The first in a proposed mystery series from a new, very small Persian-oriented publishing house: a not-quite-readable first novel that shows patches of inspired wackiness. When journalist Auri Zip skips out without paying a promised fee to hard-pressed, Iranian Ã‰migrÃ‰ news-hack Hasan Javadi, Hasan hires D.C. private eye Patrick O'Neil to find her. Plugging into computers everywhere--mostly those in clandestine activities' centers in Foggy Bottom--Patrick does manage to track her down. . .but she's dead. Soon Patrick and Hassan are bumbling along in Pink Panther fashion, uncovering: Halt, an international disarmament organization; Shadow, an international arms industry lobby; a sex-blackmail operation aimed at influencing American policy; another dead journalist; a mysterious Colonel; Natasha and Tanya, who like kinky sex and mastermind abductions, truth-serum injections, and die-for-daddy schemes; and a few more kidnappings (of themselves) by (probably) CIA operatives. Eventually, a disgruntled wife and her lover 'fess up to a pair of the murders; another one is more political in origin. Most appealing when Hasan, wife Pani, and Patrick careen into cultural differences, but the farce and the plotline compete rather than happily coexist--with the result that the story reads as if the author willfully deleted every fourth expository line. Still, the pseudonymous author clearly knows the schemes and dreams of power-brokers, Persian and western.
Pub Date: Jan. 16, 1988
Page Count: -
Publisher: Mage (1032 29th St., NW, Washington, DC 20007)