‘Lion of Babylon’ Character Sketches

By Laura Christianson
Guest columnist

During March, I published character sketches for the Acts of Faith series on Davis Bunn’s blog.

Davis’s new novel, Lion of Babylon, is set to release July 1, so I thought now would be the perfect time to introduce you to several of the major players in that book.

Lion of Babylon is set in present day Baghdad, Iraq. Marc Royce, a former State Department intelligence agent now living in Baltimore, is contacted by Ambassador Walton, retired chief of State Department Intelligence.

Marc’s former boss informs him that several Americans who live and work in Baghdad (including Marc’s best friend) have gone missing.

Marc’s assignment—should he choose to accept it—is to travel to Iraq, locate the missing persons and return them to safety.

Here are several of the key people Marc meets along the way (no plot spoilers; I promise):

Sameh el-Jacobi – A lawyer and member of the Syrian Christian Church. Sameh has a reputation as “the most honest man in Iraq.”

Leyla – Sameh’s niece and his right hand at work. Leyla and her young daughter, Bisan, live with Sameh and his wife, Miriam.

The Imam Jaffar – (Imam designates a scholar or religious leader). Jaffar’s father (the Grand Imam) is the religious leader of Iraq’s Shia population, the majority of Iraq’s Muslim community. Jaffar is the heir apparent to this title.

Major Hamid Lahm – Senior guard-captain at the prison and Iraqi policeman from a Shia family. A graduate of Baghdad University with a degree in criminology, Major Lahm hopes for fairer treatment for his people.

Barry Duboe – Senior official at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and deputy head of station for the CIA. He is described as “aggressive, bullish, loud, and perpetually angry. But he was also bluntly honest.”

Jordan Boswell – Deputy to the U.S. ambassador in Iraq.

Josh Reames – Known as “the leopard,” Josh is an American “ghost” operating outside the official remit (in other words, he is Special Ops).

Hassan el-Thahie – a Sunni and former Baath Party official. “An extremely intelligent and crafty businessman.”

Farouk el-Waziri – Leader of one of Iraq’s oldest merchant families. He is a major exporter of dates and holds the Coca-Cola franchise for Iraq. His eldest son, Taufiq el-Waziri, is described as “a firebrand… a troublemaker.”

Fareed – An Iranian member of the resistance.

When you read Lion of Babylon, I recommend setting aside several hours. The fast pace makes the book difficult to put down, and you’ll want to read it in one sitting. Enjoy!

Laura Christianson manages Davis Bunn’s blog. The author of three non-fiction books, Laura owns Blogging Bistro, a company that helps businesses and individuals enhance their Internet presence.

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