Terrain by Hesse Caplinger

About the Book:

Marek Hussar is mobilized against the RUF in a remote stretch of war-torn Sierra Leone. Awash in a kaleidoscope of opportunism, an African general’s graft draws his fireteam away from the assault and into far more insidious dangers.

Argos Argyros is a Greek in Brixton, with charm and looks and dreams of acting. He’s just secured a casting call that could change his prospects for good.

Freddie Oslo is a Frenchman who develops special products for an American investment banking giant in London, the financial capital of the world. But as he watches the collapse of Bear Stearns from on high and LIBOR inquiries stir below, his superiors seem to close ranks and issue directives Oslo struggles to fully understand.

Three threads of life and fate intersect, bound to the same body of relentless, animate force.

Terrain―volume two of The Hussar Cycle―is a novel of striking structural and emotional counterpoint that braids thematic, narrative, and stylistic concerns in a singular, challenging, unexpected work of extra-genre literature.


“Terrain is a good example of an international thriller in all aspects except the way it’s written. Instead of a plot-driven story with a focus on action, author Hesse Caplinger has chosen to present it in a literary style with plot permutations, complex characterizations and lavish descriptions. Motives are hinted at but not declared, dialogue is oblique rather than straightforward and much is left to the reader’s imagination.

While the writing is crisp and evocative the style at times supersedes the narrative which may have some fans of this genre preferring a more blunt and uncomplicated telling. However, for the reader who wants a story that transcends the genre, Terrain is a good choice.”

~ Rod Raglin, Seattle Book Review

Full Review

“A globetrotting literary thriller that packs a punch and leaves readers with plenty to think about, Hesse Caplinger’s Terrain opens in 1995 in an evocatively described war-torn Sierra Leone…

Somewhat unusually for a thriller, Terrain features significantly more description and conversation than action and adventure. There is much quiet consideration of corruption and the horrors of war, and it often seems that a lot is left unsaid by the characters. This nicely reflects the secrets and underhand deals that underpin the plot, although it does mean that the story moves along at a slower pace than it otherwise might. Caplinger neatly exposes the corruption and opportunism with which businesses exploit conflicts, and he paints a bleak picture of how individuals can get swept along and eventually overtaken by momentous events.”

~ Erin Britton, San Francisco Book Review

Full Review

Buy the Book – Amazon, Bookshop.org

About the Author:

Hesse Caplinger has written fiction, essays, profiles, and criticism. His work has appeared in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, St. Louis Magazine, Glasstire, and elsewhere. He is the author of the novels “Equipment” and “Terrain.”


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