Sunday, February 28, 2021

#14: Night in Tehran by Philip Kaplan

A diplomat in late 70s Iran navigates the end of the Shah and the rise of the Ayatollah in Philip Kaplan's Night in Tehran.

Kaplan is a former ambassador writing his first fiction, though it is heavily populated with real figures and situations.  He writes more of a political chess game than an espionage novel (there is only one solitary karate chop, delivered late in the narrative).  But it reads like a World War II spy novel, and even has a mysterious French journalist/spy love interest.

Kaplan's narrative is stone sober and moves at a funeral pace until the last one hundred pages or so, which have the mounting terror of a slow-motion car crash.  Readers with an interest in this time and its politics will be engaged here.

Kaplan's debut belongs in the same family as the writing of Alan Furst and John LeCarre and is a worthwhile addition to genre.

I got this from the Henry County-New Castle Public Library in New Castle, Indiana.

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