Here’s my review of the new David Ignatius’ spy novel, “The Increment”:
Compelling: strikes a good balance between naivety and cynicism
My initial encounter with The Increment was unpromising: an omniscient narrator remarking about the actions of the central characters in Tehran and Washington. Fortunately, the narrator’s voice was soon muted, and we were embroiled in a beautifully contrived tale of espionage, betrayal, and geopolitics. On one hand, the idealists; on the other, the cynical opportunists; caught in the middle, those who are revolted by both extremes.
I won’t provide any spoilers, because you really should experience the twists and turns of this narrative for yourself. Ignatius gets extra points for the compelling picture he conjures up of contemporary Tehran (and the rest of Iran). However he loses a star for the gung-ho use of technology, and for a couple of lazily stereotyped characters. Taken together, these factors made a couple of his plot twists wholly implausible. But never mind: it’s a most enjoyable read.