Book: The Prisoner of Guantánamo

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Book:

The Prisoner of Guantánamo: A Novel

Author: Dan Fesperman
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Publisher: Alfred A. Knopf

Revere Falk—FBI veteran, Arabic speaker—is an interrogator at “Gitmo,” assigned to a “hold-out,” a Yemeni prisoner who may have valuable information about al-Qaeda. But these duties are temporarily suspended when the body of an American soldier is found washed ashore in Cuban territory. No American has ever turned up dead on the wrong side of the fence before. Suddenly, Cold War tension is back, and Falk finds himself at the heart of it when he’s put in charge of the investigation into the death. Almost immediately he senses an unusual level of interest in the proceedings: from his commander, from the Cubans, and from the various factions of the military. And when the Defense Intelligence Agency unexpectedly sends its own team to “reinforce” the investigation, Falk understands that there is much more at play than anybody is willing to admit. He is drawn into a game of evasion and pursuit, a game whose stakes spike dangerously when a figure from his past reappears—someone who knows secrets about him that he had hoped were buried forever.

An intricately layered, blistering tale of subterfuge and deception at the highest, most hidden levels of the government, and in the most intimate, and vulnerable, moments of individual lives, The Prisoner of Guantánamo is as timely and razor sharp in its depiction of life—and death—at Gitmo as it is unstoppably suspenseful.

Dan Fesperman’s award-winning novels have transported readers to the heart of some of the world’s most volatile places: Yugoslavia during the Balkan Wars in Lie in the Dark and The Small Boat of Great Sorrows (“A new standard for war-based thrillers”—Los Angeles Times), and Afghanistan during the last days of the Taliban in The Warlord’s Son (“A first-rate geopolitical yarn”—Entertainment Weekly). Now he turns his sights closer to home—to the secretive, overheated world of Guantánamo—to give us a galvanizing new thriller.

Reviews

Barnes and Noble

Cover-ups and conspiracies abound in another Dan Fesperman novel inspired by recent world events, The Prisoner of Guantánamo. Set in and around the U.S. detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, the story follows former Marine and current FBI interrogator Revere Falk, as he is called to investigate the possible murder of an American soldier stationed at Gitmo whose body washed ashore in Cuban territory.

Arabic-speaking interrogator Falk, frustrated with the situation at Gitmo (“too few detainees of real value, too many agencies tussling over the scraps”), is close to a breakthrough with one of his charges, a young Yemeni jihadist who may have invaluable information about al-Qaeda, when the corpse of an American soldier found on Cuban soil turns the base into a suspicion-charged powder keg. Falk’s investigation leads him to some startling realizations—and also puts him directly in the line of fire…

Readers interested in current world events—and especially those who have enjoyed Fesperman’s previous novels—Lie in the Dark (which takes place in war-torn Bosnia) and The Warlord’s Son (set in Afghanistan and Pakistan after 9/11)—will find satisfaction in this book, which is based on facts and insights obtained with the help of the American Civil Liberties Union. According to the acknowledgments, the ACLU employed the Freedom of Information Act to pry loose hundreds of Camp Delta documents that the author used as research. Infused with paranoia, political posturing, and propaganda, this timely thriller is guaranteed to entertain—and enrage. Paul Goat Allen

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