The Prince of Bagram Prison
Random House, Mar 2008, $14.00
Because she speaks Arabic, US Army Intelligent Agent reservist Kat Caldwell was deployed as an interrogator at Bagram Air Base in Afghanistan. When she met Moroccan teenager Jamal, she quickly realized he was not a terrorist; just a person in the wrong place at the wrong time during an allied sweep led by the British Special Forces. She gains his trust, but her tour ends and she returns to teaching Arabic in Virginia.
Three years later, retired CIA Chief Dick Morrow has Kat reactivated. Her assignment is to find eighteen years old Jamal, who had been an informer since he met Kat, but vanished in Spain after contacting his handler Harry Comfort that he saw terrorist Hamid Bagheri. The CIA sends a team to retrieve Jamal while Morrow thinks he went home and Kat is the best bet to safely bring him back as the lad trusts her. Kat flies to Madrid but quickly realizes that she is CIA bait. If she finds him in the slums of Casablanca where she thinks he is hiding, she will inadvertently betray him as those on her side of the war on terrorism will kill the teen to cover up the torturous truth Jamal could expose.
THE PRINCE OF BAGRAM PRISON is an excellent espionage thriller that seamlessly shifts between the present and three years ago, and several points of view. Readers will be hooked especially when Kat begins to realize she is being used to lure Jamal to his death; thus the heroine struggles between loyalty to her country and the military, but also knows the Army values include honor. Alex Carr provides genre fans with a great tale starring a stunned heroine, a frightened teen, and an adversary prepared to kill both of them. Newcomers will seek Ms. Carr’s previous work (see AN ACCIDENTAL AMERICAN).