‘The enemy of my enemy is my friend. The enemy of my friend is my enemy. The friend of my enemy is my enemy. Everyone else is suspect.’ -Afghan Proverb

All that’s left of Captain Leslie McNabb’s tour in Afghanistan is to get on the plane back to Canada. It’s a relief: despite having a desk job, McNabb has had a long and paranoia-inducing string of close calls with the enemy.  At this point, he’s certain he’s marked for death – and for good reason: on top of all the near misses, Captain McNabb is the latest of a long family line of famous Canadian military heroes, all showered with medals and decorations (posthumously).

But when his replacement accidentally begins a deadly friendly-fire shootout in the airport terminal, McNabb’s deliverance is postponed.  He is hailed a hero and ordered outside the wire (and way outside his comfort zone) to generate a good news story for his military and political masters. Leading a misfit crew of combat soldiers, McNabb must rebuild a destroyed Taliban village for the cameras before he will be allowed to go home.

The family curse and McNabb’s own paranoid tendencies work against him as he struggles to negotiate the bewildering Afghan world of shifting tribal rivalries, suicide donkey bombs, corrupt officials and the outrageous expectations of his own commander.

But is it paranoia when people really are out to get you?

A graphic novel, co-written with Jon Link, currently in production.

Sgt. Bruno Laflamme. Second in Command of the Civil-Military Cooperation Detachment. He sums up his approach to influencing the local population like this: “Give me your hearts and minds or I’ll burn your effing huts down!”