Slim to None

Taylor Smith, Author . Mira $24.95 (348p) ISBN 978-0-7783-2332-7

Smith, who has been both a diplomat and an intelligence agent, convincingly conveys what life is like on the streets and sands of Iraq in her compelling new thriller (after 2004's Liar's Market ). Hannah Nicks thought she'd learned all about danger and sexism as a Los Angeles cop, but that was nothing compared to what she faces every day in Iraq as a hired gun for a private security outfit. Nicks, who's desperate to prove to a court that she can afford to have custody of her eight-year-old son, does the work because the salary is much better than a cop's. When terrorists kidnap a wealthy Boston businessman's daughter, a doctor working as a volunteer at a Red Crescent clinic in Baghdad, the businessman offers a huge reward for her safe release. Nicks and a tough young former Marine take the job, but they soon discover that not everybody in Washington wants the story to have a happy ending. Smith is at her best when she describes Nicks's ordeal and explains why so many private security firms are making big bucks in Iraq. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/31/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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FORMATS
Mass Market Paperbound - 411 pages - 978-0-7783-2517-8
Open Ebook - 978-1-4268-1076-3
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