Baer, Robert. Blow the House Down. Crown. May 200. c. 304p. ISBN 1-4000-9835-1. $25.95. Fiction.

In his fiction debut, former CIA agent Baer (Sleeping with the Devil) merges fact and conjecture to suggest that Iran was behind the terrorist attacks of 9/11. Using knowledge gained from his service as a field officer in the Middle East, Baer creates a protagonist much like himself. In his spare time, CIA agent Maxwell Waller is working on determining the identity of the men behind the kidnapping and execution of a CIA chief of station in Beirut. Then he discovers a photo of Osama bin Ladin, the future head of the military wing of Hamas, an unknown American, and a man he thinks may be a colonel in the Iranian Revolutionary Guard. Waller's relentless search for the story behind the photo leads him to the Middle East and into a conspiracy that culminates in the bombing of the World Trade Center. Filled with fascinating bits of tradecraft (e.g., how to disable a motion detector and thwart a silent alarm), this complex thriller will both entertain and instruct. Recommended for all public libraries. [Baer’s memoir, See No Evil, inspired the movie Syriana; this book includes an author interview conducted by journalist Seymour Hersh. —Ed.]

LJ, vol. 131, no. 7 (April 15, 2006), 64.

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