The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland
English | 2020| Mystery/Thriller| ePUB | 2.3 MB
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.
At the members-only Club d’Alep, as women wearing cocktail dresses and pearls played buraco at baize-topped card tables, a waiter in the back of the club paused before a wall of freshly laundered linens.
He looked left, then right, then slipped a black tablecloth into his leather satchel.
Minutes later, not far to the south, a sixteen-year-old girl stood poised on the threshold of a silk shop in the souk, anxiously observing a young salesman as he wrapped a brilliant red scarf around his neck with theatrical flair.
Her hand trembled as she let her backpack slip from her shoulder. Her mouth was dry.
“Come, come,” said the salesman when he saw her, welcoming her in with a wave of his hand and speaking loudly to be heard over the clatter of sewing machines. “I have your mother’s order.” Turning to a customer behind him, he added, “This will only take a moment.”
And a moment truly was all it took for him to hand the girl a package that had been wrapped in brown paper and tied tight with twine.
“Only green and white,” he whispered.
Across town, in one of the Kurdish districts, a young mechanic slid out from underneath a Hyundai sedan.
“Done,” he said. Although it was only two in the afternoon, he had finished his last oil change of the day. Business had been slow of late.
“No later than seven tomorrow,” said the garage owner without looking up from the car engine he was repairing. “We paint the Kia.”
“Six forty-five,” promised the boy, then he stripped off his coveralls, hung them on a peg, and exited the three-bay garage via a door in the rear. Before starting off down the garbage-strewn alley that paralleled the back of the building, he reached his hand into a bald truck tire that lay near the door.
The boy felt some shame that the small Nescafé tin he pulled from the tire was only half-filled with red paint, but it was all he could steal without raising suspicions.
Facebook and regular phone lines were monitored by the government, but Skype was not, so that was how everyone knew to take their packages to a middle-class neighborhood on the western side of the city and hide them inside a white bucket, on the periphery of an overgrown garden.