An incredible political thriller that’s also a primer on current Middle Eastern conflicts.

Bleedback

TERROR. BLOOD MONEY. COMPASSION.

This debut novel presents an alternate portrait of the Middle East after Osama bin Laden’s death, while also stressing the need to bridge interfaith gaps.

In November 2011, Osama bin Laden is dead and the terrorist organization al-Qaida is in tatters. President Barack Obama’s first term closes with plans to withdraw U.S. troops from Iraq. However, the region still crawls with military contractors, including companies like the Chester Brampton Group, which run wars like for-profit schemes. Against this backdrop, three vital players emerge who have the potential to positively influence the next phase of Islam. The first is the exiled Ayatollah Arman Rastani, a Georgetown University professor who fled Iran after Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini’s revolution. Rastani is slandered relentlessly as a spy and a spiritual inspiration for Iranian terrorists, and he’s kidnapped to London for interrogation. Then there’s Aleksandr Kozhevnikov, a former Spetsnaz (special forces) operative, who’s assigned by Russia’s Foreign Intelligence Service to help dismantle American contractors’ systematic manipulation of Middle Eastern resources. Finally, there’s Atamar “The Wolf” Anagul, a retired al-Qaida strategist who’s sought by his former terrorist allies, who wish to obliterate all aspects of moderate Islam—including Rastani. When a high-profile American visitor is killed near the United Nations’ fortified Green Zone, the lives of these three determined men fatefully intersect. In her terrifying but optimistic novel, Griffith-Dickson explores the reality of post-Osama bin Laden global events and speculates on how the creation of the Islamic State terrorist group might have been prevented; at one point, for example, Atamar says, “the only way to outmanoeuvre them is to build a pan-Islamic movement in Iraq.” The author offers a sweeping panorama that surrounds readers with many viewpoints on the saga of modern Islam, including those of British teenagers descending into terrorism and that of Rastani, who believes that one must “Move all things by love, with your desire, and that is how you transform evil into good, and goodness into perfection.” This novel is for anyone who’d like to see a future that’s built by discussion and compassion, rather than violence.

An incredible political thriller that’s also a primer on current Middle Eastern conflicts. 

Pub Date: Oct. 3, 2016

ISBN: 978-0-9576046-2-9

Page Count: -

Publisher: Ismo Books

Review Posted Online: Nov. 2, 2016

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TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

A first novel, this is also a first person account of Scout's (Jean Louise) recall of the years that led to the ending of a mystery, the breaking of her brother Jem's elbow, the death of her father's enemy — and the close of childhood years. A widower, Atticus raises his children with legal dispassion and paternal intelligence, and is ably abetted by Calpurnia, the colored cook, while the Alabama town of Maycomb, in the 1930's, remains aloof to their divergence from its tribal patterns. Scout and Jem, with their summer-time companion, Dill, find their paths free from interference — but not from dangers; their curiosity about the imprisoned Boo, whose miserable past is incorporated in their play, results in a tentative friendliness; their fears of Atticus' lack of distinction is dissipated when he shoots a mad dog; his defense of a Negro accused of raping a white girl, Mayella Ewell, is followed with avid interest and turns the rabble whites against him. Scout is the means of averting an attack on Atticus but when he loses the case it is Boo who saves Jem and Scout by killing Mayella's father when he attempts to murder them. The shadows of a beginning for black-white understanding, the persistent fight that Scout carries on against school, Jem's emergence into adulthood, Calpurnia's quiet power, and all the incidents touching on the children's "growing outward" have an attractive starchiness that keeps this southern picture pert and provocative. There is much advance interest in this book; it has been selected by the Literary Guild and Reader's Digest; it should win many friends.

Pub Date: July 11, 1960

ISBN: 0060935464

Page Count: 323

Publisher: Lippincott

Review Posted Online: Oct. 7, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 1960

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ONE DAY IN THE LIFE OF IVAN DENISOVICH

While a few weeks ago it seemed as if Praeger would have a two month lead over Dutton in their presentation of this Soviet best seller, both the "authorized" edition (Dutton's) and the "unauthorized" (Praeger's) will appear almost simultaneously. There has been considerable advance attention on what appears to be as much of a publishing cause celebre here as the original appearance of the book in Russia. Without entering into the scrimmage, or dismissing it as a plague on both your houses, we will limit ourselves to a few facts. Royalties from the "unauthorized" edition will go to the International Rescue Committee; Dutton with their contracted edition is adhering to copyright conventions. The Praeger edition has two translators and one of them is the translator of Doctor Zhivago Dutton's translator, Ralph Parker, has been stigmatized by Praeger as "an apologist for the Soviet regime". To the untutored eye, the Dutton translation seems a little more literary, the Praeger perhaps closer to the rather primitive style of the original. The book itself is an account of one day in the three thousand six hundred and fifty three days of the sentence to be served by a carpenter, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov. (Solzhenitsyn was a political prisoner.) From the unrelenting cold without, to the conditions within, from the bathhouse to the latrine to the cells where survival for more than two weeks is impossible, this records the hopeless facts of existence as faced by thousands who went on "living like this, with your eyes on the ground". The Dutton edition has an excellent introduction providing an orientation on the political background to its appearance in Russia by Marvin Kalb. All involved in its publication (translators, introducers, etc.) claim for it great "artistic" values which we cannot share, although there is no question of its importance as a political and human document and as significant and tangible evidence of the de-Stalinization program.

Pub Date: June 15, 1963

ISBN: 0451228146

Page Count: 181

Publisher: Praeger

Review Posted Online: Oct. 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15, 1963

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