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Thriller set in Iraq (then and now…)

21st July 2016

The Girl In Green by Derek B Miller, thriller set in Iraq.

It is 1991 in Iraq – the first Gulf War is drawing to a close. Arwood Hobbes, a US soldier, is manning a border outpost. Thomas Benton, a UK journalist, wants to cross the border to get into a rebel-held Shiite village. Arwood lets him – but then all hell is let loose as the Sunni Iraqi army brings in a helicopter gunship and starts strafing the village and landing troops. Arwood goes in to rescue Thomas. As they escape an Iraqi army commander shoots in the back ‘a girl in green’ who had been leading them out, and they are powerless to save her. The guilt lives with them…

IMG_4643Fast forward to 2013. Arwood calls Hobbes and tells him to look at a news report from Northern Iraq. ‘A girl in green’ – remarkably like the one from 21 years ago – is in a convoy of Syrian refugees that is ambushed. Many are killed, but Arwood is convinced that the girl survived. They head to Iraq with the intent of finding her and, in some way, atoning for their earlier failure. They base themselves with Märta, a Swedish UN relief worker – and head of a refugee complex. Märta had also featured in the original story… Together with a local driver they set off to the scene of the ambush.

What follows is fast and furious. No more, for fear of a spoiler.

A short while ago we posted a blog entitled Thriller Writers with A Conscience in which we interviewed three writers who wrote great thrillers – but also used their talent to combine great stories with their political and social consciences. We are not lectured in these books but, almost under the radar, the messages get across to us. We enjoy the read – and we learn something of the world in which we live. I would put Derek Miller firmly into this category. The Girl In Green is a very exciting page-turner – but at the same time it is much more. Derek is director of The Policy Lab and a senior fellow with the United Nations Institute for Disarmament Research. In reading the book we learn a great deal about modern Iraq, the current Syrian war, the refugee camps – and the Middle East in general. All from the perspective of those fleeing from conflict and persecution. Or those that will remain on the ground after the aid workers move on.

The Girl In Green is both an exciting and also a worthwhile read, and a great book to follow on from Norwegian by Night

Tony for the TripFiction team

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For more books set in IRAQ, just click here


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