Author: Tal Bauer
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: April 26, 2018
Genre(s): Contemporary, Military
Page Count: 951 pages
Reviewed by: Tosha
Heat Level: 3 flames out of 5
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
The truth is complicated.
On September 11th, 2001, Kris Caldera was a junior member of the CIA’s Alec Station, the unit dedicated to finding and stopping Osama Bin Laden.
Ten days later, he was on the ground in Afghanistan with a Special Forces team, driven to avenge the ghosts that haunted him and the nation he’d let down. On the battlefield, he meets Special Forces Sergeant David Haddad. David – Arab American, Muslim, and gay – becomes the man Kris loves, the man he lives for, and the man he kills for, through the long years of the raging wars.
David Haddad thought he’d be an outsider his whole life. Too American for the Middle East, too Arab for America, and too gay to be Muslim. It took Kris to bring the parts of himself together, to make him the man he’d always wanted to be. But the War on Terror wreaks havoc on David’s soul, threatening to shatter the fragile peace he’s finally found with Kris.
When a botched mission rips David from Kris’s life, Kris’s world falls into ruin and ash. A shell of the man who once loved with the strength to shake both the CIA and the world, he marks time on the edges of his life. The days bleed together, meaningless after losing the love of his life.
After being captured, tortured to the edge of his life, and left for dead by his comrades, David doesn’t know how much of himself is left. He vanished one day in the tribal belt of Pakistan, and the man who walks out almost a decade later is someone new: Al Dakhil Al-Khorasani.
But strange rumblings are whispering through the CIA. Intelligence from multiple sources overseas points to something new. Something deadly, and moving to strike the United States. Intercepts say an army from Khorasan, the land of the dead where the Apocalypse of Islam will rise, is coming.
And, at the head of this army, a shadowy figure the US hasn’t seen before: Al Dakhil Al-Khorasani.
David is coming home.
This book blew me away. Trigger Warnings: 9/11 and the aftermath that follows. This book has a lot of details of what did or could have happened following the attack on the US. This book could trigger some bad memories of a time that some may want to forget.
Kris is a language specialist for the CIA. On September 11, 2001 the nation endured a horrible tragedy that in Kris’s opinion could have been avoided. Bin Laden attacked the United States on our own turf. Kris feels that he may have could of prevented this from happeneding if he had brought the intel that the CIA had been gathering on the men that over took the planes and turned it over to the FBI so they would have maybe been able to prevent it from happening in the first place.
When the president orders the CIA on a mission to capture Bin Laden along with special ops officers, Kris is sent this mission. He will be going in as an interpreter and trying to help to get allies on the Untied States side. This is were he meets the special ops medic David.
David immediately feels a connection to Kris the moment they meet. Kris is not as big as the other agents and the military personal that he is sent on this mission with. He also has no experience out in the field. So immediately David feels that he needs to watch Kris’s back. Not to mention the fact that Kris is gay and does not hide it.
David and Kris continue to get closer over the course of their mission. They stick close to one another throughout most of the mission other than when David is on his separate mission to find Bin Laden. Though Kris finds himself more and more attracted to David, he is unsure of whether he is straight or not.
On an extremely dangerous mission before David leaves Kris and David finally admit their feelings for the other. But in a time of war, can one be truly sure of whether it is just the war that brought them close or is the feelings real?
This is a long read but it is definitely a book worth reading. This book will definitely take you back to some sad times but it also gives the reader an inside look at what could have or did happen behind the scenes. There is so much that happened following the attacks on 9/11, but this book is a detailed retelling of the aftermath. There are so many ups and downs. There is both sadness and some happiness in a time of war. This is a book that needs to be read in my opinion. It is definitely worth the read.