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