Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Doctor of Aleppo” as Want to Read:
The Doctor of Aleppo
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Doctor of Aleppo

4.38  ·  Rating details ·  119 ratings  ·  31 reviews
"Heroic and Heartbreaking."

In the ancient Silk Road city of Aleppo, a young American woman is sucked into the Syrian civil war engulfing the city. Relentlessly pursued by a Javert-like secret police officer, her only refuge is the rebel hospital run by a renowned surgeon.

In The Doctor of Aleppo, Dan Mayland, author of the bestselling Mark Sava spy novel series, pa
Hardcover, 450 pages
Published August 11th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Doctor of Aleppo, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Doctor of Aleppo

This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 4.38  · 
Rating details
 ·  119 ratings  ·  31 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Doctor of Aleppo
Sep 07, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: review-copies
Inspired by real life, The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland is about a renowned Syrian surgeon Dr Sami Hasan and a Syrian-American woman, Hannah working for a European welfare organization. Set in the city of Aleppo during the Syrian civil war, the story spans over the course of four years (2012-2016). I wanted to like this book, I really did, but I found it to be just okay. I went in looking for a fast paced spy thriller which is how it's marketed, but it was more of a literary suspense with som ...more
Jamele (BookswithJams)
Aug 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: partner, arcs
This is a fictional novel, however the author tried to depict the war for Aleppo as accurate as possible, and it is heavy but also quite the page turner. I was hooked from the beginning and could not put it down until I was finished. The story focuses on four individuals - Hannah, a young American woman with dual passports in America and Syria, and her Swedish lover Oskar; Rahim, a secret police officer for the party that is being protested against; and Dr. Sami Hasan, a renowned surgeon. All of ...more
Aug 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was an enthralling and outstanding historical fiction war novel read from Dan Mayland, a spy author and a geopolitical forecaster. His research through Azerbaijan, Central Asia, Iran, Bahrain and the Syrian Turkey border came to life in this book and through an ensemble of characters whose lives we are immersed in this story.

The setting is in the 21st century war torn Aleppo, Syria and the writing is truly a stand-out. The intricate research with the vivid and rich detail of the storytelli
Sep 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Intensely readable! Dan Mayland’s novel unfolds against the backdrop of the Syrian revolution (starting in 2012) and perfectly captures the frustration and anger that turned regular citizens into protesters calling for change in their country. As government retaliation increased, children, women and men became martyrs and mourners meanwhile The Doctor of Aleppo risks his own safety to provide care where he can. While the plot includes the protest and the violent beatings that both major and mino ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Hannah works for an NGO in Alleppo with her partner Oskar a Swede. An American who also holds a Syrian passport on account of her father being Syrian, Hannah is right now in a vulnerable position as everyone is trying to get out of Syria as tensions and conflicts mount.

Caught up in an accident and ending in hospital Oskar is now immobile and in the hands of Dr. Sami a surgeon who is desperately trying to help the average man on the street and one of the few not affiliated to any side. He is walk
Aug 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this book. I was afraid that it would be focused on the war in Syria and full of military jargon. I was greatly surprised when I started to read it and found out that it was about the human side of war, about the destruction of the cities and the needless loss of the innocent lives of people who were just in the wrong place at the wrong time. It was most importantly about what people do for others in a life threatening situation when they could just pr ...more
ReadingGirlReviews (Gina)
Aug 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: blogtour
Expect the unexpected with this one. What I thought was going to be a considerably weighty read turned out to be so much more. Prepare yourself for an evening of captivating reading that will consume the rest of your day, and night, because you are about to get hooked.

THE DOCTOR OF ALEPPO is my first read by author Dan Mayland, and though I hear he writes a pretty good spy novel, I was not expecting a historical war fiction saga quite as brilliant as this. Based on the true events that occurred
Carolyn Meinel
Jun 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
"The Doctor of Aleppo" will be launched by Blackstone in August. Researching this book, Dan Mayland spent many months in Turkey just over the border from Syria, observing and interviewing the teams who labored to save victims of the civil war. By using the format of a novel, he is able to tell the kinds of stories that journalists dare not report for fear of endangering their sources.

Dan tells these stories so well that I made the mistake of thinking I could get away with going asleep at 10 PM w
R J Mckay
Jun 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
There have been many times in my life where historically significant actions rushed upon me like a rogue wave. Some delighted me, some made me question my religion, and some saddened my belief in humanity. I read newspaper articles and viewed television stories about the Syrian War. I felt bad for the people and shook my head in despair at the senseless destruction of a nation. But I never imagined the horrors that explode to life in The Doctor of Aleppo. When you compare this book to my life, I ...more
Aug 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
While reading this moving work of historical fiction, I couldn’t help but think of Americans sequestering because of COVID-19 and enraged because they wanted the “freedom” to get manicures and haircuts and go to brunch. Imagine then if they lived in a non-Western country, such as in Syria in 2012, where and when this story begins. Just getting food and water was (and still is) a challenge, not to mention facing the constant risk of losing your livelihood, your home, your family, or being impriso ...more
Sep 08, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Words cannot accurately describe how touched I was by this story. This book depicts wartime Syria from 2012-2016. The civil war between ISIS and The Free Syrian Army for control over the city of Aleppo is a war unlike one I’ve ever read about. This story, while a work of fiction, closely follows true history.

-Dr. Sami Hasan is a brilliant and talented surgeon that cannot keep up with the influx of those injured by the war. To treat a rebel could mean death by the Mukhabarat. There are spies eve
Set amidst the Syrian Civil War, which began in 2012, The Doctor of Aleppo attempts to bring home this story to readers of fiction. While I’ve cataloged numerous nonfiction books at work on this event, this is the first novel I have come across. The novel opens with direct action as the readers will see how a protest leads the novel’s namesake doctor, Dr. Sami Hasan, to make a choice to help a relative or protect his government job. Sami must then do his best to balance the two priorities moving ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
The Doctor of Aleppo by Dan Mayland was presented to me as "an emotional wartime mystery/romantic suspense title written with some of the epic WWll stories of love, tragedy, and redemption in mind, and applied to themes of war in Syria. Someone who loves to be both emotionally and intellectually engaged would enjoy this book. It has drawn comparisons to A Constellation of Vital Phenomena by Anthony Marra." (I did receive a free copy for an honest review.)

If I revisit the above teaser that was se
Jo | Booklover Book Reviews
Aug 25, 2020 rated it really liked it
Dan Mayland’s The Doctor of Aleppo is a valuable reminder that despite modern global connectedness, large-scale human tragedies can, and still do, go relatively unchecked. The media news cycle designed to sate short attention spans can harden even the kindest of souls, but thankfully fiction still has the power to cut through and raise lasting awareness. The idiom, “Before you judge a man, walk a mile in his shoes” could not be more true. And, this author clearly has the requisite knowledge and ...more
Jul 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
First of all, I was a lucky recipient of an ARC of 'The Doctor of Aleppo' from Dan Mayland.

I have read all of the Mark Sava books and thoroughly enjoyed them. But, I knew 'Doctor' was going to be a different type of book than those. It was and it didn't fail to deliver. I was caught up in the story from the first page. The detail and continuity of the story made me not want to put it down. It was very enlightening to the plight of the people and the region during the time of war. I couldn't imag
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As a fan of the Mark Sava series, I've come to expect a few things from a Dan Mayland book: an in-depth look at a region of the world that I know little about (Azerbaijan, Georgia, and now Syria), a fast-paced thriller that still takes the time to develop characters and provide their backstory, and details that can only be provided by someone who has been there and draws from friends and contacts where the story is set. The Doctor of Aleppo showcases all of these traits and provides a history of ...more
Jun 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent new effort from Dan Mayland. I had been looking for a new Sava book for the past few years and instead got my hands on an early copy of The Doctor of Aleppo. Very good character development, plot keeps moving. I enjoyed the shorter chapters with multiple story lines. It just seemed to keep the pace lively. I don’t usually pay much attention the medical jargon, but his description of the war torn country and medical conditions really added to the story. I also learned more about the are ...more
Randall Gregerson
Thank you!

This novel is the very reason I read novels. I have been reading about the Syrian conflict for years now. This presents such an organic, human quality to the smaller picture behind the big picture of this tragic war, which of course is actually the only picture worth reading about. I could mention many things I found enjoyable about this book but the one fact mentioned that I loved was that Dan pointed out how a drought was the beginning of the revolt. I won't say anything else but tha
Ben Ziman
May 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was lucky enough to receive an advance copy of this book from the author. Having read Dan's other books I wasn't sure about switching to another setting and main character, especially as I never fully understood the troubles experienced in this part of the world. The book was enlightening and told through some fantastic characters; the situation and struggles were truly brought to life in this exciting and heartbreaking story. ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is a gripping tale of the reality of war. The story move forward a breakneck speed conveying horror and despair with every sentence. Some parts of the book almost feel like the reader is reading the notes of a journalist who is covering the war, giving them the big picture of the war, while other parts give the reader an intimate glimpse into the gruesomeness of an inescapable war. Both parts add up to a gripping tale that is important to share.
Mike Lindgren
Jun 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Outstanding historical fiction from erstwhile thriller writer Dan Mayland. The author has set this stirring tale in war-torn Syria, and the level of detail and vivid writing make this a gripping read. Mayland's previous novels, which are straightforward spy thrillers, could not have prepared anyone for the level of psychological characterization, intricate plotting, and luminous compassion on display in this fine novel. ...more
Jun 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Thanks to the publisher and Edelweiss for sharing this ARC. This book was not at all what I was expecting. I was thinking it was more of a refugee story, but it was mostly a thriller or adventure story. And it was fantastic. Although fictional, I felt it gave me some realistic insight into the Syrian War and the Siege of Aleppo. The characters were believable and I was rooting for them. Definitely recommend this book. It almost hit that elusive 5 star rating from me, let’s call it 4.7!
Matthew M
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Heroes and saints among the survivors of war

I expected a more typical novel examining medicine being practiced in a war zone. "The Doctor of Aleppo" created an intense story of professional dedication to the most desperate humans affected by Syria's senseless warring factions. Told at a personal level of family's suffering and losses, this novel affected me deeply with the tragedy of this war.
Oct 09, 2020 rated it liked it
This is very different from Mayland's other books; if you are expecting a political thriller this is not it. It is a ground-level human tale of the war in Syria and as such is a horror story, one you read with mounting dread rather than anticipation. ...more
Emma Reynolds
Nov 17, 2020 rated it liked it
It read like a true story in a way, due to the detail given to the actual political situation at the time. The one thing that made me give this 3 rather than 4 was that the characters felt a bit flat and one dimension.
Jenmalloy Chirichillo
Feb 04, 2021 rated it it was amazing
It is so hard to read knowing this goes on all over while I sit in my beautiful house in my beautiful country but well done by Dan Maryland. Brought Aleppo to me as har das it to be reminded there is evil in the world I glad to have taken the heart wrenching journey
Apr 19, 2021 rated it it was amazing
This book is a hidden gem. I want to yell out to the world that everyone should read this story. It brings to life the human side of the war in Syria, using four very different characters whose lives are intertwined.
Highly recommend.
Georgia Yeager
Aug 28, 2020 rated it liked it
I wanted to learn something about the war in Syria. And while the story was good, I felt there wasn't enough of it; it seemed unfinished. The ending felt rushed. ...more
Esther Phair
Nov 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Well written story about the war in Syria...chaos, destruction, misery and hopelessness. A local doctor is targeted by militants and struggles to save his family.
Dec 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
Excellent book however, it took me a long time to read it as I found the story so troubling that I had the leave it from time to time.
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Vanishing Half
  • The Penguin Book of Mermaids
  • Queen Bee (Lowcountry Tales, #12)
  • Caught
  • The Order (Gabriel Allon, #20)
  • Home Before Dark
  • White Out (Badlands Thriller, #1)
  • The Last Flight
  • Becoming Mrs. Lewis
  • Golden Poppies (Freedman/Johnson, #3)
  • The Bone Clocks
  • Sea Wife
  • One by One
  • A Shadow Intelligence
  • The Turn of Midnight (Black Death, #2)
  • Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret
  • The Uncommon Reader
  • The Sinner (Black Dagger Brotherhood, #18)
See similar books…
Dan Mayland is an author and professional geopolitical forecaster, helping nonprofit, private, and government organizations navigate a changing world. His Mark Sava spy series and his latest novel, The Doctor of Aleppo, were informed by his experiences in the Caspian region and Middle East. Raised in New Jersey, Mayland now lives in Pennsylvania with his wife and two children, in an old stone farm ...more

Related Articles

  You can’t stop watching. You have things to do, children to feed, even work you get paid for. But the screen…it’s holding you hostage....
55 likes · 13 comments