Baghdad, November 2003. The US occupation is not yet a disaster but the CPA has disbanded the Iraqi army and decimated the police in its policy of de-Ba'athification of Iraqi society. Inspector Muhsin al-Khafaji is a mid-level Iraqi cop who deserted his post back in April. Khafaji has lived long enough in pre- and post-Saddam Iraq to know that clinging on to anything but poetry and his daughter, Mrouj, is asking for trouble. Nabbed by the Americans and imprisoned in Abu Ghraib, Khafaji is offered only one way out – he has to work for the CPA to rebuild the Iraqi Police Services. But it's only after US forces take Mrouj that he figures out a way to make his collaboration palatable, and even rewarding. Soon, he is investigating the disappearance of young translators working for the US Army.
Elliott Colla divides his time between Washington DC and the Middle East. He is a professor and translator of Arabic literature. 'Baghdad Central' is his first novel.
Praise for Baghdad Central
'Takes the genre by the throat; a rich piece of writing...' Crime Time
'This is an intense and well-written novel. The chaos and cacophony of the American occupation are captured vividly...' Sinan Antoon, author of Baghdad Blues and of The Corpse Washer
Baghdad Central praised by The Independent
www.independent.co.uk/ arts-entertainment/ books/ reviews/ baghdad-central-by-elliott-colla-book-review-a-murder-mystery-set-in-postsaddam-baghdad-is-as-good-as-it-is-daring-9112979.html
Baghdad Central review Crime Chronicles
Elliott Colla author site
Colla on intervention in Iraq August 2014
www.juancole.com/ 2014/ 08/ escalating-iraq-again.html
Colla interview on Baghdad Central and new interventionism
www.guernicamag.com/ interviews/ grays-in-the-emerald-city/