My first read of this fabulous author was Pillars of the Earth. It was stunning. After that book, this was a complete change of both style, period and story. It took me a while to get going on this one even though the story was such a fast paced, interesting one. I think my mind was set in the 1700's from the last book and just could not move forward to the 20th century!
Set amidst the onset of the Iranian revolution, the ouster of the Shah and the installation of the new goverment it is such an unlikely tale that it almost seems untrue. But, it is true. How Ross Perot the head of EDS Computers set out on a mission to rescue two of his employees held in an Iranian jail on no charges with a motley crowd of employees and how he succeeded in getting them out with no casualties and in fact came back with one more person (an Iranian) without whose help the mission could not have succeeded.
Breaking several laws (passport fraud, border controls, money illegally brought in and taken out, smuggling of human beings over a border, bribery at every turn) the story goes from one unbelievable escapade to another because it is actually escapades! unbelievable ones at that and you hold your breath wondering when the bubble will burst and when it is all going to come tumbling down.
There is a lot of questions as to the suitability of Follett to handle this story. Whether historical fiction and an adventure of this sort could be written by the one and same author. I think Follett may not have understood very much of the Iranian revolution itself, but this particular story is very well told. It is full of suspense and a cliff hanger. It holds your interest to the end.
Follett is full of surprises and I am now waiting to get to his next book with me!