Frontline Magazine


A very readable novel based around an ayatollah inviting the UK and US to back him in a coup against president Ahmadinejad. It's a heady home-brew of intrigue, student unrest, ethnic-based violence and incompetent journalism -- with a colourful cast of clerics, an assassin, diplomats, spies, nuclear scientists, tanker captains, a corporate arms lawyer, north Tehrani beauties and qanat workers… The Viper of Kerman is a racy and entertaining read, with many vignettes illustrating Oliver's eye for detail and sense of irony. But the book also highlights many important aspects of Iranian politics: from the geopolitics centred on its natural resources to the way things in Iran so often work out differently to what anyone intends or expects.