Into Hell’s Fire by Douglas Cavanaugh
It seems as though all hell has broken loose in Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the administration is more than a little perplexed about how best to proceed.
Lucas Martin is a retired U.S. government agent who is asked to come out of retirement to help prove that the Serbian militia is murdering Croatians and Muslim people in Bosnia. His Croatian family ties and contacts from earlier government assignments in the Balkans help him infiltrate the country. However, the task is nearly impossible with dire consequences for anyone being caught by the militia. Will he get the intel in time for the U.S. government and the United Nations to step in and help the people in Croatia?
Serbian General Stevan Parenta is the ruthless antagonist who is Lucas’ worst adversary. His personal mission is to kill Croatians and anyone who gets in his way of making a profit from the war including Lucas Martin who is a threat to his plans. What is the general’s plans and will Lucas be able to stop him?
Mr. Cavanaugh’s first novel is a political thriller with action and intrigue as well as the tragic history of the Balkan War. The characters are well developed and the good and evil play off well against each other. The story is well written and if you like war time action and adventure, this is the book for you!
As one fellow Iowan to another, thank you to Mr. Cavanaugh for giving me the opportunity to review his book!
Douglas Cavanaugh is an American expat who grew up in the state of Iowa. After several trips abroad in the early 1990s, he arrived in Croatia in 1996, not long after the country’s Homeland War had ended, and just after the final shots in the neighboring country of Bosnia and Herzegovina had been fired.
It was his first memories of Croatia’s war-ravaged countryside that inspired the background for Douglas’s novel, Into Hell’s Fire. During his initial tour, he quickly realized that it was one thing to imagine such destruction while reading about it in newspapers and magazines or viewing it on television, but it was quite another to witness it firsthand. He was struck by the fact that everyone there seemed to be affected in one way or another, whether physically, mentally, or economically. Subsequent visits to Sarajevo and Mostar in Bosnia and Herzegovina confirmed his decision to set the novel in this emotionally charged atmosphere.
Douglas’s daily contact with many combat-hardened veterans and happy-to-be-alive civilians brought to light other ramifications of war that might have otherwise remained unrealized. “By the end of that decade,” he remarked in an interview, “post-traumatic stress syndrome in Croatia was epidemic. Many people I knew well had immediate family members who had been killed. Countless others had been separated from their families and friends who had relocated to other parts of the world as refugees. That sort of forced separation can be brutal on an individual. And more than a few people told me how they had lost everything they owned, and how it all seemed to have happened overnight.”
Douglas has lived in Croatia for more than seventeen years. He enjoys the outdoors and all the activities Croatia’s wonderful nature provides, such as fly-fishing, mushroom hunting, hiking, and weekend island getaways. He is a gardener, has recently started a fruit tree orchard, and is helping to renovate an old farmstead.