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It is the spring of 2003 and coalition forces are advancing on Iraq. Images of a giant statue of Saddam Hussein crashing to the ground in Baghdad are being beamed to news channels around the world. Nineteen-year-old Specialist Cassandra Wigheard, on her first deployment since joining the US army two years earlier, is primed for war.

For Abu al-Hool, a jihadist since the days of the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, war is wearing thin. Two decades of fighting have left him questioning his commitment to the struggle. When Cassandra is taken prisoner by al-Hool’s mujahideen brotherhood, both fighters will find their loyalties tested to the very limits.

From Publishers Weekly

06 February 2017 – The horrors of modern war in Iraq in 2003 are vividly described in this debut novel by Iraq War veteran Van Reet, focusing on the deadly connections between a female American soldier, an American tank crewman, and a fervent jihadist insurgent. At an obscure roadblock near Baghdad, Army Specialist Cassandra is a gunner on a Humvee, idealistic and proud of her service. Private Sleed, the tank crewman, is na ve and easily manipulated. And Abu Al-Hool loses a leadership struggle with Dr. Walid, an Islamist extremist. Sleed and his crew have abandoned their posts to loot a palace when Walid and Al-Hool's fighters attack the American roadblock, and Cassandra is wounded and captured by the jihadists, beginning 55 days of torture, abuse, and exploitation for propaganda. Sleed feels guilty that their dereliction of duty contributed to Cassandra's capture. While the Americans search for Cassandra, Al-Hool suspects Walid will have him killed, so he makes desperate plans to avoid assassination and to seek his revenge. Cassandra's POW captivity is horrific; Dr. Walid's final propaganda use for her is calmly diabolical and will have surprising and devastating effect. Van Reet's unsettling tale is an authentic portrayal of combat with its chaos, fear, and the finality of death. It is also a sobering commentary on war's brutality and the burning intensity of Iraq's jihadist insurgency.
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  • $10.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: 18 May 2017
  • Publisher: Random House
  • Seller: The Random House Group Ltd.
  • Print Length: 272 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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