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The atrocities and betrayals John Ralston has seen in forty years of UN field work - teachers raped, acid thrown in the faces of aid workers, murderous leaders getting rich while children die - have given him a short fuse.
That fuse ignites a year into his retirement when his daughter is abducted and mutilated in Uganda by a religious terrorist army. Ralston plans a quiet mission of retribution that will free his daughter and get him close enough to the terrorist leader, Joseph Koni - "The Redeemer" - to kill him. But before he can move, two big players with their own motives for annihilating Koni and his group - the governments of Iran and the USA - crowd into the action, side by side.
Each page crackles with tension as we witness the siege of the terrorist base, follow Ralston as he tracks the escaped Koni along a riverbank, and watch the Iranians hunt down Engineer Nasrullah, Koni's Afghan adviser, the killer of a revered ayatollah.
Before these bloody showdowns, author Richard Reid gives readers close-up seats at Taleban assassinations and the horrific branding rites of Koni's army - but also riveting images of beauty and bravery in scenes stretching from Afghanistan to the Congo.
Richard Reid worked with the UN and other international organisations for twenty-six years. He now lives in Istanbul, where he teaches university courses in humanities and international relations.