Spotlight ~ Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by @Kim_Barker #Memoir #TuesdayBookBlog

WTF Originally published by Doubleday in 2011 as The Taliban Shuffle: Strange Days in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and soon to be a major film production by Paramount Pictures, based on Kim Barker’s memoir, WHISKEY TANGO FOXTROT is due to be released on March 4th, 2016 and stars Tina Fey, Margot Robbie, Martin Freeman, Billy Bob Thornton and Alfred Molina. Barker uses her wry, incisive voice to expose the absurdities and tragedies of the “forgotten war,” finding humor and humanity amid the rubble and heartbreak.  

Kim first arrived in Kabul as a journalist in 2002.  At the time she barely owned a passport, spoke only English and had little idea how to do the “Taliban Shuffle” between Afghanistan and Pakistan.  Her stories about Islamic militants and shaky reconstruction were soon overshadowed by the bigger news in Iraq.  The more she delved deeper into Pakistan and Afghanistan, the more her love for the hapless countries grew, along with her fear for their future stability.  Read this darkly comic and unsparing memoir before you watch the movie. Continue reading

Suspect ~ the audiobook

LAPD cop Scott James is not doing so well. Eight months ago, a shocking late-night assault by unidentified men killed his partner Stephanie, nearly killed him, and left him enraged, ashamed, and ready to explode. He is unfit for duty – until he meets his new partner.

A story involving man’s (and woman’s) best friend is a very good starting point for me. Especially when the dog in question is a GSD.  Maggie is military trained and on active duty with her handler, Pete, in Afghanistan. They have an incredibly close relationship, living and working together. While on a job one day Pete is killed by a suicide bomber and Maggie is shot and badly injured by a sniper.

Scott James is a police officer with the LAPD and while on patrol with his partner, Stephanie, becomes unwittingly involved in a shooting.  Stephanie doesn’t make it and Scott is seriously wounded.

Several months later Scott and Maggie are recovering physically but both are severely traumatized.  Maggie misses her pack leader and is sunk in depression and Scott blames himself for Stephanie’s death and is suffering from flashbacks and nightmares as well as coping with the lasting effects of his injuries.

Scott doesn’t want a medical discharge and joins the LAPD’s canine division. Maggie is classed as unfit for active duty and is taken to the canine division. And here begins an incredible story of the bond between a dog and her human, the interaction and building of trust and love after the traumas they both suffered.

MacLeod magic strikes again 🙂  A perfect narration expressing the despair Scott feels and the growing attachment between him and Maggie, the ‘doggie speak’ delivered without sounding corny. The character portrayals are first-rate, both soft voiced and gruffer and gravelly.

The opening chapters particularly are powerful and moving and it’s very easy to become emotionally involved with the Maggie and Scott.  If you’re a dog lover ( and maybe even if you’re not) be prepared to shed a few tears.

There are multi layers to this story and running alongside Scott and Maggie’s bonding is the murder mystery. Scott is determined to find Stephanie’s killers and together he and Maggie bring down the bad guys in a suspenseful and tension filled storyline.

 I like the way Mr Crais writes some scenes from Maggie’s point of view. He has a wonderful insight into the relationships between dogs and humans.

Buy from Amazon UK