It all begins with a line of Persian poetry. Anna and Nouri fall in love despite their very different backgrounds. Anna, who has never been close to her parents, is more than happy to return with Nouri from Chicago to his native Iran, to be embraced by his wealthy family. Beginning their married life together in 1978, their world is abruptly turned upside down by the overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Islamic Republic. Under the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Republican Guard, life becomes increasingly restricted and Anna must exist in a world where the familiar Western rules don't apply. Random arrests and torture become the norm, women are required to wear hijab, and Anna discovers that she is no longer free to leave the country. As events reach a fevered pitch, Anna realizes that nothing is as she thought, and no one can be trusted...not even her husband.
Hellmann crafts a tragically beautiful story that is both subtle and vibrant. The author does an amazing job of delivering her point but never by sacrificing the quality of her storytelling. The message drives the psychological and emotional conflict in a bleak and heart-wrenching tale that will stay with the reader long after they finish. Bryan VanMeter, Crimespree Magazine
The Iranian revolution provides the backdrop for this meticulously researched, fast-paced stand-alone… A significant departure from the author’s Chicago-based mystery series, this political thriller will please fans and newcomers alike. Publishers Weekly
Readers will be drawn in through the well-researched inside look at Iran in the late 1970s and gain perspective on what the people in that time and place endured. A Bitter Veil is so thought-provoking that it especially would be a great title for book clubs. Amy Alessio, BookReporter.com