created by john shannon


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Four Persian boys are missing from an elite high school in L.A. and Jack must track them down. They have run away to rediscover their Moslem roots, but get caught up with violent terrorists.

An Otto Penzler Book, Carroll & Graf ISBN 0-7867-1163-9

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Four Persian-American boys are missing from an elite high school in LA, and Jack LIffey is hired to find them. Already wobbly after the breakup of a long roamnce, Jack must feel his way into L.A.'s complex and overlapping Persian communities -- Moslem, Jewish, Baha'i, Christian and secular. The boys, in fact, have run away to rediscover their Islamic roots. They are idealists, seeking to protest the tawdriness of a society drwoning in possessions and sexuality. But to their horror, they get caught up in a cell of Arab Islamic fundamentalists who harbor far more violent plans.

Jack crosses into Mexico, tracking the exs-girlfriend of Fariborz Bayat, the brightest of the boys. He is arrested by corrupt judiciale cops working for a sinister 400-pound drug lord who thinks the boys have stolen something from him. Fariborz, who knows Mexico well, escapes from the Arab cell just in time to rescue Jack from the narcotrafficos and take him on a nightmare journey across the midnight bordertown of Tijuana and the illegally back into the United States

There Jack and Fariborz face an even more deadly challenge: the need to thwart the Arab cell's plot to set off a "dirty bomb" full of radioactive material high over L.A. "City of Strangers" records Jack's descent into a world of outsiders, sufferers, and seekers, each struggling to make a private peace but finding that personal redemption too often comes at the expense of everybody else.

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Copyright © John Shannon 2005. All rights reserved.

Copyright © John Shannon 2015. All rights reserved.