The Opium Prince

The Opium Prince

Book - 2020
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"Born to an American mother and a late Afghan war hero-turned-magnate, Daniel Sajadi has spent his life navigating a complex identity. After years in Los Angeles, he is returning home to Kabul for the first time as the head of a US foreign aid agency dedicated to staunching the growth of the poppy fields in Fever Valley that feed the world's opiate epidemic. But on the drive back to Kabul from an anniversary trip with his wife, Rebecca, Daniel hits and kills a young Kochi girl named Telaya. Nomad tribes are ignored in the eyes of the law, and Daniel is let off with a nominal fine due to a mysterious witness at the scene-a man named Taj Maleki, who turns out to be a prominent opium khan. Wracked with guilt and visions of Telaya, Daniel begins to unravel, running from his rapidly crumbling marriage and threats of blackmail and murder from the man who would do anything to save his poppy fields from eradication. In a powerful literary thriller debut that captures the tumultuous, sometimes violent trajectory of revolution, Jasmine Aimaq draws the often invisible lines between criminal empires and shifting political regimes"-- Provided by publisher.
Publisher: New York, NY : Soho Crime, 2020.
ISBN: 9781641291583
9781641291590
Characteristics: 370 pages ; 22 cm

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brangwinn
Dec 01, 2020

This may have been published as a crime novel, but it is so much more. Jasmine Aimaq’s debut novel is mystery and historical fiction about international relations. When Afghan-born American diplomat is posted to Kabul in 1970 to head the poppy eradication program, he finds himself enmeshed in a nightmare after killing a young girl when she ran in front of his car. When trying to make reparations for her death, he meets an opium kingpin, Taj Makeki who uses Daniel’s guilt to blackmail him. Tensions between the communists and the Islamic fundamentalists grow and their lives are thrown into danger. Its also a glimpse into the complicated Afghan political and cultural situation. And one thing the reader learns is that there really are no good guys in white hats. People often wear both hats. I was surprised at the humor in the book, its not a humorous subject portrayed in this page turner.

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