The Prisoner of Guantanamo
By Dan Fesperman
(Knopf, Hardcover, 9781400044665, 336pp.)
Publication Date: July 11, 2006
List Price: $24.00*
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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.
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 is a reporter for the Baltimore Sun and worked in its Berlin bureau during the years of civil war in the former Yugoslavia, as well as in Afghanistan during the recent conflict. Lie in the Dark won the Crime Writers’ Association of Britain’s John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for best first crime novel, and The Small Boat of Great Sorrows won their Ian Fleming Steel Dagger Award for best thriller.