Malcolm MacPherson, Author . Melville $24.95 (366p) ISBN 978-1-933633-28-2

This rollicking political farce from former Time and Newsweek correspondent MacPherson is set between the fall of Baghdad and the capture of Saddam. Roguish hero Rich Gannon has advised the Bremer-like proconsul in Iraq, Ambassador Taylor, that the looting is serious, that the Iraqi army shouldn't be disbanded, and that the WMD are a figment of the White House's imagination. Taylor's assistant soon has Rich on a cargo plane to remote Erbil. Gannon, ever the improviser, quickly organizes a detour to Turkey for a discrete heist—but Rich and his cohort are arrested. Held in Iraq's National Stadium, Rich & Co. plot escape and a new scheme: faking a WMD to sell to the Coalition Authority. Meanwhile, other plots are hatching in the Green Zone among the ambassador's fraying staff. MacPherson, author of the nonfiction Afghanistan report Robert's Ridge , unfurls this knowing and indignant tale with ease, setting it against the background of Iraqi woe and of nod-wink romance. The book's caper set pieces are too garish, and weak characterization fails Rich in particular. But MacPherson effectively portrays the Green Zone as a zoo of ambition, backbiting and incompetence. (July)

Reviewed on: 06/04/2007
Release date: 07/01/2007
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