Whiskey Tango Foxtrot by David Shafer



So a title like that made me think Military.

As in no-way-am-I-going-to-read-this-Military story.

But as luck would have it very many of the books on the Tournament of Books longlist were borrowed out, in whichever version, print or e-book. Probably by other eager ToB longlist readers (you there! Read faster!!). Either that or I would have to ILL it and that would take too long.

And Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, well, it was available. Which didn’t really bode well for itself, did it?

So off it went into my Kindle, a library e-book on loan to me for three weeks. And it sat there for a bit while I read non-ToB longlisted books like I said I wouldn’t.

And when I launched myself into this book, it wasn’t where I expected. Myanmar. An NGO. A Persian-American who works in an NGO in Myanmar. Interesting. Somewhat.

But the details of Leila’s frustrated life there weren’t. How her work stalled while waiting for deliveries and what not.

Things pick up when we meet Leo Crane who works in a pricey preschool and who thinks the world is full of conspiracies and is watching his every move.

There is also Mark Devereaux. A kind of self-help star and is life coach to the CEO of a mega Internet data storage giant.

Separately their lives are varied and interesting enough. But as most contemporary fiction goes, it is when their paths intersect that something explosive happens.

And so for me the story kind of went “ok sort of intriguing” to a sudden acceleration up into the “whoa! This is exciting!” zone.

I went back and read the synopsis of the book on Goodreads after finishing the book. Please don’t read that! If I had, I would never have picked it up.

Let’s just say that it was – once it got going – rather thrilling, very modern, a fun read. Pretty darn good entertainment. Sure it may not be for everyone but it surprised the hell out of me, in a good way.

I read this book because it was on the Tournament of Books long list.


  1. Isn’t it nice when you pick something up and it turns out to be a fun and entertaining read? I haven’t heard anything about this one yet but you’re right about the title sounding a bit military. So now the short list has been released…I’ll have to go look to see if this one was included!


    1. It didn’t make it to the shortlist and I can kind of see why. But I will say that I enjoyed WTF a whole lot more than I am with a ToB shortlisted book I am currently reading, Silence Once Begun.


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