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Kevin AllmanSetting an espionage thriller in the Middle East is tricky. During the months between the editing and the publishing of Robert Littell's latest suspense novel, the Hamas party won the majority of seats on the Palestinian legislative council, and the open conflict that some of the characters in Vicious Circle seek to prevent is now unfolding on CNN and al-Jazeera. None of this, though, dilutes Littell's central thesis (or spoils his muscularly plotted suspense). In his speculative game of three-dimensional chess, the pieces may not reflect recent history, but it's a game that never reaches checkmate.
—The Washington Post