Friday, November 10, 2017

Backdoor Politics by C.L. Mustafic Blog Tour

Kamal is a by-the-book mercenary and hitman who keeps to himself, dealing with the brutal politics of the Bosnian underworld. He has very few ties to the world around him since the war that left him broken and betrayed by his lover. An encounter with a fellow mercenary, whose job it is to kidnap the son of the only man Kamal ever loved, leads Kamal to do something irrational. In an isolated cabin in the mountains of Bosnia with his hostage, Kamal follows the well laid-out plan of his predecessor, but somewhere along the way things get personal. The boy in his care becomes more than just a stand-in for his father, but a job is a job and Kamal is a professional. When questions and tensions begin to mount, Kamal begins to put the pieces together for himself, and doesn't like what he finds. Can Kamal get his revenge and the boy or will he have to settle for one or the other?

May contain disturbing content for some readers.
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Interview with a Hitman by C.L. Mustafic

It took some doing, but I managed to convince Kamal to sit down with me for a quick chat. I didn’t realize he’d bring Zijad along and make him kneel at his feet, but I’m going to try to ignore that he’s there while Kamal glowers at me.

Me: Thanks for agreeing to sit down with me.

Kamal: Not like you gave me much choice.

Me: True, but I think deep down you really wanted to do this interview.

Kamal: Rolls his eyes while lighting a cigarette.

Me: Waves smoke out away. Okay, shall we get to it then?

Kamal: The sooner you do the sooner I can get out of here.

Me: How have things been going?

Kamal: What things?

Me: Um… Your job? Had any interesting jobs lately?

Kamal: No comment.

Me: That’s not how this works. You have to answer the questions.

Kamal: I can’t answer that one, and you know why. Though I will say I have something big coming up but I can’t discuss it.

Me: So you’re just going to leave us wondering what it might be?

Kamal: Nods and, after looking for and not finding an ashtray, ashes his cigarette into Zijad’s cupped hands.

Me: Prays that Kamal won’t put the cigarette out in Zijad’s hands before taking a deep breath. Okay, so then what subjects are not out of bounds?

Kamal: I don’t know until you ask.

Me: Fine, how are things going at home?

Kamal: Things are what they are.

Me: And is that good, or…

Kamal: Looks at the young man kneeling beside him, and then at the stub of cigarette in his hand before pinching it to put it out and laying it among the ashes.

Zijad: Looks around the room, and then at me but says nothing.

Me: Trash can’s in the corner.

Zijad: Inclines his head as a silent thank you and crawls on his knees to the corner where the trash can sits.

Me: Watches Kamal, who watches Zijad. A small smile touches Kamal’s lips before he schools his expression once more.

Kamal: Things are going well.

Me: Finally an answer! What do you guys do for fun?

Kamal: I don’t think you really want the answer to that.

Zijad: Returns to his spot and blushes bright red.

Me: Coughs and starts babbling. Okay, maybe you’re right about that. What about vacations? Have you gone anywhere, or is there somewhere you’d like to go? Do you ski? I’ve heard there are some good skiing places. I don’t ski myself because I’d probably break a leg but…

Kamal: I don’t ski. I don’t do fun outdoor activities, and I hate traveling. Sits back as if contemplating his answer before a nasty grin appears. On second thought, there is this quaint little cabin in the mountains I was thinking about revisiting…

Zijad: Pales and whimpers before Kamal gives him a look that silences him.

Me: Are you serious right now?

Kamal: Of course. I’m always serious. Looks satisfied with himself.

Me: Have I ever told you how much I dislike you?

Kamal: Too many times to count.

Me: Good. I just wanted you to know that’s still the case.

Kamal: Are we done here?

Me: Are you going to answer any of my questions without the aim of making either me or Zijad uncomfortable?

Kamal: No.

Me: Fine, we’re done here then.

Kamal: Stands up and walks to the door. Zijad follows, still on his knees and almost runs into Kamal when he suddenly stops and turns to look at me. I’ll be in touch. Soon.

Me: I know. I heard you were up to something again. Sends a pitying look at Zijad who hangs his head and hides his face behind his hair.

Kamal: I think deep down, you love me.

Me: Snorts. Yeah, no.

Kamal: Chuckles as he turns and leads Zijad out the door.

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

Avid Reader☆☆☆☆
Triggers: Click HERE to see Avid Reader’s review on Goodreads for trigger warnings.

Do Not ignore the triggers. This book is VERY dark and not for someone who might occasionally like a dark romance. I didn't think this was a romance at all, despite the premise.

A cold blooded killer with an occasional lover, a horrible betrayal in his past, and a new job that will bring everything together. Kamal doesn't really have a heart. He has skills and uses those skills to obtain wealth or favor.

There is a lot going on in this story, but the majority of it is Kamal and Zijad (Mali) and the psychological torture that Kamal puts Zijad through. At first, I wasn't sure if it was to get back at the person who betrayed him – Zijad's father. But I think in the end, it was the only way that Kamal knew how to love – brutally and with a lot of rules.

Zijad is subjected to torture, rape, beatings, and ultimately, a release back to his family. However, you also were given a glimpse at how he viewed himself – he knew that his father hated him and that he was a disappointment to him.

Overall, this was a story about love, but a very non-traditional kind of love. It was almost a Stockholm Syndrome situation, but both captor and victim came under each other’s powers.

CL Mustafic is a born and bred American mid-westerner who mysteriously ended up living in one of those countries nobody can ever find on the map in Europe. Left with too much time on her hands – let’s be honest here it was the lack of television channels in her native language – and too many voices in her head trying to fill the silence, she decided to give her life-long dream of writing a novel a shot. After finishing the first one she figured she may as well do it again because as she flipped through the channels in the vain hope there would be something interesting on she came to the realization that there are only so many 90’s sitcom reruns one can stomach before they are compelled to throw themselves in front of a bus. So now between shuttling kids back and forth from various activities, risking her life on the insanely narrow, busy streets of her new home town, she loses herself in her own made-up world where sometimes things get a little freaky.

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Goodreads Book Giveaway

Backdoor Politics by C.L. Mustafic

Backdoor Politics

by C.L. Mustafic

Giveaway ends November 11, 2017.
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Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of Backdoor Politics by C.L. Mustafic to read and review for this tour.

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