1972, Beirut, Lebanon. Young American Matthew lives with his father, a rising foreign service attache, and mother, in an exclusive community of ex-patriots. It is the summer Matthew becomes a teenager, falls in love, nearly dies, and watches his family, and the city, fall apart.
It is in this world of Western schemers and local merchants, of hoodlums and politicians, that Matthew begins to solve the mystery of who his father really is, and what role he is really playing in the upheaval that is shaking the city loose of its old, civilized and way and ushering in a new and frightening radicalism.
This is the story of a boy and a family, besieged. Intimate in scope and wrenching in its vision of lost innocence, City on the Edge is a mystery and spy story from the past, and a coming of age story for our time.