Blow the House Down by Robert Baer
A Novel

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Former CIA operative Robert Baer pushes fiction to the absolute limit in this riveting and unnervingly plausible alternative history of 9/11.

Veteran CIA officer Max Waller has long been obsessed with the abduction and murder of his Agency mentor. Though years of digging yield the name of a suspect—an Iranian math genius turned terrorist—the trail seems too cold to justify further effort. Then Max turns up a photograph of the man standing alongside Osama bin Laden and a mysterious westerner whose face has been cut out, feeding Max’s suspicion. When the first official to whom Max shows the photo winds up dead, the out-of-favor agent suddenly finds himself the target of dark forces within the intelligence community who are desperate to muzzle him.

Eluding a global surveillance net, Max—in the summer of 2001—begins tracking the spore of a complex conspiracy, meeting clandestinely with suicide bombers and Arab royalty and ultimately realizing the Iranian he’d sought for a decades-old crime is actually at the nexus of a terrifying plot.

Showing off dazzling tradecraft and an array of richly textured backdrops, and filled with real names and events, Blow the House Down deftly balances fact and possibility to become the first great thriller to spring from the war on terrorism.

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From the Hardcover edition.

About Robert Baer

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ROBERT BAER is the author of two New York Times bestsellers: Sleeping with the Devil, about the Saudi royal family and its relationship with the United States; and See No Evil, which recounts Baer's years as a top CIA operative. See No Evil was the basis for the acclaimed film Syriana, which earned George Clooney an Oscar for his portrayal of Baer. Baer writes regularly for and has contributed to Vanity Fair, the Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the Middle East.From the Hardcover edition.
Published May 30, 2006 by Crown. 306 pages
Genres: Political & Social Sciences, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Religion & Spirituality, Arts & Photography. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Blow the House Down

Kirkus Reviews

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As one might expect, given Baer’s background, he spends a fair bit of energy detailing the nuts and bolts of the spy trade—breaking into a Swiss bank, shaking surveillance in midtown Manhattan, entering France with a fake passport—which makes for an engrossing (if perhaps not representative) insi...

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The New York Times

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A new thriller by the former C.I.A. officer Robert Baer provides "an alternative scenario" to the events leading up to 9/11.

Jun 30 2006 | Read Full Review of Blow the House Down: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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Rubinstein reads Baer's first novel, aglimmer with purple prose and intelligence world double-dealing, with a tough-guy grunt and a taste for broad comic voices.

Sep 04 2006 | Read Full Review of Blow the House Down: A Novel

Book Reporter

Waller searches for the man in the photo and becomes the object of an investigation himself.

Dec 22 2010 | Read Full Review of Blow the House Down: A Novel

Entertainment Weekly

In Baer's first novel — an ''alternative history of 9/11'' — Langley spook Max Waller begins to piece together a convoluted puzzle that leads from a mid-1980s kidnapping to the Twin Towers attack.

May 19 2006 | Read Full Review of Blow the House Down: A Novel


In short, there are the good guys, the bad guys and the worse guys.The hero of Baer's book is Max Waller, a middle-aged CIA agent with an ex-wife, a teenage daughter and a singular obsession: finding the terrorists responsible for the real-life kidnapping and murder of fellow agent William Buckley.

Jun 04 2015 | Read Full Review of Blow the House Down: A Novel


However, what really catches Waller's eye is a slight man whose features were too defined to be an Arab, whom he thinks is Murtaza Ali Mousavi, and whom he can't understand as to why he is with Osama bin Laden.

Jul 08 2006 | Read Full Review of Blow the House Down: A Novel

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