Friday, August 9, 2013
TORN by David Massey
Ellie, a young British medic, thought her training would prepare her for anything, but front line action in Afghanistan inspires terror in even the most battle-hardened soldiers. On Ellie's first day in her new unit, she deals with an IED explosion and the death of a young Afghan boy. She never expected to see youngsters aiming and shooting guns almost bigger than themselves.
Thrown right into the action, Ellie quickly learns that her superior officer, another medic named Heidi, is moody and definitely dealing with some unpleasant emotional issues. Several of the guys in the unit welcome her with good-natured ribbing and the nickname Buffy after spying on her during her first outdoor shower.
After the IED incident, Ellie is given the job of questioning a young village boy about a hidden stash of weapons being used by a group of renegade youth who seem to be out to shoot and kill both the enemy Taliban and the friendly troops attempting to bring peace to the area. She is gradually able to gain his trust until the arrival of a group of American Navy SEALS sent to the village on some sort of mysterious mission.
Ellie is also driven to find out the identity of a ghostly young Afghan girl in a blue dress who seems to appear during moments of tragedy only to vanish after the dust clears. Many of the soldiers claim to have seen the mystery girl, but no one can explain her presence.
TORN is filled with war trauma and intense action that capture the front line action in one of the most controversial wars of modern times. Young adults who have an interest in the military or connections through friends and relatives who have served or are serving their country may find appeal in this debut novel by English author David Massey.