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Gazelle in the Shadows

Adult; Mystery/Thriller; (Market)

In the mid 90s, Elizabeth Booth is a hopeful, adventurous and romantic Arabic student at Durham University who sets out for Damascus, Syria for her year abroad. She had worked previously in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London as a DS 10, the most junior grade and spent three years in the British Embassy in Sana’a, Yemen before enrolling into Durham. During her time in Damascus, Elizabeth improves more than just her Arabic as she falls headlong in love, not only with her beau, but also with the Syrian people and culture. She easily slips into a life in the ancient city. She has friends, her studies, and her boyfriend. But things aren't always what they seem. Soon, in a world where mistrust and disloyalty are commonplace, the unsuspecting Elizabeth finds herself navigating a web of politics, intrigue and terrorism involving the MI6, deadly militant factions, and the shadowy Syrian secret police.
Dr. Andrew Rathmell, author of Secret War in the Middle East

Gazelle in the Shadows is both a coming of age story and a reflection of life in the looking glass world of Hafez al-Asad's Syria. While told through an intensely personal lens, Michelle's story provides a sideways look at a Syria that is now gone but also hints at some of the underlying factors that contributed to the country's ongoing agonies. The book is an unusual combination of bittersweet student memories, geopolitical machinations, and "factionalised" adventures; well worth a read.

Dr Andrew Rathmell, author of Secret War in the Middle East: The Covert Struggle for Syria 1949-1961