Think Casablanca. Think about rueful, imploding love in wartime. As her husband, Brando—nicknamed Wonderboy for his reportorial prowess and his sexy innocence—embeds himself in Baghdad at the height of the Iraq war, his photographer wife, Flash, roams the atmospheric streets of Istanbul, resisting Brando's calls for her to join him and ruminating about a mysterious letter alleging his infidelity. Crisscrossed with exotic shadows, memories of romance and displacement, Ana Menèndez's new novel, The Last War, is a seductive meditation on "...the end of desire. The terrible violence at the end of love.