by Massey, David

Witnessing a young Afghani girl walking into a hail of bullets and disappearing, Elinor, a young British medic, risks her life to pursue the girl along with an American lieutenant whom Elinor fears trusting, a situation that makes the young woman question everything she once believed about love and war.

DAVID MASSEY's experience as an emergency supplies consultant to London's Metropolitan Police and its counter-terrorism unit helped inspire his debut novel, TORN. With his wife, David cofounded Globehuggers Emergency Supplies, a distributor of first aid and medical kits. He lives in the West Midlands of England. Friend him on Facebook at DRMasseyBooks and follow him on Twitter @DavidRMassey.

*Starred Review* Vivid and terrifying action sequences light up this intense page-turner featuring a young British medic, Elinor, assigned to a forward operating base in Afghanistan. As if her oddly hostile tent mate, a weak commanding officer, an ambush on patrol, and an RPG attack on the compound aren't challenges enough, the arrival of an American SEAL team, led by a disturbingly attractive lieutenant, sends Elinor's support unit deep into Taliban territory. The mission: to find both a secret arms cache and also a missing journalist and her teenage daughter, Aroush. But Elinor has already seen Aroush, walking unharmed through vicious firefights just before someone dies. Then Aroush disappears-one of several mysteries that ultimately unfold into a tragic, ugly tale involving child warriors, an entire village massacred by drones, and corruption in high places. Displaying the bravado to bill herself the love child of House and Lara Croft, but more than just a standard-issue action hero, Elinor makes a winningly courageous, tough-minded protagonist-narrator who is nonetheless deeply affected by what she sees and experiences. Readers will be, too. (An afterword about children of war not seen.) Copyright 2013 Booklist Reviews.

A young medic finds both tragedy and romance while on her first tour of duty in the war in Afghanistan. Nineteen-year-old Elinor Nielson (aka Ellie, aka Buffy) has a brutal introduction to the reality of war when a member of her patrol group steps on an IED. A sniper takes advantage of the chaos, attempting to pick off the rest of the company. The appearance of a mysterious, green-eyed Afghan girl only intensifies the situation. Ellie's quick thinking keeps her fellow soldiers from dying, but more problems await her return to camp. A hostile bunkmate, a spineless commanding officer and the appearance of an elite group of Navy SEALs thrust Ellie into wartime politics. When Husna, a young Afghan boy, is taken into custody for interrogation, it is Ellie who is asked to win his trust. The SEAL commander, Ben, is interested in the proceedings, but he seems equally interested in Ellie. Saturated with realistic details, this wartime mystery adventure is highly explosive. (A lengthy author's note describes Massey's experiences in revolutionary Romania, along with other inspirations, buttressing the story's realism.) The inclusion of cultural and political commentary elevates this above other wartime tales, but underdeveloped characters keep the romantic fireworks to a minimum. Readers who pick it up for the war details will not be disappointed. (Fiction. 14 & up) Copyright Kirkus 2013 Kirkus/BPI Communications.All rights reserved.

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