A suspenseful Balkans thriller by the author of The American Mission (2014).
Twenty years after the Bosnian War, Eric Petrosian works for the U.S. State Department and is assigned to advise the ambassador to Bosnia. He couldn’t stop the murders of his friend Meho Alimerovic and thousands of other men and boys in Srebrenica during that conflict, and he still feels guilty. Now, in this complex story, a second war is on the verge of breaking out in a country that’s haunted by ghosts and toe tags. European Union diplomat Annika Sondergaard has a plan to stop this war before it starts, and Eric works to help her. Smart and humane, Eric is intensely aware of the genocide that has already occurred in the Balkans, one of the “great civilizational fault lines.” On the other side are men like the sociopath Marko Barcelona, who knows that “money is power and power is money.” Marko possesses a secret videotape showing the now politically powerful Zoran Dimitrovic shooting men in the back of the head in 1995—so Marko controls Zoran. Marko used to be “a worm…feeding on the droppings of his betters” but prefers being a wolf to a worm and a king to a wolf. And there is Darko Lukic, a talented sniper who loves to shoot children and pregnant women—and never misses, even from 2 kilometers away. He is “the god of death” for whom “killing from a distance was an act of worship.” Time is running out for Eric to save Darko’s next target, Annika, whose peace plan is the last, best chance to avoid another war.
Well-written, exciting, and fast-paced fiction by a diplomat with deep knowledge of the Balkans.