A Timely Thriller Featuring Iran's Nuclear Sting

This novel, Blind Scorpion: Iran's Nuclear Sting, lands right in the middle of the on-going debate around the recent agreement concluded with Iran about its nuclear program. In the coming weeks, this debate promises to heat up as the deal still needs approval from the American Congress since it involves the lifting of sanctions against Iran. This is something most Europeans want. European politicians are flocking to Iran, the British have just re-opened their embassy in Teheran.

In short, this book couldn't be more timely.

And fun. Unputdownable.

Though the premise is scary enough: what if Iran had already built its atomic bomb? What would it take to stop it?

The book is written by an Iranian-American in-the-know, Mr. Farsheed Ferdowsi, and it has been subsequently edited by best-selling author Mike Wells and republished with a new, enticing title: Blind Scorpion.

The two have been long-time friends since their college days at Vanderbilt University and Mike Wells describes his foray into this (for him) unusual kind of international thriller à la John LeCarré in the following terms:
When Farsheed decided to write this story, he had never tackled the writing of a novel before, and since we have been close friends ever since college, I agreed to be his mentor.  As he finished each chapter, I gave him detailed feedback and helped him keep the narrative tight, to maintain the high level of tension required to achieve the "unputdownable" reader engagement that I am so particular about.  When the manuscript was finished and polished, Farsheed published it himself in both paper and ebook format under another title (Mushroom in the Sand), but due to his busy schedule and family commitments, he was never able to put a serious effort into promoting it.  However, despite this limitation, Mushroom in the Sand garnered 122 Amazon reviews averaging 4.6 stars, which--interestingly--is almost exactly the same number of reviews/average rating that Lust, Money and Murder  book 1, 2 and 3  has (126 reviews and 4.6 stars average). 
Lust, Money and Murder (Book One is free) is of course Mike Wells own latest thriller, the kind of story his fans love and are used to read - though I would recommend they take a break and read Blind Scorpion, it is well worth it.

As to why Mr. Ferdowsi had no time for promoting his own book, this is easily explained. If you take a look at his biography (at the end of Blind Scorpion) you will learn that he is in fact a serial entrepreneur. Born and raised in Teheran, he entered the United States in 1973 to pursue a higher education. Armed with a bachelor's degree from Vanbderbilt University and a master's in structural engineering from U.C.Berkeley, he founded a business software development firm in 1979 and followed this with a string of companies in  technology information, notably PayMaxx ranked among the top 10 payroll service providers in the US. A busy man!

I just finished reading Blind Scorpion this week-end and wrote this review posted on Amazon:

Fast paced and suspenseful, it features a surprising range of highly likekable characters, in particular the sprightly and brilliant Dr. Shaheen, the Iranian-American scientist who is the hero of the story, and his beautiful Russian wife and their two teenage children, as well as his wife's father, lovable and grumpy General Pugachov. The latter has become friends with Colonel Nash, the steely Deputy Director of Operations at the CIA, both united in their fight against terrorism. Add to this gallery, the sexy TV reporter, the clever CIA agent and a range of unpleasant characters and villains, including the Iranian scientist who has developed the bomb and a violent Russian spy.
 
What I liked the most, however, in this well-written spy thriller, was the depiction of Iran, how it is remembered by Dr. Shaheen who left it as a young man, and how he finds the country changed when he returns there now. This is a thoroughly well-researched book by a person in the know, including fascinating details about making an atomic bomb (no fear, there are not enough details to actually build one!).

A highly recommended read for anyone who enjoys thrillers with a political edge.

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