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Finding Hoseyn : a novel /

Main Author: MacKinnon, Colin.
Format: Book
Language: English
Published: New York, N.Y., U.S.A. : Penguin Books, 1988
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Review by Publisher's Weekly Review

MacKinnon, in his first novel, has wrought a fine, convoluted thriller that should appeal to John le Carre fans. In 1977 Teheran, during the waning days of the Shah's Great Civilization, an Israeli engineer is gunned down in the street. Veteran American reporter Jim Morgan thinks it's another random terrorist killing; Israeli intelligence man Ariel Netzer wonders how the engineer, an Israeli spy, was found out and what the motive was for the murder. Morgan and Netzer begin looking, separately, for the escaped assassin Hoseyn, apparently a young member of a Muslim fundamentalist sect. The trails lead through Europe and the Middle East and converge bloodily in an Iranian port town. Mullahs, terrorists, industrialists and the dreaded SAVAK all become tangled in an intrigue involving Iran's possible nuclear capability. The danger of Beirut, then a ``backwater'' for news, and the corruption of Teheran are starkly drawn, and the cast of characters is rich, even if none of them is particularly nice. A lovely debut. MacKinnon is the former director of the American Institute of Iranian Studies in Teheran. Foreign rights: Paula Diamond. February 6 (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Review by Library Journal Review

Jim Morgan, an American journalist, is on to something. The story of a killing in Tehran is silenced. Who is doing the silencing? Why? In the turbulent Middle East just prior to Khomeyni's rise, is it a matter of any importance? As Morgan gets closer to the truth, endangering himself and his contacts, it becomes clear that the secret reaches deep into the Israeli and Iranian security networks. Will Morgan find the truth before they find him? Amazing complexity almost detracts from the wonderful intensity of this novel. But eventually the many layers are woven together intricately but realistically. This book successfully combines aspects of investigative journalism, murder mysteries, suspense thrillers, and spy fiction. Andrew Peters, Pioneer Multi-County Lib., Norman, Okla. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Review by Kirkus Book Review

In this international identity-search mystery and first novel by an experienced Near Eastern journalist With nine years service in Iran, unmasking Hoseyn becomes as meaningless as unmasking Godot. Jim Morgan, a heavy-drinking American reporter in Teheran in 1977 (before Khomeini), is happy only about his beautiful Persian mistress, Pari, a London-educated worker in a British bank. One afternoon while going through a wastebasket at Reuters, Jim uncovers a simmering bombshell, a story by his rival Jerry Tobin about a street killing by terrorists in Teheran. Jim does a rewrite and sends it off to his own editor. Later that day at the Western reporters' watering hole he hears that Jerry and his wife have been picked up and packed off home that very day. Because of this story? The Shah Pahlavi--or SAVAK--doesn't want it out? To save his skin, Jim phones his editor to delay publication. As Jim Finds out, the man killed was an Israeli agent named Given and he was assassinated by Hoseyn Jandaqi of the Shohada terrorists. But no, he finds it's really Hoseyn Kiani he's looking for--""No end of Hoseyns in these longitudes."" Israeli intelligence as well is looking for Kiani. They're not sure themselves why Given was murdered, but if they murder Kiani they'll be sending a message to the Shah while rendering justice for Given. Morgan's search leads him through a massive series of masking companies in the US, Europe and the Near East through which the Iranian government (which is really two power structures existing side by side) is carrying on a clandestine technology-purchasing program that will allow it to produce nuclear weapons. As Jim cries, ""Every time we go looking for revolutionaries, we catch something else. Businessmen."" With its Byzantine profusion of agents, masked businesses with indigestible names, and lavish exotica of street life and place names, Finding Hoseyn has some of the attractiveness of Persian art itself, with its twists, curls, scrollwork and feathers that maddeningly resist any dynamism toward climax while leading the eye from ornament to ornament. All in all, above-average writing, but low-yield drama. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Copyright (c) Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.