In the Shadow of the Kingmakers by Vahid Imani
English | 2019 | Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 2.4 MB
The shadows were closer than he thought …
Tehran in 1924 is the stage for a daring international showdown over the control of Persian oil fields. James Malcolm, a British operative stationed in Tehran weaves an intricate plot in hopes of installing a new loyal Persian king. A teenage boy’s accidental involvement becomes a distraction. When his plot is sabotaged, the fragile peace in Persia is threatened along with the boy’s life. Malcolm’s clandestine investigation entangles him with unwitting American diplomats, treacherous double agents, and murderous Soviet spies, all seeking to foil the oil grab of the British.
“Blast me! You mean you know Lawrence of Arabia? He is on his way to becoming a legend. I just finished reading With Lawrence in Arabia. A fascinating book.”
Malcolm looked down to avoid Thompson’s gaze and smiled. “Yes, quite charming, I’m sure.”
“Ooh, do I sense a bit of jealousy blossoming here?”
Malcolm took a sip of his drink, angered that he might have shown some vulnerability to Thompson. “No, not at all. What has brought you here so late at night, Thompson? Aren’t you stationed in Mashhad now?”
“Yes, but I had a meeting with Colonel Fraser today.” He moved away from the desk and looked around the office, as if he were in search of something.
“Mashhad is about nine hundred kilometers northeast of here. It must have been an important meeting!”
“It was. The Russians are becoming more aggressive in the northeast lately. Adding to the mix is the recent Turkmen’s rebellion and their quests for independence. This country is rapidly becoming unstable.”
Malcolm nodded his head and smiled, “That is exactly how a military man would look at it.”
“What are you saying? Is there any other way to look at it?” Thompson asked, helping himself to the liquor on the side table.
Malcolm flashed an all-knowing smile. “Well, there are other angles. For example, a politician may say that the recent disagreements and turmoil in the petroleum contracts is the major root of instability.”
Thompson carried his glass of gin back to the desk and sat on a chair in front of Malcolm. “Tell me, how do you know Thomas Lawrence?”
Malcolm swirled his drink, taking pleasure in the tinkling of the ice cubes against the crystal. “Oh, I didn’t claim knowing him. We went to the same college, the Jesus College in Oxford University. We were in the same classes for a few subjects. We also went to the same prep school. That’s all.”
“Is that where you’re from then?” Thompson took a big gulp of his drink.
“Yes, I was born and raised in Oxford.”
“Look here, Malcolm.” Thompson moved to the edge of his chair. “Lawrence doesn’t have the monopoly on being the hero of the twentieth century. He was just at the right place at the right time. We can be heroes too!”