Book 2 in The Jerusalem QuartetThe second book of the Jerusalem Quartet, in which the fate of the Holy City is determined by an epic poker game played in the back of a Jerusalem antiques shop
On New Year’s Eve, 1921, three men sit down to a poker game. The Great Jerusalem Poker Game, as it’s eventually known, continues for the next twelve years—the players unwilling to leave a competition whose prize is control of Jerusalem. The players are as exotic as the game: Cairo Martyr, a one-time African slave, now the Middle East’s chief supplier of aphrodisiac mummy dust; Joe O’Sullivan Beare, an Irish tradesman with a specialty in sacred phallic amulets; and Munk Szondi, an Austro-Hungarian Imperial Army colonel turned dedicated Zionist.
But before the final hand is played to determine the destiny of the Holy City, a dangerous new player enters the picture: Nubar Wallenstein, an Albanian alchemist determined to achieve immortality, and heir to the world’s largest oil syndicate. He finances a vast network of spies dedicated to destroying the players, and his aim is to win complete power over Jerusalem.
Jerusalem Poker is the second volume of the Jerusalem Quartet, which begins with Sinai Tapestry and continues with Nile Shadows and Jericho Mosaic.
- Pub Date
- Open Road Integrated Media
“Comedy, horror, wit, tragedy, erudition, and breathtaking imagination . . . and it is romantic, as great fantasy dressed in truth must always be.” —The Plain Dealer
“An author of extraordinary talents, albeit one who eludes comparison with other writers . . . If Whittemore were no more than an ‘entertainer’ his novels would be worth their price. But he does something more difficult than intellectual vaudeville. He assassinates the banal, revealing the authentic current of madness that courses through human affairs, reminding us that the fantastic is ubiquitous, invisible only because we’ve shut our eyes to it.” —Harpers Bazaar
“To call Jerusalem Poker One Hundred Years of Solitude with spies would be entirely accurate. . . . Whittemore set out to do nothing less than map a secret history of the world, focusing on the Middle East.” —Jeff VanderMeer
About the author
Edward Whittemore (1933–1995) graduated from Yale University in 1955 and went on to serve as a Marine officer in Japan and spend ten years as a CIA operative in the Far East, Europe, and the Middle East. In addition to writing fiction, he managed a newspaper in Greece, was employed by a shoe company in Italy, and worked in New York City’s narcotics control office during the administration of Mayor John V. Lindsay. He wrote the Jerusalem Quartet while dividing his time between New York and Jerusalem.