait of a nation awash in violence and crippled by corruption. ” —Publishers Weekly
“A smart political thriller. ” —Laila Lalami, Pulitzer Prize-nominated author of The Moor’s Account
“Gives readers a visceral sense of life in a country where repression is the norm … Recommended for espionage aficionados and for readers who enjoy international settings. ” —Library Journal
“A fascinating glimpse of contemporary Iran through the familiar story of childhood friends whose paths are beginning to diverge irreversibly. ” —Shelf Awareness