By Daphne Abeel
Special to the Mirror-Spectator
The Gendarme. By Mark T. Mustian G.P.
Putnam & Sons.. 2010. 294 pp. $25.95.
In his first novel, Mark Mustian has chosen to deal with the subject of the Armenian Genocide through the eyes of his Turkish protagonist, Emmet Conn (Ahmet Khan). Emmet is 92 when the reader meets him. The year is 1990, and his experiences as a gendarme in the Ottoman military are far behind him. Emmet has long been in the United States, married to an American wife, Carol, who was a nurse in the London hospital where he was sent after he was wounded in a violent incident in Aleppo.
He is the father of two daughters, Lissette and Violet, and has a grandson, Wilfred. Carol has died and he is an old man, dealing with terminal illness.
He has had total amnesia about the events of 1915, but he is troubled by disturbing and violent dreams regarding his role in the events of that time. He was assigned as a gendarme to shepherd a convoy of Armenians on their forced march from their homes to Aleppo, Syria.