Reminiscent of the work of John le Carre and Olen Steinhauser, this brilliant debut novel features a young State Department intern on the run in Turkey, trying to outwit and outmaneuver everyone from the Turkish president to Islamic extremists to the CIA.
Penny Kessler, a young intern at the US Embassy in Ankara, Turkey, wakes up in a hospital on the morning of July 5 to find herself at the center of an international crisis. The day before, the Embassy had been the target of a devastating terrorist attack that killed hundreds of Penny’s friends and colleagues. Not only has a photograph of Penny emerging from the rubble become the defining image of the event (#TheGirlwiththeFlag), but for reasons she doesn’t understand, her bosses believe she’s a crucial witness.
Suddenly, everyone is desperately interested in what Penny knows. But what does she know? And who can she trust? As she struggles to piece together her memories of the event, she discovers that Zach Robson, the young diplomat she’s been attracted to all summer, went missing during the attack. Now his boss at the CIA, Christina Ekdahl, wants people to believe that Zach was a traitor. Only one person knows he’s innocent: Penny. And Christina will do anything to silence her.
Racing to keep from being killed and to uncover the truth, Penny reluctantly partners with Connor Beauregard, a rookie CIA officer on his first overseas assignment. But the two won’t survive unless they can trust each other and keep their wits about them. From the first page to the last this is a white-knuckle ride.