Abdoh, Salar. The Poet Game. Picador: St. Martin’s. Feb 2000. c240p. ISBN 0-312-20954-1. $23.00. Fiction.

Iranian American agent Sami Amir arrives in New York on a mission that seems simple—uproot any Iranian-backed terrorism before it can cause problems for the moderates in Tehran. But in a world of double crosses, betrayals, hidden agendas, and uncertain allegiances, Sami finds that nothing is as it seems. He works for the Office, an agency inside Iran that has infiltrated Section Nineteen of State Security. Is his real mission to eliminate Nur, a Pakistani bomber, or to assassinate the head of section? Is the terrorist plot backed by an American arms trader or Libyans? Is the CIA involved? Does Ellena, his American contact, work for the Office, or is she actually out to bring it down? First novelist Abdoh asks an endless—and ultimately tiring—series of questions, but an intriguing protagonist redeems the overly complicated plot. For larger collections.

LJ, 124, no. 19 (November 15, 1999), 97.

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