Merrimon Book Reviews

Shah of Iran
Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi

Prime Minister Mohammad Mossadegh

Ayatollah Khomeini

From Merrimon Book Reviews
The Tehran Conviction
The Tehran Conviction by Tom Gabbay
by Tom Gabbay

In 1953, Jack Teller goes to Tehran as a new recruit to the newly organized CIA.  Under the cover of an influential oil executive, Jack Teller's mission includes making contacts to serve the CIA's goal of influence on the Iranian government during the height of the Cold War.  Jack makes contact with Yari Fatemi and his sister Zahra.   Yari Fatemi has high hopes that Prime Monister Mohammed Mossadegh is a great man, a man able to bring to Iran a sense of independence from colonialism to creating a society that will honor the rich history of the country and bring human rights to its people.  The CIA's mission to overthrown Mossadegh, however, puts Jack at odds with the friendship the two men share.  Twenty-six years later, Iran stands on the brink of a religious revolution.  Zahra approaches Jack, begging him to help her brother.  In an unofficial mission, much like those of MISSION IMPOSSIBLE, in which if discovered, the secretary will disavow any knowledge of the mission, Jack enters a new Iran with the chaos of revolution in a bold, daring attempt to save the very man he betrayed years earlier.

Tom Gabbay's THE TEHRAN CONVICTION is an exceptional historical spy thriller!  Tom Gabbay reaches into CIA history to create a thriller that sheds light not only on past events but also one that gives an excellent chilling background to recent events.  Tom Gabbay places his fictional characters within real historic events and surrounds them with real historical figures.  Tom Gabbay also does an excellent job at balancing the particulars of Iranian history with the overarching background of the Cold War. 
THE TEHRAN CONVICTION is fast-paced spy fiction that alternates between the two main time periods. 

As spy fiction, THE TEHRAN CONVICTION brings the reader right into the heart of the story through the characters of Jack Teller and Yari Fatemi.  Yari is young, optimistic and idealistic. Jack Teller is a man loyal to the mission but one who also questions those around him.  Despite his loyalty to his country and the CIA's mission, he sees the dangers if not ridiculousness of some of CIA's aims.  Donaldson, a character Jack meets later in the book, is a perfect complement to Jack, each bringing out the depth in each other.  The later daring mission keeps a reader on pins and needles with several turns and twists.  Tom Gabbay writes outstanding spy fiction with all the ingredients to keep a reader locked in until the last page.  Fast, dangerous, bold action joins with a more thoughtful insight into politics and indeed human nature itself through the richness of character depth.  Tom Gabbay's twists on idealism and realism are exquisite!  THE TEHRAN CONVICTION is a perfect dance between subversion and betrayal, leaving a reader on edge, never quite expecting the clever twists around the next corner. What an ending --- it leaves a reader thinking with just the slightest chill to send shivers throughout!

It's been a very long time since I have read spy fiction so thoroughly satisfying or as awesome as Tom Gabbay's THE TEHRAN CONVICTION.  If like this reader, you tend to avoid recent spy novels set in the Mideast having found so much television and recent thrillers too realistic or not realistic enough, shallow and one-dimensional, a reader need not have such qualms about Tom Gabbay's THE TEHRAN CONVICTION.  I received this book as a gift so I tried it.  Am I ever glad I did!  The night I finished it, I immediately ordered the author's two previous books.  If you love rich spy suspense, Tom Gabbay is a must read.  Outstanding!

Publisher:  Harper (Reprint) (April 2010)
Reviewed by Merrimon, Merrimon Book Reviews
Merrimon Book Reviews

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