The Jackal's Share

( 1 )

Overview

"Terrific news for fans of first-class thrillers." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org

A murder in a Tehran hotel leaves the London art world spinning. The deceased, beloved at home as a proud dealer in antiquities, now stands accused of smuggling artifacts out of Iran for sale in the West. But despite the triumphal announcements of the secret police, there is something perhaps too tidy in the official report—given that no artifacts have been recovered,...

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The Jackal's Share: A Novel

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Overview

"Terrific news for fans of first-class thrillers." —Maureen Corrigan, NPR.org

A murder in a Tehran hotel leaves the London art world spinning. The deceased, beloved at home as a proud dealer in antiquities, now stands accused of smuggling artifacts out of Iran for sale in the West. But despite the triumphal announcements of the secret police, there is something perhaps too tidy in the official report—given that no artifacts have been recovered, no smuggling history discovered, no suspects found.

Half a world away, Darius Qazai delivers a stiring eulogy for his departed friend. A fabulously successful financier, Qazai has directed his life and wealth toward philanthropy, art preservation, and peaceful protest against the regime of his native Iran. His fortune, colossal; his character, immaculate. Pleasantly ensconced in the world of the London expatriate elite, Qazai is the last person anyone would suspect of foul play. Yet something ominous is disrupting Qazai’s recent business deals, some rumor from his past so frightening to his American partners that they will no longer speak to him.

So Qazai hires a respectable corporate intelligence firm to investigate himself and clear his reputation. A veteran of intelligence work in the former Soviet Union, Ben Webster soon discovers that Qazai’s pristine past is actually a dense net of interlocking half-truths and unanswered questions: Is he a respectable citizen or an art smuggler? Is his fortune built on merit or on arms dealing? Is he, after all, his own man? As he closes in on the truth of Qazai’s fortune—and those who would wish to destroy it—Webster discovers he may pay for that knowledge with the lives of his own family.

A vivid and relentless tale of murderous corporate espionage, The Jackal’s Share follows the money through the rotten alleys of Marrakech and the shining spires of Dubai, from the idyllic palaces of Lake Como to the bank houses of London’s City. The Jackal’s Share plunges readers into a Middle East as strange and raw as ever depicted, where recent triumphs rest uneasily atop buried crimes and monumental greed.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
A surprising plot and deceptively simple prose distinguish Jones’s exceptional thriller, his second after his impressive debut, 2012’s The Silent Oligarch. Wealthy Iranian expatriate Darius Qazai seeks out British investigator Ben Webster, who works for the boutique London firm of Ikertu, which specializes in lawsuits, audits, and other corporate work. Qazai is looking to sell the family business, “one of the largest asset management companies in the world,” but is concerned that a prospective buyer may be scared off by rumors of something unseemly in his background. Qazai wants Ikertu to do a check that will allay the fears of this potential buyer. Something about the assignment feels wrong to Webster, despite provisions to protect his agency’s integrity. He speculates that the concerns about his client may be connected with the murder, in Iran, of an art dealer with whom Qazai was friendly. The novel’s power derives mainly from its nuanced look at Webster’s struggle to balance his principles and his responsibilities to his family. Agent: Melanie Jackson, Melanie Jackson Agency. (Feb.)
Kirkus Reviews
Once again Ben Webster is reluctantly dragged into an apparent squabble amongst billionaires in Jones' (The Silent Oligarch, 2012) latest. Webster works for the corporate investigation company, Ikertu Consulting. Darius Qazai, London-based refugee Iranian owner of Tabriz Asset Management, needs their services. A major business deal has gone bottoms up because of negative information turned up by the buyer. Qazai wants Ikertu to search his background and prove the information false. A simple phone call unearths the rat: rumors circulate that Qazai was responsible for the theft of the Sargon relief, a half-ton eighth-century Assyrian stone art object looted from Baghdad post-invasion. This is Jones' second thriller involving Webster and Ikertu, and he takes time early on to offer an interesting character sketch of the CIA-for-billionaires founder, Ike Hammer. Jones is superb too in presenting off-beat personalities, one being the robotic and enigmatic assistant to Qazai, a French lawyer named Yves Senechal, "small, precise-looking...slight, so pale that the sun seemed to shine through him." Another intriguingly left-of-center character is Webster's go-to guy in Dubai, Fletcher Constance, an American banker gone native, "linen suits…extravagant neckwear…antique beard and the solid boom of [a] rhythmic voice." Despite his connection to an art dealer murdered in Iran, Qazai, "vain, slippery, callously self-assured," has a bigger problem, one that links his fortune to Iran's Revolutionary Guards. Pursuing profits from funds invested post-revolution, the cruel and deadly Guards' VEVAK intelligence agent Zahak Rad unleashes mayhem and murder. Qazai's family pays a price too steep, and then Rad threatens Webster's wife and family. Webster escapes bruised and battered from a deadly confrontation with Rad in Marrakech, retreating to London and then Dubai where he snatches a Pyrrhic victory with a successful-enough extortion double cross. Ambivalent as ever about the ethics of the superrich and his part in solving their problems, Webster proves to be the ethically troubled anti-Bond. A more-than-worthy sequel with deft, complex and believable plotting, tense, gut-wrenching action, and classy literary writing.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781594205354
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 2/21/2013
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.40 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

For eleven years CHRIS MORGAN JONES worked at the world’s largest business intelligence agency. He has advised Middle Eastern governments, Russian oligarchs, New York banks, London hedge funds, and African mining companies. He is the author of The Silent Oligarch.

www.ChrisMorganJones.com

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2013

    Terrific thriller. I loved every page and turned them quickly.

    Terrific thriller. I loved every page and turned them quickly.

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