Messenger from Mystery
When Hamilton Jordan, one of President Jimmy Carter's closest aides, learns that his college friend Jay has a close relationship with a woman with access to the inner circles of the Ayatollah, Jordan enlists Jay's help. At first Jay is a simple intermediary, but when his mission goes terribly wrong and Azi is put in mortal peril, Jay finds himself in the unlikely and uncomfortable role of rescuer. Aided by a CIA operative and Jay's literary hero, he travels to Iran to free Azi from her captors.
Like the award-winning film Argo, Messenger from Mystery harks back to the difficult final years of the Carter administration and looks closely at the hostage crisis, which captured the attention of the world for 444 days, garnered its own news show, ensured the defeat of Carter and the victory of Reagan, and frayed any American confidence regained after Vietnam and Watergate. A story of love, politics, terrorism, and heroism, Messenger from Mystery mixes accurate, fascinating history with convincing, engaging imagination. Trakas's novel depicts the human heart in conflict with itself as well as a subtle, thoughtfully rendered critique of U.S.–Middle East relations of the era, still relevant today.
Elizabeth Cox, a Robert Penn Warren Award–winning writer, provides a foreword.
About the Authors
"Set against the backdrop of South Carolina and Iran, Messenger from Mystery is equal parts coming of age tale, love story, and international thriller. Deno Trakas has crafted a power narrative, one that is incredibly relevant in today's world."—James M. Scott, Pulitzer Prize finalist for Target Tokyo: Jimmy Doolittle and the Raid That Avenged Pearl Harbor
"In Messenger from Mystery, Deno Trakas seamlessly fuses the personal to the political, and the result is a story that probes the possibility of individual goodness surviving despite two countries' discord. This novel is an outstanding debut by a very talented writer."—Ron Rash, author of Above the Waterfall
"Trakas shows a talent for enlarging his focus and sustaining the keen interest of his readers in a richly honed cast of characters and a complex narrative unfolding against an historical event: the capture of Americans as Iranian hostages in the 1980s. A clash of cultures, the pull and push of personal relationships, and rising senses of duty and forgiveness create the driving force of this novel, but at its beautiful beating heart, this is a profound love story"—Elizabeth Cox, from the foreword
"Messenger from Mystery couldn't be more timely in our age of terrorism, both domestic and foreign. This riveting and thoughtful book is equal parts love story, history lesson, and international spy thriller—and the whole of it provided me with a story I couldn't put down. Thank you, Deno Trakas, for such a fine novel!"—Bret Lott, College of Charleston
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