A remarkable military thriller from one of the most acclaimed new suspense writers in years—“a triumph of the fiction of contemporary warfare” (Alan Cheuse, The Dallas Morning News).
Khatar. It's a Somali word for 'dangerous,' and it's one that Colonel Michael Parson has heard too often on his present mission. His friend Sophia Gold has talked him into using his leave from the Air Force to fly relief supplies into Somalia in an antique DC-3 cargo plane.
Somalia is infested with armed clans, pirates, poverty, and, increasingly, terrorism. Parson and Gold are about to face all of them firsthand. An al-Shabaab leader called The Sheikh has declared all aid a sin against God, and he launches attacks against planes and convoys to stop it. If that weren't bad enough, a Hollywood actress and activist has flown into Somalia to make a documentary, and, as far as Parson is concerned, she might as well paint targets on their backs. The mission becomes even more complicated when they encounter a wounded teenage al-Shabaab fighter, who might be seeking asylum--or a chance to kill.
Not even Parson knows just how khatar his mission of mercy will become.
In Young's thinly plotted sixth novel featuring the U.S. Air Force's Col. Michael Parson (after 2014's Sand and Fire), Parson serves as a civilian pilot with World Relief Airlift, at the urging of his love interest, U.N. aid worker Sophie Gold. Parson, who flies a 75-year-old DC-3, a twin-engine cargo plane with frightening limitations, sees plenty of action, especially when he's out of the aircraft, running for his life and trying to save his comrades. His chief foe is a 14-year-old Somali terrorist, Hussein, who is willing and eager to do anything his al Shabaab leaders tell him to do, no matter how dangerous or heinous. Young uses every opportunity to gin up the suspense, but the outcome of the struggle between Parson and Hussein is never in serious doubt. This is a strong series, and readers will hope that Parson and Gold tackle a more exciting and complicated mission in their next outing.