Preying in Iran

A Tapestry of Wounds

Fiction - Military
476 Pages
Reviewed on 12/12/2019
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Romuald Dzemo for Readers' Favorite

Preying In Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds by Eric Wentz is a compelling story that features strong themes and exceptional characters. This is a novel that centers on a strong protagonist, LCDR Grant Chisolm, a character on a mission to dismantle the drug and human trafficking cartels. Readers follow him across countries and continents as he easily blends in and faces dangerous situations. The novel explores very strong themes and dark concepts and creates a powerful consciousness in readers of the reality of human abuse and sex trafficking.

There is just so much to love in this novel, a work like no other — the gorgeous, lyrical prose, the exciting and elaborately developed characters, the relevant historical hints, and the suspenseful nature of the narrative which keeps the reader turning the pages. One of the strongest gifts of this author is the ability to weave humorous scenes into complex situations. The descriptions are terrific and they allow the reader to see deeper into the scenes as characters unveil more layers of their personalities. Eric Wentz is a skillful storyteller who writes with confidence, his work filled with originality and plot points that capture the attention of readers. Preying In Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds is a timely novel that is filled with realism and that addresses controversial themes and realities. It is written for mature audiences, a gripping and rollicking ride pulsating with adventure and unforgettable characters.

K.C. Finn

Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds is a work of political, personal and dramatic fiction penned by author Eric Wentz. Recommended for adult readers due to its complex thematic content (although this is not graphic in nature), this dynamic and intriguing novel tells the tale of real-life villains who are causing very pertinent problems in the world today. In a work of fiction based on real characters and modern facts, we explore the dark world of drugs and sex trafficking in an international climate, and the effects that these factors have on LCDR Grant Chisolm as he works to unpick their complexities and bring justice where it’s due.

Political, observant, intriguing and mysterious, this is a world of fiction so close to fact that it will certainly please fans of biographies and real-world reporting just as much as those who love a good mystery tale. Author Eric Wentz takes great pains to authentically engage with the world of international sex trafficking across the many countries which it affects in different ways. His central protagonist works as our inlet into this world, struggling to maintain his own concealment of identity as the world around him shifts and changes with yet more dark practices at every turn. There is a sedate quality to the exposé feel of the novel which prevents it from becoming gratuitous and shows a great deal of respect for its subject matter. Overall, Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds is a highly recommended work of realistic drama.

Darryl Greer

We read and hear about drug trafficking on a daily basis but not so much about the trafficking in human beings. Yet according to the International Labour Organization, the statistics are sobering: in this staggering $150 billion industry, there are 40.3 million victims of human trafficking, 25% of which are children. Eric Wentz’s novel, Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds, explores in depth how these people, mainly women and girls, become trapped in the first place, their journey to what they believe will be their Promised Land and the stark reality of their destination. While this is a work of fiction, it is disturbingly accurate, especially as the author skilfully uses real characters, past and present, and intermingles them with those who are his own creation. The plot is multi-layered, covering the journey of an Afghani woman, Fatima, fleeing from the Taliban, along with her three daughters, Adela, Fairuz, and Palwasha, and the exploits of the lead character, Lt. Commander Grant Chisholm, traveling in the guise of Alexander Petrovich Raskolnikov, a Russian archaeologist, to undertake clandestine operations in various Central Asian countries. In another facet of the story, the author explores the history and possible meaning of Edward Elgar’s Dorabella Cipher. Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds is a thriller but one that crosses the boundaries that separate a multitude of genres.

Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds is panoramic in its view of that part of the world it spotlights – Iran, Turkey, Azerbaijan, and the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh; it is kaleidoscopic in its colorful portrayal of daily life in that cluster of society; it is encyclopedic in its description of historical events, geographical locations, local dialects, and customs. Such out of the way locations as Mirjaveh and Zahedan, Iran and Yeghegnadzor and Stepanakert, Armenia and many more are described with such attention to detail one tends to surmise that the author has personally walked through every corner of the place in his quest for accuracy. Eric Wentz’s attention to detail in the historical aspect of his work is reminiscent of Milton Steinberg’s As A Driven Leaf, although set in a different place and time. All this, and beautiful prose that flows as effortlessly as the River Aras. It is difficult not to be spellbound by this story – it would be a sin if it were not made into a movie.

Rabia Tanveer

Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds by Eric Wentz is an action-packed military thriller that puts focus on certain things that everyone knows but they are never discussed out loud. LCDR Grant Chisolm’s work isn’t easy, but he takes pride in it. He is given the task to uncover heinous human and drug trafficking cartels. Although this may be a straightforward job for someone like Grant, he has to move from country to country and try to maintain his cover while making sure he gets the task done. But it isn’t easy, especially considering that the countries he is in are riddled with criminals and masterminds who are running these cartels. They are ready to do whatever it takes to keep their illegal human trafficking and drug cartels going. Will Grant Chisolm be able to finish his mission or will he be stopped before he gets too close?

I think what I love most about this book is the almost lyrical narrative with an incredible rhythm that takes the reader’s experience to another level. It is apparent that the author has done a lot of research to make this novel so good. There are multiple historical references in the story and almost act like an Easter Egg search for you. I was amazed at how complex the story actually was; it may seem suspiciously straightforward, but it isn’t. Grant’s character had layer upon layer of quirks and traits that I enjoyed as they were revealed one after the other. The story itself is incredibly woven to grab your attention the moment you start reading it. I enjoyed the pace, I enjoyed the characters and loved the development of the story. It is one of those rare gems that you wish would never end. Richly detailed and incredibly written!

Ruffina Oserio

Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds by Eric Wentz is a masterpiece, a novel that is boldly written and in a voice that echoes powerfully through each page. The novel can fit beautifully into different categories — crime thriller, military, adventure. But it is the strong themes that had me enthralled. The author explores drug trafficking, sex trade that involves children, and other cultural and social issues. The protagonist is a well-rounded, elaborately developed character called Grant Chisolm, a man who moves across countries to dismantle a drug cartel. To succeed, he must use subterfuge and his unique set of skills to blend in and to effectively deal with the bad guys. But in a world fraught with danger and dominated by ruthless men, how far can he go?

It is interesting to follow the characters in Preying in Iran, an impressive suite of them, each with a unique background —religious, political, social, and criminal. Character depth is outstanding, but aside from the fact that the novel is character-driven, the author writes about some of the ills that plague our society in a way that captures its realism and resonates with readers. The prose has a beauty of its own and the economy of word is impeccable. Each sentence is well structured, succinctly composed, and loaded with meaning. One has the impression that this author hates to waste words. The descriptive prose explores the unique sense of every scene and situation. Eric Wentz’s novel would make great material for an action movie; it is infused with humor, grim and situational, and written to a satisfying pace.

Christian Sia

A veritable literary tour-de-force filled with memorable characters and powerful themes, Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds by Eric Wentz is a wonderful blend of military, sleuth, and thriller genres that offers a powerful indictment of the greed of those that rob others of their dignity. Filled with adventure and action-packed, the novel follows LCDR Grant Chisolm as he sets out to dismantle cartels involved in drug and human trafficking. The characters in the novel are historical figures, each playing a role they actually played in life. The protagonist is put in very complicated and dangerous situations, and it is interesting how he uses disguises to stay ahead of the bad guys.

There are many humorous scenes in the story, and at times the humor is grim. Wentz’s gift for plot is exemplified in this novel and the strong plotlines are enriched by the unique sense of setting which explores cultures, political situations, and religious backdrops in different countries — Armenia, Iran, and the USA. The social, cultural, and historical commentaries augment the beauty of the setting, showcasing the author’s resourcefulness and ability to weave reality into the writing. The characters are nuanced, deeply human, and genuinely flawed. Eric Wentz writes in beautiful prose and crafts dialogues that feel natural and that help to deepen the plot. Preying in Iran: A Tapestry of Wounds is a beautifully written story that stands out in its originality and potential to entertain readers. It is a call to a new consciousness of some of the ills that plague contemporary society. It is a pure delight, a novel that will touch readers in many ways.