Graphic Novel Review: Sheriff of Babylon

By Tom King 

4 Stars 

It is 2004, in Baghdad, capital of Iraq, a man named Ali al Fahar is killed. Chris Henry, a former police officer sent to train Ali and a group of others to police Baghdad, wants to know why he is killed. He calls in a favour with Saffiya al Agani, a member of the governing council, who then sends Nassir, a retired officer who worked for Saddam Hussein, to help work the case. What starts as a routine investigation turns into something far greater than what they could handle, and the involvement of the CIA and other agencies, which have also been tasked with finding Ali’s murderer, complicates things even further.

This is a very good, but graphic, book. The main theme of this book is blame; the characters are looking for someone to blame in the killing that happens in the beginning of the book, and around partway through, the characters want to find someone to blame for the way their lives are going. The book tells us that in war, it’s hard to blame anyone but the guys at the top, but that isn’t helpful when you’re trying to solve a murder. Another theme is war, and people don’t care. Characters in the book, especially ones in the military, treat death with apathy; it’s routine for them, and that’s what makes solving the murder so hard for the characters; no one cares about the victim enough to be able to give clues about what happened, since this stuff happens all the time. This book is great, although concerning, since the author based it on his experiences working with the CIA, and the CIA aren’t exactly heroes in this book.

Reviewed by Gavin 

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