Detective Amir Omar Duran was just a boy when the British invaded his beloved Granada. Now—after two decades of colonial rule—the ancient city of winding alleys and iconic architecture is a smoldering caldron of corruption, poverty and strife.

On the eve of a political summit between the city’s wrangling factions, Amir is dispatched to Granada’s torrid outskirts to investigate the unusual death of an African migrant. When the investigation puts Amir at odds with some of Granada’s most powerful men, Agent Brit Tillman is assigned by The British Crown to keep a watchful eye.

As more shocking evidence is unearthed, Amir and Brit must form an alliance to foil a dark conspiracy and uncover the man behind it. And in a city full of unsavory businessman, desperate refugees and hardboiled spies, almost everyone is a suspect.

THE CITADEL is the first book in a three-part thriller series featuring Detective Amir Duran and Agent Brit Tillman.

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“John Ward’s first mystery was a blast and has it all — a chain-smoking detective with a dirty mouth, an intriguing plot line, a dystopian future state…. and the writing is gorgeous and evocative. Can’t wait for the next in the series.”

-Sophie Godley, clinical assistant professor, Boston University School of Public Health

“The book is fast moving and jumps at a dizzying pace from characters and setting. The plot thrusts the reader into a current of compelling plot twists and complex real politic. However, it is Ward’s writing that stands out to me. He writes beautifully. While Ward’s dialogue is the standard vulgar invective of hardened men,  it is his lapses into the poetic realm of memory when I am reminded of Michael Ondaatje or Gabriel Garcia Marquez.”

-Amy Salvatore, English Department Head, the Pike School, Andover, Mass.

“Well written, fast paced, and gritty. Ward’s world building is visceral and Duran is an awesome protagonist. For me Duran is reminiscent of Harrison Ford’s Rick Deckard in Blade Runner. I think this story would make for some great TV.”

“A well written thriller, full of imagery and description. It is fast paced and a quick read. It leaves you wanting more.”
“The bite-sized chapters move the action and plot along while painting a rich picture of this alternative timeline and its people.”
“Our whole family passed around John Ward’s first book and loved it! Such an elegantly written thriller, but with a sadistic edge, and the setting of Granada, Spain perfectly carries the lot. Duran, the hero, is a classic gumshoe in some ways, but Ward adds layers to him using history, culture, and a bit of fantasy. In that way, the book brings together some of the best of great crime writers like Robert Parker and Dennis Lehane with some of the great novelists like Rushdie and Garcia Marquez. All in all a great, galloping read and we are looking forward to more from Ward. Recommended!”

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