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The Prince of Bagram Prison: A Novel…
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The Prince of Bagram Prison: A Novel (Mortalis)

by Alex Carr

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502355,821 (3.81)2
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 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 of the cover-up of US-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.… (more)

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After reading Alex Carr's first novel (at least, the first under that name), AN ACCIDENTAL AMERICAN, I was anxious to get my hands on her latest, THE PRINCE OF BAGRAM PRISON. Feeling slight trepidation that the first amazing novel written under that pseudonym might be a hard act to top, I nevertheless got hold of a copy, as soon as I could.

I'm happy to say that this book only deepened my respect for Carr and increased my devotion to her work.

This isn't to say that THE PRINCE OF BAGRAM PRISON is a novel that everyone will embrace. As in her previous book, Carr engages in a good deal of narrative time shifting. And, unlike AN ACCIDENTAL AMERICAN, in which different people tended to show up at different times, the time shifts in this book tend to involve the same people throughout--so it's easy to get confused about what year it is and where you are exactly when the shifts take place. But if you pay attention, the effort will pay off.

Like her previous book, Carr is dealing in the shadowy world of espionage--this time, though, she focuses on the post-9/11 world (flashing back, now and then, to the final throes of the Vietnam War). We meet Kat Caldwell, an Army intelligence reservist, who's called away from her teaching post at a Virginia military college to help locate a young boy--a CIA informant--who's disappeared. Kat is enlisted to aid a not-so-nice (to really understate the matter) intelligence operative in this quest, because she grew to know the young man while interrogating him at Bagram Prison.

The entire review can be accessed on my book blog at http://thebookgrrl.blogspot.com/2009/01/prince-of-bagram-prison-time-shifting.ht... ( )
  infogirl2k | Jan 13, 2009 |
A stunningly good book. Reviewed for Mystery Scene Magazine.
  bfister | Jul 20, 2008 |
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