‘Tehran Conviction’ a disturbing spy novel

  Good spy novels can be addictive. The world of espionage is a dirty business with more villains than heroes, but it has a dark fascination.
  Tom Gabbay’s “The Tehran Conviction” is disturbing because it shows the failure of America’s policies in Iran and the role of the CIA in a failed coup.
  CIA operative Jack Teller, the main character in Gabbay’s two previous spy novels, becomes enmeshed twice in chaos in Iran; he plays a role as the CIA sponsors the overthrow of Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad Massadegh in 1953, and he is in the country again in 1979 on a rescue mission after Ayatollah Khomeini takes power.
  Teller, who was involved in World War II intrigue in the “Lisbon Crossing,” is surprisingly naive in his earlier trip to Iran when the CIA maneuvers him into a corner and forces him to betray an idealistic Iranian official to support a dubious U.S. agenda. His second journey to Iran involves the rescue of the official.
  The book becomes confusing as it flashes backward and forward in time. Still, Teller is a compelling main character who faces agonizing dilemmas. The flaws in the book are mitigated by a strong finish.

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