Complex, intense and deeply riveting it is impossible not to obsess over the intrigue of The Iranian Scorpion. Robert Dawson, a US DEA agent is sent to Afghanistan to halt the flow of heroin coming out of the country. Disguised as a field hand working in the opium crops and assisted by the delightful Kate Conway and the cunning Taliban leader Vizier Ashraf, Dawson finds himself captured and facing execution at the hands of a man known as “The Scorpion” after it is discovered that Dawson was behind his arrest. When Dawson’s father, General David Dawson, hears of Robert’s pending execution he vows to find and assassinate “The Scorpion” who just so happens to be a provincial governor of Iran. A powerful political thriller, The Iranian Scorpion is flawlessly gripping.
The characters in The Iranian Scorpion are very well-developed and feel truly authentic. They are perfectly flawed and appear genuinely human. Immediately a conversation between Robert and Kate hints at a subtle level of tension between Robert and his father, David. Robert is seeking fulfillment by chasing career goals that seem just out of reach. Kate has a poor history of damaged love relationships. They are world travelers and involved in deep political intrigue and undercover DEA work yet they seem entirely relatable which develops a strong bond between reader and story. It took less than ten pages for me to feel invested in their personal development and the story that was about to unfold.
The various storylines in The Iranian Scorpion are intricately woven but blend together well and avoid feeling disjointed or disconnected. This is a complex story yet it never feels overwhelming or confusing. There are multiple romantic relationships, undercover work, political intrigue and wrathful vengeance. In the hands of less-capable author this book could have easily become an unbearable mess but Peace is highly talented and his skill is clearly evident. Peace keeps the pace of the story intense and the plot is thrilling. There is violence (as should be expected considering the storyline) and there is some sexual content but nothing that is overly graphic or revolting.
The Iranian Scorpion has easily earned its place as one of my favorite books of 2013. The blended plotlines, the political games, the strong female characters and family tension and the religious conflict between Christianity and Islam (which Peace delicately handled) all combine to write what should be a bestseller and a must-read. Rarely do I recommend a book as highly as I recommend The Iranian Scorpion. William Peace is an amazingly talented writer and The Iranian Scorpion is an incredible novel.
Review by Ashley LaMarClosed the Cover