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Disillusioned SAS veteran Matt Logan is struggling on civvy street. The life he dreams of can be his – if he takes a private security job with the American commander who ended his military career. But when a seemingly random act of terror destroys everything Matt holds dear, the only way to settle the score is to sell his soul.
Matt returns to the murky world of Black Ops. But this time, he’s not part of an elite crew. To find and kill an elusive insurgent leader, he must go undercover in Pakistan and single-handedly unravel a jihadist network more complex than he realizes and closer than he knows. Stalked by fundamentalists and Pakistani intelligence, Matt ends up a pawn in a conspiracy to redraw the boundaries of global power; a secret war that is ripping a nation apart. But not the one he thinks…
Bob Shepherd on the inspiration for The Good Jihadist…
Since 2004, I’ve worked as a security advisor to media operating in the AfPak region; a role that has enabled me to access people and places off limits to most westerners. A particularly eye opening assignment took place in 2007, when I accompanied a group of news broadcasters to key cities around Pakistan. My clients and I went to Islamabad’s notorious “Red Mosque” and met with the infamous radical cleric Abdul Rashid Ghazi who was calling for the violent overthrow of Pakistan’s government (Ghazi was killed four months later by Pakistani Special Forces). That trip also took us to Peshawar in Northwest Frontier Province and most crucially, to Quetta in Baluchistan province.
A dusty frontier town near the Afghan border, Quetta enabled me to witness first-hand how Pakistan’s authorities play both sides in the War on Terror. Under cover of darkness, I helped my clients explore Pashtunibad; a sprawling Afghan refugee camp where Afghan Taliban are believed to live openly. We also visited a hospital where Afghan Taliban were receiving treatment for combat wounds sustained in Afghanistan.
That trip taught me that there is more than one Taliban operating in Pakistan; the Afghan Taliban which takes refuge in Pakistan from coalition forces who are barred from pursuing them across the border, and the Pakistani Taliban which is at war with the government in Islamabad. Two Taliban, two very different agendas; hence why I’ve never believed Pakistani officials when they point to terror attacks on their soil as evidence that they have forsaken violent jihadists. Islamabad may be engaged in a fierce battle with the Pakistani Taliban, but I believe strongly that there are powerful members of the country’s establishment who have and continue to support the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda as a means of preserving Pakistan’s influence in Afghanistan. After all, there is a reason the leaders of the Afghan Taliban are referred to as “The Quetta Shura”.
My visit to Quetta also gave me a better understanding of another insurgency I knew little about; the rebellion of ethnic Baluch against what they see as the illegal occupation of their homeland by Pakistan and Iran. Though largely ignored on the world stage, the Baluch struggle has been raging for more than sixty years.
The Baluch aren’t the only ethnic group yearning to break away from Pakistan. My assignments in Afghanistan have put me in contact with many Pashtun from Pakistan’s tribal areas. The Pashtun are great disseminators of conspiracy theories involving western attempts to subjugate the region; charges which date back to 1893 and the creation of the Durand Line, the British drawn border that today divides Afghanistan and Pakistan. The Durand Line physically split the Pashtun tribes between two countries and I have yet to meet a Pashtun who does not feel hard done by it. Many want the border redrawn and their people re-united, ideally under a separate state.
Between Pashtun and Baluch nationalism, Pakistan is to Asia what Yugoslavia was to Europe; an ethnic tinderbox. I knew I had the raw material for a great novel. But it didn’t come together until I learned of China’s interests in Pakistan. To secure its energy needs, Beijing has invested billions developing ports, roads and pipelines through Pakistan. Weigh China’s strategic interests against the West’s, and you’ve got two conflicting global agendas playing out in a nuclear armed state.
The Good Jihadist was inspired by facts on the ground, but it is most definitely a work of fiction. My goal was to produce a page-turning, action-packed thriller that will hopefully make people more aware of what’s really at stake in Pakistan. I hope you enjoy reading it.
15 thoughts on “The Good Jihadist”
Duncan Falconer must be starting to watch over his shoulder now that the books are starting to roll out. I loved ‘The Infidel’ and will be buying ‘The Good Jihadist’ as soon as it is released. I hope there are more on the horizon???????
Thanks very much for the great comments Julian,
Here’s hoping readers enjoy the Bob Shepherd genre!
very best regards.
That seems a long way off, but if the Infidel is anything to go by then it will be well worth the wait.
I have read The Circuit and I am about to finish reading The Infidel. I have never really been interested in fictional books but after reading The Circuit, I enjoyed it so much that I thought I would read The infidel. You have written a great book! I can’t put the thing down.
One of the things that I really like in your books is the fact that the weapons and techniques outlined come from experience.
I look forward to reading The Good Jihadist when it comes out. I have pre-ordered a copy.
Looking forward to reading this Bob, I reckon i’ve read probably 20 odd books on the conflicts in this region and have enjoyed ‘The Circuit’ and ‘The infidel’ the most.
I think it’s probably the most important on-going event of our time and yet the most understood probably because of the misleading political spin published in our media but Bob Shepherd is a clear logical voice in a dark muddy world.
Thanks very much Chris,
I hope that you find The Good Jihadist as informative as the others.
CANT WAIT TO GET STUCK IN TO THIS I READ THE CIRCUIT WHILE DOING MY LAST STINT IN THE GHAN AND THROUGHLY ENJOYED IT CANT WAIT TO GET STUCK IN TO THIS ON MY NEXT TOUR
NON QUAM NON PARATUS
Thanks very much Dan,
I hope you enjoy The Good Jihadist too. All the very best and stay safe on your next tour.
I am reading THE GOOD JIHADIST.Very exiciting & revetting book.I feel as if I am watching action movie.I must say it is amazing style of writting.
Why not write a novel on India & Pakistan with focus on Kashmir.
Thank you Sudeep for your comments.
I’m afraid I cannot write a novel covering Kashmir as I’ve never spent any time on the ground there.
Very best regards.
Just read The Good Jihadist for a second time Bob: a cracking good yarn and a hard reminder of the agendas that lie behind the headlines. Here in Australia, the Fox – allied press won’t even mention China in the same breath as Afghanistan and Pakistan (too much at stake in international media deals). Our blokes die over there and our public have only a hazy notion of the forces at work in the region. Thanks again for a good read.
Just finished The Good Jihadist,
Bob elegantly weaves a great fictional story and points to some of the real stories behind this conflict in Afghanistan. We get to see why, how things happen and who the players are. If you read between the lines you can get a clear picture of what is really happening when we read the News every day about the conflicts.
Hopefully not giving away anything but the clearer the picture becomes it seems like America is very busy still fighting a Cold war against China.
Thanks Bob, I am a commited reader and always look forward to your blog updates!
Thanks again Chris,
Your comments are very much appreciated.
I’ve just finished reading The Good Jihadist, and what a superb read it was too. I certainly learnt some new things about Pakistan that I was unaware of and the Chinese connection certainly puts an altogether different spin on what you see in the news.
I can wholeheartedly recommend reading this book to anyone who is interested.
Well done, when is the next one due? I really look forward to reading it.