The whole situation in Saddam Hussein's Iraq, and its aftermath, will always be something of an historical mystery, so there's guaranteed interest in a book that talks about that. It was, for one thing, a stable regime. It was also a non-religious regime and the country under Saddam Hussein supposedly had the most advanced policies supporting women's rights anywhere in the Middle East. I don't actually know that there was any more violence and evil in the Iraq of Saddam Hussein than there is in the United States of today and recent decades. The torture programs that the United States supports? The bloody violence that is endemic in the prisons of the United States, with the world's greatest percentage of incarcerated people, probably the greatest percentage in all of human history?
I like the gentle touch in the relationships between some of the characters, and the tale goes along at a brisk pace, with snappy dialogue and action.