Was the book different from what you expected? Yes. I was expecting a straightforward military mystery, wasn't expecting something so political and detailed. I loved it.
Was location important to the story? Yes. The different locations shed light on other terrorists and other political situations that were happening at the same time as Rufus' capture.
Was the time period important to the story? It depends. If you interpret this book as pure fiction, then time period was not at all important. But if start to connect some of the incidences in this book with real life then time period is important.
Disclosure: I received a review copy of this book from the author.