The Unknown Soldier

Let’s call him Caleb. He has spent the last two years locked up at Camps X-Ray & Delta. He has kept quiet, kept to his cover story, and kept his pride. Now he’s going “home” to Afghanistan. But that’s just the start of the journey to his Al Qaeda “family”.

The bulk of the novel is set in the sands of Saudi Arabia. We get excursions to the compounds where highly paid foreign workers continually grumble about the country they have chosen to work for. We meet an English doctor called Bart who would rather be anywhere else but circumstances have put him here. Then there’s Eddie Wroughton, a British spy who is full of self importance and huffs when he’s locked out of his own personal “Special Relationship” with an American colleague.

Beth is an English teacher for the local oil workers who wants nothing more than to drive out to the dessert and find a new meteor crater. Marty and Lizzy-Jo are operators of the Predator unmanned aircraft who are scanning the endless sands for signs of a camel convoy.

You know that eventually their lives will intertwine and decisions will have to be made.

It was inevitable that Gerald Seymour would turn his attention to the post 9/11 world we now live in and the so-called “War on Terror”. If you’ve read any of his previous books you will know there are no easy answers. The “detainee” camps in Cuba seem detached from reality. And one dispossessed product of our own Western culture, growing up with nothing but despair, may be the most dangerous enemy of all.

Well worth a look, but don’t expect any happy answers.