Kirkus Review described The Wolf of Sarajevo by Matthew Palmer as "Well-written, exciting, and fast paced fiction by a diplomat with deep knowledge of the Balkans." Yet, I have to admit, I don't even read Kirkus Review. I prefer to browse the New Book Shelves at the Downtown Library for my reads. Having graduated from USC's School of International Relations. I have a real fascination with diplomacy. It has been noted that many readers attempt to find spy novels that, while fiction, give the reader a realistic view of what happens in the chaotic world of International Relations. So when I came across a novel written by a twenty-five year veteran of the United States Foreign Service - with stints on the National Security Council, fluent in Serbo-Croatian, and an expert on the firebrand history of the Balkans - The Wolf of Sarajevo was a sure pick.
Eric Petrosian, the main character, is an image of our author Matthew Palmer. Eric is a political counselor in the American Embassy in Sarajevo and, yes, fluent in Serbo-Croatian and an expert in the violent and volatile history of the Balkans. The story is about Eric's assistance to aid Danish official Annika Sondergaard, the High Representative of the European Union, who hopes to implement a peace initiative to prevent yet another Balkans Crisis. Eric's efforts take us into the dark world of Balkan paramilitary groups that solve complex problems with quick answers like assassinations. With realistic insider knowledge, Michael Palmer traces Balkan history from the atrocities at Srebrenica in 1995 and Jasenovac in 1942, the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo in 1914 - leading to World War I - and back as far as the Islamic Invasion of 1566. Yet all this is done through exciting, page-turning fiction! - Henry (Downtown)