This is a grim and vivid human portrait of a society drained by years of war and corruption. “In Wartime” is a reminder that war is not only fought in the Middle East. From interviews with civilians, poets, political scientists and a wide range of people who have been caught up in the conflict Mr. Judah, a distinguished journalist, has written a timely account of life in Ukraine since March 2014.
The book opens in a taut and informative first person account as he makes his way across Ukraine, from Lviv in the west, south of Odessa, Bessarabia and Donetsk in the east, and tells the stories of people he meets and delivers a rare glimpse into the reality behind the headlines. This civil war which began in the wake of the Maiden Revolution was secondary to the fact that lives were getting worse in a country that was hardly poor, but it was a country so rife with corruption it was going to the dogs and civilians were suffering. A huge numbers of people have now fled the country, mostly the educated young, leaving in their wake and economic death.
If the author’s aim was to let us know what Ukraine feels like today, he succeeded through personal stories and a historical reality check. The main strength in this book is in its detail work, its pathos and in the violence described. Mr. Judah also explains what happened in the region during WW11 and the important connection to the present day. There is a lot to this book and is a challenge to follow the author criss-crossing the country, although at intervals the author added maps to locate us, I thought it wise to have my Atlas open on Ukraine just the same. What also piqued my interest immensely were numerous photos of people and events that were added that reinforced everything. At the end of the book we have notes of explanation and sources as references.
This book is ambitious in scope, thoughtful, effective, fast-paced and very topical.
Mr. Judah is a war correspondent that covered the Balkans wars for the Economist in the 1990’s. “In Wartime” is drawn from his experience during that conflict.
I received this book for free from “Blogging for Books” via Edelweiss for this honest and unbiased review
RISK OF EXPOSURE
by Emmy Curtis
Book #6 – Alpha Ops Series
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
He is a trained professional—but nothing can prepare him for the hottest mission of his life. Assigned to protect his boss’s daughter, British former SAS operative Malone Garrett breaks the first rule of covert surveillance—don’t make contact. And especially don’t take your mark out to dinner, then agree to a rooftop quickie. But now that Mal has Abby in his arms, he has no intention of ever letting her go.
Abby Baston told herself it was a hit and quit, a one-nighter with a hot, handsome stranger whose hands were trained to take action. Working undercover for the CIA, she can’t risk anything more. But when an international crisis ignites, Abby must make a call: trust Mal with her secret—and her heart—and partner up, or lose everything in a split second . . .
He reached for her.
“You can stop right there.” Her voice startled him. He dropped his arm to the covers.
“I was just going to shake you awake. You’ve been snoring like a bear,” he said, swinging his legs out of bed.
She ignored his insult, such as it was. “You were supposed to wake me when it stopped snowing,” she said, also climbing out of bed and seemingly not caring a whit that she was totally naked.
He sat still, taking in the sight. Her nipples puckering in the frigid air, her tight muscles moving in glorious efficiency toward the bathroom. “It was your watch. Technically you should have woken me.”
“Don’t you forget it, love.” He stood and got dressed, having dug out his Under Armour thermals from the kit bag he’d brought.
She poked her head around the bathroom door. “What? Don’t forget what?”
“That I’m an ass. You’ve blackmailed me into helping you, and someone as well trained as you knows that isn’t a recipe for success.” He finished tying his laces.
She shrugged. “I trust you.”
“You shouldn’t. I have a healthy regard for self-preservation and even I don’t know what I’ll do if you get in the way of that. So you’re much better off not trusting me for anything. Just a friendly PSA.” He knew he sounded like a dick, but he just couldn’t help himself.
“I’m not worried. If you piss me off, or if you’re in the way of my self-preservation”—she punctuated with air quotes—“or my mission, I won’t hesitate to shoot you.” She disappeared again.
“There’s one problem with that, love. I’ve got your gun.”
She didn’t reply, but he heard the unmistakable sound of a shotgun being charged. “Fair enough,” he said, trying not to smile at her resourcefulness. “What else have you got in there?”
“Hairspray,” she said.
“Awesome.” She was such a smart-arse. His sister would love her. He made a mental note that no matter what, they would never, ever meet. Ever.
She came out of the bathroom as if she’d come through a Tomb Raider portal. She wore a white snowsuit that matched his, a white knife strapped to her thigh, a white holster holding a white handgun under her shoulder, and a white shotgun on a white strap over her back.
“I’m sorry. The CIA gave you all that gear but couldn’t give you a sat phone that worked? What the fuck?” Jesus. This was why he was in the private sector now. One too many times he’d been put in a sketchy situation without the right equipment. That didn’t happen anymore.
She shrugged. “I guess they thought snow was more likely than the need to use an emergency phone?” She frowned, though, as if she was only just now considering that herself.
(used with permission from the publisher)
Risk of Exposure by Emmy Curtis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is the 6th book in the highly acclaimed Alpha Ops series. This book can be read as a standalone novel. This is a great series, and those who read in order will find it is easier to understand and enjoy.
Malone "Mal" and Abby meet when he cannot take just watching her anymore. He sets up a chance for her to rescue him. She takes the bait.
Abby is a CIA agent keeping watch on the Russian/Ukraine border. Her father does not know she is a fully trained field agent. He sends Mal to watch over his daughter.
The banter is so much fun in this book! The pace moves along nicely. I love the heat between these two. They really are a match with a great HEA!
***This ARC copy was given by Netgalley and its publisher in exchange for an honest review only.
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Emmy Curtis is an editor and a romance writer. An ex-pat Brit, she quells her homesickness with Cadbury Flakes and Fray Bentos pies. She's lived in London, Paris and New York, and has settled for the time being, in North Carolina. When not writing, Emmy loves to travel with her military husband and take long walks with their Lab. All things considered, her life is chock full of hoot, just a little bit of nanny. And if you get that reference...well, she already considers you kin.
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The Alpha Ops Series:
(while books in this series are loosely connected, all function as standalones)
Dangerous Territory- Book 1- novella –only 99 cents!
Over the Line- Book 2
Pushing the Limit- Book 3
Blowback- Book 4
Compromised- Book 5