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Saturday, August 23, 2008

Department of Book Reports: The Prince of Bagram Prison

The Prince of Bagram Prison by Alex Carr (Mortalis, $13.95)

SeattleDan reported on The Accidental American last year, and this year's offering from Alex Carr is even richer and more detailed.

Jamal, a young orphaned Moroccan boy who had once been recruited to snitch for the C.I.A. has gone on the run since contacting his old handler, Harry Comfort. Mr. Harry had committed the number one sin, giving the youth his phone number before retiring to Hawaii. Now old enemies of Comfort surface and Army Intelligence specialist Katherine 'Kat' Calwell is recalled to the Middle East to find the boy before they do. Jamal dreams of going to America, and the prize is tauntingly held out before him, even as the operatives smirk about the futility of that wish.

Carr writes a richly atmospheric world, with finely drawn characters. The conflict between those sympathetic to Jamal and those trying to silence him is an escalating cat and mouse chase of international mazes.

Alex Carr is a pseudonym for Jenny Siler. I knew Jenny back when she wrote her first mystery thriller and lived in Seattle. I've always loved her novels, but these last two have both been stand-outs. I recommend both of the Mortalis titles for a great summer spy read.

What's on your night stand these days?

The Prince of Bagram Prison is available at Fine Independent Bookstores everywhere!. démocommié™™™™™©®ç åü courant's remodeling advice has been completely useless, and the Jackson Street Books remodel will take a little longer as we have permits re-drawn and try to steer the project away from "Money Pit" territory.

Update! SeattleDan was interviewed recently on why we closed the Seattle branch of Jackson Street Books for an article on the demise of so many Seattle bookstores. I don't think they can brag about having more bookstores than churches anymore.

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We'll try dumping haloscan and see how it works.