This past summer, the very pleasant Dan Mayland reached out to me about his novel The Doctor of Aleppo. This is a gripping and vividly told story, at times heart-breaking, at times edge-of-your-seat, of a Syrian doctor who crosses paths during wartime with a young couple.
Here’s the overview:
Dan Mayland, author of the bestselling Mark Sava spy novel series, pairs a thriller writer’s sensibilities with a gripping story of hope and redemption against the backdrop of war.
While working in the ancient Silk Road city of Aleppo, American Hannah Johnson and her Swedish lover Oskar are drawn into the mounting turbulence of the impending Syrian civil war.
After Oskar is wounded at a street protest one evening, he and Hannah cross paths with Dr. Samir Hasan, a renowned surgeon. As the protests swell into all-out war, Dr. Hasan tends not only to Oskar, but also risks his life, his practice, and his family to tend to a nephew the government has branded an insurgent.
Dr. Hasan’s humanitarian activities come to the attention of a vengeful, Javert-like secret police officer whose son’s death on Dr. Hasan’s watch triggers a series of events that will drag Hannah and Oskar deeper into the war and put Hannah and Dr. Hasan in the officer’s crosshairs.
Both intimate and sweeping in scope, The Doctor of Aleppo lends insight into how the most brutal, devastating war of the twenty-first century is mirrored on the personal scale, leaving scars that can never be healed.
I have to say – this was a incredibly well-written book, as I have vivid memories of scenes from it (and I read it in Aug/Sept). I haven’t read many novels taking place in Syria, to be honest, but this one really stayed with me. At the end, I had mixed feelings (where’s my tidy bow to tie up everything??) but the author has offered to send an epilogue and recipe (!!) from a reader to those who are interested, so look up Mr. Mayland at danmayland.com if you are interested!
I love stories of redemption and courage and, as Mr. Mayland reminded me I once wrote on my blog “ordinary people doing extraordinary things”, so I loved this book. You will, too. It’s definitely on my holiday list for gifting!
Thanks for sending me your novel (via Net Galley), Mr. Mayland!
About the author:
Dan Mayland is an author and professional geopolitical forecaster, helping nonprofit, private, and government organizations navigate a changing world. His Mark Sava spy series was informed by his experiences in the Caspian region and Middle East. Raised in New Jersey, Mayland now lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two children, in an old stone farmhouse he and his wife have restored.