Yusuf Toropov’s novel deals with topics that may seem more at home on the pages of the daily papers – like terrorism and torture. Told alternately by the prisoner Ali Liddell and his interrogator/torturer/former partner, it recounts the tension between occupying forces and fundamentalists in The Islamic Republic, a fictional nation which could be one of several where America and her allies have intervened. After a drone mistakenly bombs a village instead of an insurgent base, a father finds his religious convictions intensified, while an American army soldier makes a game of killing local people, whether they’re insurgents or not. The story of the inevitable clash of these two powers is compelling, complex and highly original. Read my full review here.