Fattah is middle-aged and unmarried. A former hospital janitor who
became rich working as a torturer in Tehran's notorious Evin
Prison, he now moonlights as an uncertified backstreet doctor
specializing in 'honour surgery' for unmarried young women. Fattah
has nothing but contempt for these women; that is until the
beautiful Shahrzad lands on his operating table, and soon he is
dangerously infatuated. Undeterred that she is promised to - and in
love with - another man, the younger and less affluent Mostafa,
Fattah sets out to win Shahrzad by any means. Robbed of his bride,
the jilted and furious Mostafa launches a desperate plan to move
her beyond his rival's reach by falsely reporting her as an
opponent of the regime, a mission that takes him deep into Tehran's
underworld of criminals and provocateurs. In Amir Cheheltan's
critically acclaimed and searing novel - his first to be translated
into English - power and corruption in post-revolutionary Iran are
exposed through the actions of two men who work to exploit the
chaos and confusion for their own benefit. The result is a
provocative tale of a divided society where religious devotion and
cruelty often go hand in hand.
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