In this excerpt from The Syrian, Sonia, one the main protagonists, has just learned of Ali’s death. She knows that she’s at least in part responsible, but talks herself out of guilt.

Sonia slept poorly. She had been responsible for Ali’s death. She’d let him stand alone on a highway, with no protection, when she knew both of them were targeted for assassination. You’re a shit, Sonia, but then you already knew that. Ali trusted you while you thought nothing of shamelessly and repeatedly betraying him.

And then there was Andrew, the man she had hoped to finally get her hands on, gone as well since Miss Goodie Two Shoes had decided to get a divorce. Ali deserved it, of course, given his despicable behavior. But then Elie, even in his youth, had shown a disturbing streak of dishonesty. Of course it was precisely that same wily nastiness that he recognized in her, and which led to their long affair. Somehow the behavior he so cleverly concealed from Nadia during their brief two year marriage was the same craftiness Sonia had used time and again with Ali.

And then Kamal came along, the enemy she enjoyed sexually and now thought she loved−but who in all likelihood she could never have. So, my dear Sonia, in the span of two days, you’ve lost two men and conceded one, each of whom you loved in your own peculiar way. Will others come along? Of course, she thought. They always have.

The sound of excited voices stirred her. A glance at her watch told her she had gotten about five hours sleep. She lingered in bed and reflected some more on Ali’s death. It was inevitable, she decided. Sooner or later, his reckless behavior would have gotten him killed.

Before making her appearance, she stood at the top of the stairs, scanning the scene below. The loud chatter came from the dining room with everyone apparently still seated around the breakfast table discussing the news of the Israeli attack. When she walked in she was happy to see the newly arrived Yousef and Tony. They stood and came to greet her. Each of them hugged her and whispered their condolences. She knew from their previous meetings that both were a bit taken by her so she was pleased by their attention and affection even if it was meant to honor Ali.

Sonia then went to Elie, seated at the opposite end of the table.

“How are you doing?” she whispered in his ear. It couldn’t have been easy…what Nadia had to say last night about a divorce.”

He tiled his head to look up at her. “All things considered, I’m not doing too badly. It didn’t come as a surprise, and frankly, I asked for it. But you know me better than anyone, don’t you, Sonia? We’re a pair, you and I, bad to the core.”


This book is available for purchase here. amazon



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