“A compelling combination of literate storytelling and action-packed thriller laced with humor.” — Library Journal (starred review)
Finalist for the CWA Gold Dagger Award for Best Crime Novel of the Year
1991: One hundred miles from the Kuwaiti border, Thomas Benton meets Arwood Hobbes. Benton is a British journalist who reports from war zones in part to avoid his lackluster marriage and a daughter he loves but cannot connect with; Arwood is an American private who might be an insufferable ignoramus or might be a genuine lunatic with a death wish—it's hard to tell. Desert Storm is over, peace has been declared, but as they argue about whether it makes sense to cross the nearest border in search of an ice cream, they become embroiled in a horrific attack in which a young local girl in a green dress is killed as they are trying to protect her.
The two men walk away into their respective lives. But something has cracked for them both. Twenty-two years later, in another place, in another war, they meet again and are offered an unlikely opportunity to redeem themselves when that same girl in green is found alive and in need of salvation. Or is she?
“Swift, gripping, and mined with surprises…Arwood Hobbes is as intriguing an operative as Graham Greene's quiet American, but without the quiet.”—David Shafer, author of Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
“[A] stellar, electrifying story with a knockout ending.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“A penetrating, poetic, and unexpectedly disarming book about the ageless conflict in the Middle East.”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“A Catch-22 for the twenty-first century.”—Madison Smartt Bell, National Book Award finalist and author of All Souls' Rising