From Publishers Weekly
Narrated with verve and élan, Berlinski's sly second thriller flirts more with romance than danger. During the hot summer of 2003, a Paris-based American novelist named Claire Berlinksi gets into an online affair with a Persian archeologist who may be a spy. According to the preface, something similar happened to the author. Arsalan (aka "the Lion"), who lives in Isfahan, Iran, admires the real author's debut about a female CIA trainee, Loose Lips
(2003), and is sure Claire has actual CIA ties. At Arsalan's suggestion, Claire swaps apartments with a colleague of his in Istanbul, Turkey. There Claire meets a cheerful if less than competent CIA agent, Sally, who asks her help in getting to Arsalan. Claire and the zany supporting cast make this tale of thwarted intimacy—as overseen by the gimlet eye of the World Wide Web (and CIA)—an entertaining example of what Claire calls the tantalizing "intersection between what you write and the truth." Keen social commentary on Paris and Istanbul adds to the fun. Berlinski is also the author of Menace in Europe: Why the Continent's Crisis Is America's, Too
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Reality and fiction mesh gracefully in this inventive follow-up to Berlinski's first novel, Loose Lips
(2003). A fictional Claire Berlinski is the heroine of this tale, living in Paris after the publication of Loose Lips
. When she gets an e-mail from a man named Arsalan who wants to order her book, she impulsively sends him a copy. They begin to correspond, and Claire finds the more she learns about Arsalan, a Persian archaeologist dedicated to preserving ancient artifacts in the Middle East, the more she's drawn to him. On a whim, she swaps apartments for several months with one of Arsalan's colleagues and moves to the vibrant city of Istanbul. But when a new friend claims to be a CIA agent who has been following her correspondence with Arsalan and wants to get in touch with him, Claire realizes she might be in for some real-life intrigue. Colorful and filled with memorable characters, this adventure is well worth the journey. Kristine HuntleyCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved