This novel of international intrigue links a secret from the past to a present-day conflict between the West and Iran.
Josef Friedman hides his father’s journal during a Nazi book-burning in Berlin, 1938. Lindauer’s novel then flashes forward to contemporary Baltimore, where mathematics professor Mallory Lowe, along with colleague Todd Larson, fortuitously acquires the journal. In the meantime, Iranian Gen. Mohammad Najafi plots to get the journal, believing it holds a secret necessary to restore the Persian Empire to its former glory. Najafi; Buck Dewitt, chief U.S. operations officer for the National Counter Proliferation Center; as well as members of Israeli’s Mossad, think the journal holds the key to an efficient uranium-enrichment process, and the U.S. and Israel are anxious to keep it from Iran’s grasp. In Germany, Kurt Eberlein, a former officer at Germany’s counterpart to the FBI, is investigating Felix Friedman, author of the journal. Mallory enlists her friend Julius Walker to accompany her to meet Felix’s grandson, Samuel, who sent the journal to Mallory and Todd. When she and Julius find Samuel dead and then discover the murder of Todd Larson, they realize they’re in danger. As Mallory puts together the puzzle of Felix, his journal and his connections with mysterious figures from the past, she and Julius join forces with Kurt. The trio homes in on the truth and search for a secret laboratory, as they’re followed by Najari’s people, as well as the Israelis. Lindauer peoples his book with too many characters, making for complications in an already complex plot. The portrayal of the main characters, however, is right for a thriller; it provides just enough information to not detract from the adventure. The novel builds to a compelling climax on the cliffs of Romania.
Successfully meets the requirements of an international thriller; interesting and well plotted.