Novel: Silent Terrorism: Saudi Arabia
Author Name: Phetra H. Novak
Release day: March 17, 2018
Pages: 209
Genre: MMPolitical, suspence

Early morning, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia: Swedish correspondent cameraman Ebbe Skoog is out getting shots for an upcoming story and stumbles upon something he isn’t supposed to see. On a building site, on the outskirts of the city, four men looking a lot like the Mabahith—the secret police—are sending a bound man to a certain death by stoning.


With camera still rolling, Ebbe begins to retreat when a second man enters the scene and throws himself on top of the dying man, shielding him with his body, soothing with loving words. Ebbe’s reaction is immediate. Clutching his camera, he drags the screaming lover out of the rain of stones, and in a storm of sand, they flee into the brutal uncertainty of the desert.


Correspondent reporter Mattis Andersson is the wild card, the rebel. He’s also Ebbe’s only hope of getting out alive with his new companion, Aasim El-Batal, and the memory card holding the footage that will make Saudia Arabia burn in the eyes of human rights activists the world over.


With their past as lovers, and their present as colleagues and best friends who would take a bullet for each other, it now falls on Mattis to protect his and Ebbe’s future. But the Swedish government wants to silence them, unwilling to jeopardize years of lucrative weapons deals for “some petty gay love affair.” It’s an impossible mission that will draw on every strength the two men possess.




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A loud scream rent the air, startling him enough that he jerked and let go of his camera. Experience and a couple of bad drops had taught him to always have it around his neck, and now he was

happy that he did as the camera bounced hard against his chest

and came to a rest on his gut.


What on earth was that? Not a wild animal, which he had hoped for, but a human voice. Or perhaps he’d imagined it. Looking toward the building the scream had come from, he still wasn’t sure of what he’d heard and was about to move on, in spite of the fact that every part of his reporter’s brain was telling

him something was wrong. But fear was rolling over him like a tidal wave. Another scream tore through the building, echoing off the half-built walls, and this time, he knew what he heard was not imagined.


“What the hell?” He didn’t dare move. He didn’t know if he could. The screams were horrific, yet there was nothing else. No call for help, no thud of someone falling from the building, no other sound at all.


“Get out, Ebbe,” he told himself. “Get help, don’t go in there.” But he knew before he uttered the last words that he would go in there. It was who he was; he needed to know who had screamed and why.


With a quick glance around—there was nothing apart from his car way back in the distance—he moved forward. Whoever was in the building wouldn’t have seen or heard him, and he was grateful for that. There was something not right, though he couldn’t put his finger on what. He just knew. Through years of doing what he was doing, in places that didn’t always operate according to Western norms, he had learned to trust his gut.


His heart was beating wildly as he walked the few steps toward the building, ready to duck and hide at the first sign of trouble. Nearing the first opening, he stopped and flattened himself against the wall, straining to hear. He could make out muffled voices and even quieter muffled screams.


He knew without looking what it meant. Someone in there was being tied up and gagged.


Leave, go back to the car, call Mattis. He’ll have the authorities and the international press on it in a matter of minutes. But even if Mattis and he worked quickly, whoever was in there would be long gone, and there would be no evidence there had been any sort of foul play. Somewhere deep inside of him, Ebbe still hoped he was wrong, that he’d look around that corner and find some sort of consensual ritual going on.


Closing his eyes, he shook his head. Damn it to hell! You’re fooling yourself. Look at where you are. Making sure his camera was secure in his hand and ready to go, he opened his eyes and took one last look at his car while trying to talk some sense into the logical part of his brain. It didn’t work.


Pushing everything else out of his mind, he peeked around the corner, slowly letting out the breath he’d been holding when he saw there was no one there. He needed to go deeper inside, and edged around the building, ducking into a dark alcove, where he got his camera ready to film.


There were no muffled screams now, only the sound of soft chanting murmurs from the other side of the cement wall. If he could get to the opening at the end of the wall, that should give him a view of the men he imagined he would see. Mattis is going to kick my ass for this...for putting myself in danger, and for not letting him in on the action. Hunched down, he moved as silently as he could to the opening in the wall, the voices becoming clearer the closer he came. Dropping one knee to the floor to stabilize himself, he tried to make his large body as small as possible before peeking around the corner with his rolling camera.


Four men standing in a circle...

A man slumped on his knees on the hard floor, head hanging, hands bound to his back...


At a closer look, Ebbe saw there was something stuffed in the man’s mouth. It made his stomach churn, and what he really wanted to do was to throw up. Covering his mouth with his hand, he pressed his forehead against the cool, rough wall, trying to get his nausea under control. What the hell had he just walked in on? The anger was sudden and instant, the burst of adrenaline giving him the courage and stamina needed to not only stay put but get his mind moving. If he didn’t do something, the man was going to die. They—who looked an awful a lot like the Mabahith, the brutal Saudi Arabian Secret Police—had gagged him to quiet his screams and make their job easier. Blood streamed down the man’s face, and it looked as if his shoulder might be dislocated. With the camera still shooting the scene before him, Ebbe pushed up on his feet and moved closer to the opening. He couldn’t leave a man to a certain death or let these bastards get away with what they were doing. If all else failed, he needed to get their shitty faces on film so he could show the world what went on behind closed doors.


Lifting his camera once more, he focused in on the group of men so all of them were in the shot and there would be no question of identification. The four men, who momentarily had been still, were now moving in a creepy, synchronized way and raised their arms as they started up with what they must have been doing before to cause the man to scream in such agony. Armed with stones big as fists, they launched them at the man on the ground who yelled and rolled into a ball as the rocks rained down on his broken body. A huge chunk of skin and flesh flew off as one hit his head. Ebbe bit his tongue to stop his own scream escaping. He bit so hard he could taste blood.


When a particularly big rock hit the kneeling man’s cheek, his head jerked to the side, giving a perfect view of the man’s face. Ebbe gasped out loud and his heart stopped for a second or maybe even two.


“Kadar,” he whispered. It was the same young man he had talked to at the football game only a few hours ago—the young man he’d given his card to. The young man who wanted out so he could see the pretty blond people. It didn’t make sense. Ebbe shot up from his hiding place, ready to charge right over there, but was stopped when another man came tearing into the building, shouting out Kadar’s name.


“Kadar! I am here, my love,” he yelled in Arabic.





Author Bio:


Phetra often refers to herself as the odd man out, the dorky book nerd. She’d rather spend time with a
good book or making up fantastic stories with even more fantastic characters, than live in the real
world, dealing with real people.

The real world is strange, in a very non-humorous way, and people in it complicate it to the point of
wearing you out. In the written-word world, whether it’s someone else’s words or her own, things
might get busy, complicated, and even downright painful, but somewhere along the line, a hero’s
always on the horizon. He’s probably not a prim and proper, church-going pretty-boy, since the author
prefers rebellious men and women who don’t follow the protocols of society.

One of her favorite sayings is that “Only dead fish follow the stream,” and, well, she ain’t no dead

Phetra lives with her family—two children, a domestic partner, and their two cats—in Gothenburg,
Sweden. When reading her books, you’ll notice she always finds a way to bring her own culture into
her stories.

The joy of reading and writing comes from her childhood and is something she has always loved and
been passionate to share with others. Phetra loves hearing from her readers, even with ideas of what
they’d like to come next.

If you are looking for her, the best place to start looking is at home in the quietest corner of the house,
where she’ll be curled up with either her Kindle, reading, or her laptop, typing away.



You can contact Phetra on: