The unlikely heroes, heart, charm, humor, intelligence, and gripping tension of both Miller's first novel, Norwegian by Night, and now this stunningly powerful and insanely funny second novel, make Miller one of my favorite comtemporary novelists. Miller wrote his dissertation on the Iraq civil war of 1991 and writes in the afterword to this book that he knew that he "needed to return to the subject matter through fiction, where a greater range of truths could be explored." This novel, set mostly in Iraq, but international in scope, is the result. All of the characters are captivating, but I have to single out the American soldier, Arwood Hobbs, as one of the most original, troubled, enigmatic, and hilarious characters ever. I will never forget him. And the man who created Arwood also wrote lines such as this: "There was no topsoil. There was surely a proper reason for this, but Benton imagined that too many feet had walked here for too long in search of too much." This book which addresses a host of themes with insight, humor, and compassion, will be with me literally and figuratively always.
Finalist for the CWA Gold Dagger Award, "Best Crime Novel of the Year"
"As daring in execution as imagination, this adventure tale crackles with heart, charm and dark honesty." -- Shelf Awareness
"Not to be missed, this is a compelling combination of literate storytelling and action-packed thriller laced with humor." -- Library Journal, starred review
1991. One hundred miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who is starting an ambitious career reporting from war zones, resulting in the estrangement of his wife and daughter; Arwood is a naive small-town American private bored out of his skull waiting for something--anything--to happen. Desert Storm is over, peace has been declared, but as they argue about whether it makes sense to cross the nearest border in search of an ice cream, they become embroiled in a horrific attack in which a young local girl in a green dress is killed as they are trying to protect her. The two men walk away into their respective lives. But something has cracked for them both. Twenty-two years later, in another place, in another war, they meet again as changed men. Time, politics, or maybe fate is now offering an unlikely opportunity to redeem themselves when that same girl in green is found alive and in need of salvation. Or is she?
"Written with Miller's incisive wit, intelligence, compassion and authenticity, this is a novel from a writer fast becoming a master of his craft." -- Evening Post (UK)
"Swift, gripping, and mined with surprises." -- David Shafer, author of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
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