First volume in a two-volume series, telling of a "mesmerizing period of twenty-four tumultuous days just after the Shah has left Iran. The life-and-death struggle of rival factions to take control has resulted in a civil war in which few know who is on what side - or for how long. What is known is the fanatical hatred on all sides for foreigners - especially Americans and British." A British helicopter company, whose pilots are American, Canadian, British, French, German, and Finnish, would be ruined financially if it left Iran. But these pilots and their women, including two Iranian wives, are in ever-increasing danger. "As intricately and richly woven as the strands of a priceless Persian carpet, this brilliant novel sweeps the reader into a whirlwind of emotions: passionate, romantic, barbaric, heroic - James Clavell at his very best.