Imagine for a moment you are a physician associate and have just completed your first decade in practice. While finding neurosurgery rewarding, there is still something amiss in your life, a haunting emptiness. You recognize the source of that disquiet, the lingering grief of losing your father twenty years previously, your hero and best friend—a medic dying in the south tower on 9/11. This was Bryan Roger’s emotional posture at the beginning of the Stones of Yemen. But he finds peace at the helm of a sailboat and decides to take one year off to sail around the world alone, an attempt to rekindle his passion for medicine and life.
Halfway through circumnavigating the planet, Bryan anchors for the night off the shore of Yemen. He becomes mesmerized watching the brutal civil war playing out on the mainland along the eastern horizon. By the small hours of the next morning, he hears the imagined voices of Yemen’s children of war, beckoning him to help them. He answers that call—entering the country on a whim—quickly settling into a fulfilling role in a clinic at a refugee camp in the mountain oasis, Haydan. After an incredible year, his passions rekindled, and assimilating deeply into the rich culture of the Yemen’s mountain people, tragedy strikes. In the wake of that disaster, Bryan learns of a plot for the next “9/11”, a terrorist attack against his hometown, New York, that would eclipse the first. It is a plot that only he can thwart; an around-the-world chase begins.
While Bryan Rogers is an imperfect man, his compassion, judgement, and well-honed medical skills will make all advanced medical clinicians proud. These skills are displayed in a graphic way throughout the story. The book has been characterized as a “upmarket suspense,” in other words, a thinking woman or man’s thriller. While intense at times, it does raise serious questions about war, terrorism, and finding hope in a bleak world.
The author Mike Jones draws richly from his own experience living and working as a physician associate in the Middle East and near Asia, including working among refugees and in war zones. The Stones of Yemen is beautifully written, an engaging story that will keep the reader spellbound from the beginning to the end. The book is available as a free Kindle Unlimited download and by order through all bookstores. An audio version is exclusively available at BookBaby Bookshop online.
J. Michael Jones started writing in the early 1980s, publishing over thirty articles in national medical journals, and The Stones of Yemen is his eighth book, five of them fiction. He had a thirty-eight-year career as a physician associate and worked in refugee camps in Pakistan, Afghanistan, Cyprus, Oman, UAE, Egypt, and Nepal. In addition, he hosted twenty Yemeni students over two years in the U.S. Besides his medical studies, he has a degree in Arabic from the American University in Cairo, which was invaluable during the research for this book. Michael resides with his wife Denise in Washington’s San Juan Islands, where he writes full time. They are the parents of five grown children and one hairy Saint Bernard.
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