The recent announcement that the number of U. S. and NATO troops in Afghanistan will be increased has generated far too little debate in the United States. There is vague talk of victory but exactly what that means is never defined. What is clear is that the level of understanding about the country of Afghanistan and the people is very low in the United States, even among the people that are making the policy. This book, set during the time that the Khalq political faction was in power, describes a country being destroyed from within. The Khalq created a ruthless secret police, with terror being the primary weapon being used in a gigantic plan to modernize the country. Few people were safe from the dreaded "knock on the door", where the secret police came to take you away. Thousands of people were summarily executed, including religious mullahs opposed to the official state policy of atheism. The Khalq generally decimated the elite, leadership and middle classes of Afghanistan. The primary character is Aziz Rashani, a patriot that is opposed to the Khalq and is willing to organize a counterrevolution to overthrow them. All around him the Afghan society is crumbling, Soviet troops are beginning to take an active role, although it is before the actual invasion. His love interest is Jenna, an American girl who witnessed her co-worker being killed and she is trying to find a way to survive in an environment where foreigners are now treated with deep suspicion. Aziz's relationship with Jenna is a source of problems for him; some of his co-conspirators voice opposition to his being in love with an American. It is a time when no one, even your closest aides, is above suspicion, and if the government suspects you, it means death by firing squad. The rule of the Khalq before the Soviet invasion is the time when the seeds that led to what is now known as the Taliban and the fragmentation that now exists in Afghanistan were sown. It is a tale of patriotism, love and the frustrations of people wanting to save their country but finding that the forces of darkness are swift and relentless. While it is necessary to understand some of the history of Afghanistan to truly appreciate the story, it can be enjoyed as a combination love and action story without the accurate historical context.