I enjoyed this one. An excellent book that’s hard to put down. Walsh brings to life the settings—Islamabad, Lahore, Karachi, Quetta—to the same level of vibrance as the colorful (or dark) characters he covered during his decade-long stint in Pakistan as correspondent and resident. The book’s a mix of history, mystery, travelogue, politics, crime, war and more, framed around Walsh trying to work out why the intelligence agency expelled him. He distills the nation’s complex history, sectarian strife, interstate relations and nuts and bolts of government and politics into compelling language that implants a clear picture of Pakistan and its parts. Highly recommended.
“There were smoking guns aplenty, but none with any fingerprints.” ― Declan Walsh, The Nine Lives of Pakistan: Dispatches from a Precarious State (2020)