Author: Tom Young
A remarkable military thriller from one of the most acclaimed new suspense writers in years—“a triumph of the fiction of contemporary warfare” (Alan Cheuse, The Dallas Morning News)
Khatar. It's a Somali word for 'dangerous,' and it's one that Colonel Michael Parson has heard too often on his present mission. His friend Sophia Gold has talked him into using his leave from the Air Force to fly relief supplies into Somalia in an antique DC-3 cargo plane. Somalia is infested with armed clans, pirates, poverty, and, increasingly, terrorism. Parson and Gold are about to face all of them firsthand. An al-Shabaab leader called The Sheikh has declared all aid a sin against God, and he launches attacks against planes and convoys to stop it. If that weren't bad enough, a Hollywood actress and activist has flown into Somalia to make a documentary, and, as far as Parson is concerned, she might as well paint targets on their backs. The mission becomes even more complicated when they encounter a wounded teenage al-Shabaab fighter, who might be seeking asylum--or a chance to kill. Not even Parson knows just how khatar his mission of mercy will become.
Thomas W. Young has logged nearly 4,000 hours as a flight engineer for the Air National Guard in Afghanistan, Iraq, Bosnia, Kosovo, and elsewhere, including Latin America, the Horn of Africa, and the Far East. Military honors include two Air Medals, three Aerial Achievement Medals, and the Air Force Combat Action Medal. He continues to serve with the Air National Guard as a Senior Master Sergeant. He holds degrees from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and studied writing there and at the Sewanee Writers’ Conference, among other places. He is also the author of the oral history The Speed of Heat: An Airlift Wing at War in Iraq and Afghanistan, and contributed to the anthology Operation Homecoming, edited by Andrew Carroll.