3.81 (233 ratings by Goodreads)
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Skelly - a burned-out American foreign correspondent - is back on the beat. Post 9/11, trailing another messy divorce and too many children, he's been dropped into the smoky chaos of Peshawar after scarcely as much preparation as one might make for a weekend at the beach. And, as Skelly soon discovers, this posting is going to be no picnic. To survive the inflamed passions of Peshawar's swirling humanity he will need a 'fixer': a local man who knows the area and speaks English, a nimble, well-connected jack of all trades who can save his skin yet take him where the action is. And for every journalist in Peshawar, the real action is across the border in Afghanistan, where AlQaeda lurk and armed Taliban fighters still cling to power in their mountain strongholds. Skelly chooses Najeeb, the banished son of a tribal warlord. Soon they are driving dusty roads west in the shadowy wake of ex-Mujahedeen Mahmood Razaq, who, armed with dubious assurances of American backing, hopes to stake his claim as leader of the next regime. Skelly's quest for the scoop of a lifetime is no less grandiose. He is determined to track down the charismatic man the whole world is seeking.
But it is Najeeb, torn by his own divided loyalties, who must find the way for both of them, in a land where a single misstep - and a single lapse of trust - can prove fatal.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 480 pages
  • 128 x 198 x 26mm | 310g
  • Black Swan
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • map
  • 055215024X
  • 9780552150248
  • 1,025,530

Review quote

" 'A new book by Dan Fesperman is becoming a major literary event... Fesperman's experience as a war correspondent, together with his powers of description and characterisation, produce an utterly compelling thriller and quite simply the best book I've read all year' - Susanna Yager, Sunday Telegraph 'Hugely satisfying. This book has all the power of a great thriller, with the humanity and intelligence of the best serious fiction' Fergal Keane; 'Dan Fesperman has written that rare thing: a fine and intelligent novel that makes you think, and keeps you turning the pages' Val McDermid 'An intelligent and compelling thriller, sympathetically written' Jo Wilde (crime buyer), Ottakar's; 'Fesperman saturates his thriller with an aching sense of the wounds of the past and the opportunism of modern Europe' Fiona Buckland, Amazon.co.uk"
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About Dan Fesperman

is a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and worked in its Berlin bureau during the years of civil war in former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan during the recent conflict for the paper. His first novel, Lie in the Dark, won the CWA John Creasey award for best first crime novel in 1999 and his second novel, The Small Boat of Great Sorrows, won the 2003 CWA Steel Dagger for Thriller of the Year. His new novel, The Warlord's Son is published by Bantam Press.
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Rating details

233 ratings
3.81 out of 5 stars
5 23% (54)
4 45% (104)
3 24% (56)
2 7% (17)
1 1% (2)
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