One the main reasons is the great attention to detail, whether it be the environment, tactics, vehicles or munitions and ammunition. It makes the reader feel as if they were in the story, from running guns in Baghdad to talking to “Special” Agent Jeffrey.

Another attribute that makes the book so good is the fact that the protagonist, “Alex”, is very likable because he is a rational and very humble professional.
Also every character in the book has there own distinctive personality , whether it be “Linda” or an operator such as Predator and Alien or a bad guy such as “Mullah Uday” and “Yassin”.

The most revolutionary part of the book is that it describes first hand how a conflict looks like and not from an objective point of view by some analysts or the media, but by those who actually carry out the missions. In one way or another it exposes a USAID scandal and the nonsense bureaucracy that comes with the war.

The antagonist Haider gives a face to “the enemy” and humanizes him.
Which shows how a very smart man who lost everything had no choice but to build explosives (IEDs) to survive and radicalizes in the course of the story.

In the book you also learn that for every terrorist you kill, who is in a leading position, there is a worse one just eager to take his place. Which is comparable to Don Quixote fighting Windmills.

In conclusion it is safe to say that this book is life-changing. One not only learns about radical Islam but also how the worst side of humanity looks like. It also makes one feel like a “fruitcake” compared to an average Iraqi and makes us appreciate our western lives even more.

Moritz Mittermayer
Salzburg, Austria