The Zargari Incident
During a rocket attack on his military base in Afghanistan, the graveyard of empires, a young American diplomat isn't running for the bunker. He's in bed with a missionary aid worker.
Sonny Sonnenfeld is a foreign service officer with the U.S. Agency for International Development. He's been posted to a strategic but forgotten corner of war-torn Afghanistan where he's the sole civilian representative of the U.S. government and its money. Clara Santos is the sole aid worker still brave enough-- or crazy enough-- to stick it out in this violent backwater province. She's a beautiful, conflicted woman and Sonny has fallen for her hard.
Then Clara goes missing in Zargari, a godforsaken desert town crawling with insurgents and drug-runners. What she was doing down there, no one knows. Armed only with his wits and an iPod loaded with jazz, Sonny plunges into a desperate search for Clara. From dusty forward operating bases to a garish narco palace to a lonely Silk Road ruin, Sonny uncovers the plots and counter-plots swirling around Clara's disappearance. His survival depends on knowing who to trust. But he quickly learns that in a murky war zone like this one, cold-blooded killers and con-men can be heroes and anyone can be the enemy -- Marines, insurgents, his own Afghan colleagues, a druglord wearing makeup and bling, and most especially a cross-dressing, rifle-toting American businesswoman who's playing a very deep game. Even as he's drawn to her, Sonny trusts her least of all. He's forced to wrestle with his own best and worst instincts in this page-turning thriller that wrestles with the dark complexities of America at war. The labyrinth of conspiracies and betrayals is made vividly real by journalist Kristin Henderson's experience reporting with Marines and diplomats in Afghanistan.
In the end, on a velvety green wheat field surrounded by endless acres of opium poppy, Sonny's dogged pursuit of the truth erupts in both betrayal and redemption.
- Kristin Henderson, November 2012
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