A Bitter Veil

Cover Image

A Bitter Veil tells the story of Anna and Nouri, both studying in Chicago, who fall in love despite their very different backgrounds. Anna, who has never been close to her parents, is more than happy to return with Nouri to his native Iran, to be embraced by his wealthy family. Beginning their married life together in 1978, their world is abruptly turned upside down by the overthrow of the Shah, and the rise of the Islamic Republic.

Under the Ayatollah Khomeini and the Republican Guard, life becomes increasingly restricted and Anna must learn to exist in a transformed world, where none of the familiar Western rules apply. Random arrests and torture become the norm, women are required to wear hijab, and Anna discovers that she is no longer free to leave the country.

As events reach a fevered pitch, Anna realizes that nothing is as she thought, and no one can be trusted… not even her husband.

In July, 2014, A Bitter Veil was translated into German as Bitterer Schleier. It is available in both print and ebook formats and can be found here.


Hellmann crafts a tragically beautiful story around a message that is both subtle and vibrant. The author does an amazing job of delivering her point but never by sacrificing the quality of her storytelling. Instead, the message drives the psychological and
emotional conflict painting a bleak and heart-wrenching tale that will stick with the reader long after they finish the book.

Bryan VanMeter, Crimespree Magazine

The Iranian revolution provides the backdrop for this meticulously researched, fast-paced stand-alone… A significant departure from the author’s Chicago-based Ellie Foreman and Georgia Davis mystery series, this political thriller will please established fans and newcomers alike.

Publishers Weekly

Readers will be drawn in through the well-researched inside look at Iran in the late 1970s and gain perspective on what the people in that time and place endured. A Bitter Veil is so thought-provoking that it especially would be a great title for book clubs to discuss.

Amy Alessio, BookReporter.com

Certainly there have been other books written about this time and place in history, but A Bitter Veil is one of the best.

Caryn St. Clair, Bestsellersworld.com

Well-drawn characters have always been a hallmark of Hellmann’s writing, and here she’s as strong as usual… [a] suspenseful, well-researched book.

Betty Webb, Mystery Scene