Who’d give up a safe job, reporting at the Boston Globe, for a risky life of freelancing on the other side of the world? Meet Kim Ashley. She’s is on a self-imposed mission to show her readers that, despite 9/11 and the subsequent ‘war on terror’, there is much more to the Muslim world than terrorism. She cares about this because, as a child, she lived in Turkey. Her motives are deeper than meet the eye, however.
Those childhood years were dreamy, like a fairy tale. Her parents worked as doctor volunteers in the poor provinces of Eastern Turkey, where people were naïve and welcoming, despite the political turmoil of the era. Then, her father was murdered by armed radicals. Two decades on, this trauma still festers deep inside her.
Based in Istanbul, with its mesmerizing mix of old-fashioned Muslim neighborhoods and streets full of bars, boutiques and art galleries, Kim discovers that in order to heal, she must find out who killed her father. She also must satisfy her editor back in Boston, who’s hungry for stories about mayhem and bloodshed. Seeking escape in an impossible, destructive love, Kim finds herself haunted by the demons of her past. The strands of her story intertwine and collide in a chilling climax.
Building on my own reporting on Islamist and terrorist groups during more than two decades in Turkey and the broader Middle East, ‘Hog-tied’ also reflects the intimate and nuanced perspective the author has acquired both as a woman and a professional living in Istanbul. Underneath the suspense lies the universal story of how we all get scarred by our experiences, but can heal once we face our pain.
(unpublished as yet)
You can read an excerpt here, and if you like it, rate it, or even post a review on Amazon.