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An Accidental American

by Alex Carr

Forced out of a self-imposed exile, one woman faces a lifetime's worth of secrets and betrayal-all in the name of staying alive. Nicole Blake had planned to leave her criminal life in the past. She had done her time in a dank prison in Marseille and relinquished the world of forgery and counterfeiting for an unassuming career as a freelance consultant. Now her world is a small farm in the French Pyrenees, with daily fresh eggs and the companionship of her devoted dog. But when U. S. intelligence operative John Valsamis shows up at her door, Nicole is reminded that she'll always be an ex-con. Valsamis is after Nicole's former lover, Rahim Ali, and soon Nicole finds herself back in Lisbon, tracking down Rahim in all their old haunts. Except now Rahim isn't just a document forger-he's a suspected terrorist. Unwittingly drawn into an international web of fundamentalism, crime, and corruption, Nicole discovers that its threads stretch from the cobbled streets of Lisbon to the once-beautiful city of her birth, Beirut, and to the top levels of the government that sent Valsamis to find her. And as with any good web, the harder Nicole fights to free herself, the tighter it closes around her. "Thought-provoking . . . The gritty atmosphere is perfectly drawn, and complex layers of lies and betrayal keep the reader happily guessing up to the end. " -Publishers Weekly "Chilling and utterly believable,An Accidental Americanhurls the reader into the dark and forbidding world of espionage. Not to be missed. " -Gayle Lynds, author ofThe Last Spymaster ______________________________________________________________ THE MORTALIS DOSSIER- ALEX CARR'S NOTE ON THE BOMBING OF THE AMERICAN EMBASSY IN BEIRUT On April 18, 1983, at one o'clock in the afternoon, a van carrying two thousand pounds of explosives blew up outside the American embassy in Beirut, killing sixty-three people. Among the victims were seventeen Americans, eight of whom represented the Central Intelligence Agency's entire Middle East contingent. In the years preceding the bombing, an increasing number of attacks on Western and Israeli interests had been carried out by Palestinian and Muslim extremists, but the Beirut bombing was widely seen as a watershed event for American policies in the region. With the exception of the seizure of the American embassy in Tehran four years earlier, an act that was carried out within the framework of Iran's Islamic revolution, the embassy bombing represented the first time America had been so directly and bloodily targeted by Islamic terrorists for its military involvement in the Middle East. It's impossible to see why the United States was such an unwelcome force without an understanding of the history of Lebanon and the surrounding region, and of American and Western involvement in the politics of the Middle East in general. Though Lebanon has existed in one form or another since the ninth century b. c. , the modern country of Lebanon was not established until 1920, when it was granted to the French as part of a system of mandates established for the administration of former Turkish and German territories following World War I and the collapse of the Ottoman Empire. In fact, almost all of what we think of as the modern Middle East was shaped by these mandates. America's first direct intervention in Lebanese politics came in 1946. During World War II, Lebanon had been declared a free state in order to liberate it from Vichy control. But when, after the war, Lebanon eventually moved toward full independence, the French balked, and the United States, Britain, and several Arab governments stepped

The Prince of Bagram Prison

by Alex Carr

A riveting and intricate literary thriller from the author The New York Times Book Review says "speaks up in a voice that gets your attention like a rifle shot . . . clean, direct, and a little dangerous. " Army Intelligence reservist Kat Caldwell is teaching Arabic at a military college in Virginia when the order comes: Retired spy chief Dick Morrow needs to find a CIA informant who has slipped away from his handler in Spain and may be heading to Morocco. Jamal was a prisoner whom Kat interrogated when she worked at Bagram Airbase in Afghanistan. Having gained his trust, she is now expected to discover his whereabouts on a treacherous trail that leads from Madrid's red-light district to the slums of Casablanca. But when a British Special Forces soldier is murdered just as he is about to give testimony on the death of a Bagram detainee, Kat begins to suspect that the real story here is one of the cover-up of U. S. -sanctioned torture. And when in desperation Jamal contacts his former CIA handler, he unwittingly rekindles a bitter struggle between the one man who can save him and the one who wants him dead. Praise for Alex Carr's An Accidental American "A swift, clean, nuanced thriller . . . deeply atmospheric. " -The Seattle Times, Best Crime Novels of 2007 "Demonstrates fiction's power to follow a shard of glass from the great explosion, to examine its bloodstained edges and explore the passion, foolishness, tragedy and flawed humanity traced by its journey toward discovery . . . In this novel, we learn how to decipher the language of war, its mismanaged intent and complex ramifications. " -January Magazine, Best Books of 2007

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