My fourth novel starts with a young Bosnian girl Maric fulfilling her dream at the University of Sarajevo, when the Bosnian War intervenes. Although she is forced to move to Zagreb, Croatia, she finds she can use ham radio to connect with a female resistance group in Bosnia. The group records incidents of rape used by the military to ethnically cleanse Bosnian communities. After the war, the resistors continue their work by helping to ensure that war criminals are held accountable. Maric ends up in hiding in Eastern Oregon: “the Big Empty.” An equally courageous detective from Zagreb Police Department, Oz, becomes dedicated to solving a missing person case: a woman with the name of Maric.
In writing Malheur I wanted to accurately portray the Bosnian War whenever it pertained to the story. I chose ordinary people to be the ones to accomplish heroic acts of which there were many. The story illustrates the difficulty of bringing war criminals to justice under present-day international law. One of the pictures below shows the famous bridge in Mostar where Maric grew up. It was bombed during the war, but has now been repaired. The other picture is of the Frenchglen Hotel in the town of Frenchglen, Oregon, population eleven, where Maric hides under the cover as Mary the cook
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