As I adore Africa, I’m a little bit beside myself here on Linda’s Book Bag as I have invited Michael Shusko, author of the Tradecraft Series, to stay in with me this evening to tell me all about one of his books.
Staying in with Michael Shusko
Welcome to Linda’s Book Bag, Michael. Thank you so much for agreeing to stay in with me. Tell me, which of your books have you brought along to share this evening and why have you chosen it?
I brought the third book in my Tradecraft Series: Evil Winds. I chose it because it deals with a number of important contemporary topics: terrorism, genocide and human trafficking and how the strength of the human condition prevails even under the most unimaginable, horrid conditions.
(Gosh. That sounds like powerful stuff Michael.)
What can we expect from an evening in with Evil Winds?
The Tradecraft Series explores international terrorism amid various backstories. Funding, organization, missions and motivation of these shadowy groups are revealed throughout the series. Evil Winds gets the reader into the mind of the terrorist. What makes him or her tick. What is the motivation and rationale for the violence. All of this occurring in exotic but real locations, including Sub Saharan Africa, that brings together the best and worst of humanity: aid-workers and humanitarians dedicating their lives to healing and protecting victims of the war in Darfur as they try to survive the harsh desert filled with Janjaweed marauders.
(I think this series, and Evil Winds in particular, sounds brilliant.)
Evil Winds follows Angie Bryant, a young report who goes to Africa to report on the atrocities in the Darfur. There, she meets doctor Jason Russo working in one of the refugee camps. Together, the two brave the harsh Sahara Desert to find the hidden truth about what is really going after villages are razed and children go missing while various warlords, terrorists and underground organizations battle for control of Sub Saharan Africa.
(I find sub Saharan Africa fascinating Michael, I’ve been to Botswana, Zambia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda and passed though Ethiopia and Kenya so I think Evil Winds will really appeal to me as a reader.)
What else have you brought along and why?
I brought along some pictures I took in Sub Saharan Africa to give you an idea of the landscape that was part of the inspiration for Evil Winds. I took these photos during my time in the region where the book is set. They’ll give you some perspective about the geography of the area, as well as what a typical village is like.
Seeing some of the hardships that the people there endure is what motivated me to write it – but, to be clear, the book isn’t just about the Darfur. There are a number of important issues highlighted in the book that I feel need to be addressed. Child slavery, human trafficking, terrorism, genocide. These atrocities occur throughout the world and affect millions.
You’re absolutely right; these issues cannot be ignored and fiction is a great way of bringing them to the world’s attention. Your photos are such evocative images of the region Michael. I’m thrilled you agreed to stay in with me this evening to tell us about Evil Winds. Thank you so much for being here.
Up-and-coming news reporter Angie Bryant is determined to get the scoop on what’s really happening in Darfur, no matter the risk. After all, it’s the kind of story that will catapult her career to the next level.
Jason Russo is a disillusioned NGO doctor stationed at a refugee camp in eastern Chad. While he tries to help where he can, Jason finds it difficult to get the support he needs to make a difference.
But when the pair witnesses Janjaweed soldiers gun down a dozen Darfurian refugees in cold blood, everything changes. Suddenly, the only assignment that matters is telling the world about the current conditions in western Sudan — at all costs.
Angie and Jason find themselves racing against time as they work to uncover a sinister secret hidden deep in the Sahara. Their efforts put them directly in the path of a lethal Janjaweed commander. If they want to share their shocking discoveries with the global community, they’ll have to get past him first.
Evil Winds is available for purchase here.
About Michael Shusko
Michael Shusko, author of Evil Winds, is a medical doctor and decorated Marine and Naval officer who has worked on intelligence and medical missions across the globe. Fluent in Arabic, he holds a Bachelor’s degree in Middle Eastern studies from Rutgers University.
After transferring from the Marines to the Navy Medical Corps, he attended medical school at Wake Forest University, obtaining his degree in 2002. He also studied at Harvard University, earning a Master’s of Public Health degree in 2013.
Dr. Shusko has been awarded the Bronze Star twice for service in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has traveled extensively in the Middle East, Africa, Europe, and Asia.
In addition to Evil Winds, Mike Shusko is the author of Vector and Shifting Sands, the first two novels in his Tradecraft book series.