David Rohde and his wife Kristen Mulvihill. Photo by Erik Swain
New York Times correspondent David Rohde was researching a book near Kabul, Afghanistan, in 2008, and was ready to go home to his wife of two months, Kristen Mulvihill. But a final attempt to interview a Taliban commander ended with Rohde being kidnapped and detained in Pakistan for seven months until his daring escape in June 2009.

In their joint memoir, “A Rope and a Prayer,” the couple gives his-and-her perspectives on the ordeal. Their book tour stops in D.C. Thursday and Friday.

How did your captors treat you?
David Rohde: I was never beaten or physically abused. … But my captors terrorized my family. They shot videotapes of us designed to make my family feel responsible.

You were held captive for 10 days in Bosnia in 1995. Did that prepare you for this?
David: It did and it didn’t. I made some mistakes early in my kidnapping. I told my captors about my reporting in Bosnia, which helped expose the mass executions of thousands of Muslims. I hoped they would see me as an independent journalist and release me. Instead, they thought, “You must be worth a lot of money.”

The New York Times didn’t publicize your kidnapping. Would you have made the same decision?
David: It was absolutely the right decision. There’s unanimous agreement among former kidnap victims and security experts that captors are not going to be pressured by publicity.

A Rope and a PrayerKristen, how were you able to balance your job as a photo editor at Cosmopolitan with what was going on with David?
Kristen Mulvihill: The support I had from our family. Initially, being able to go to work also provided me with a sense of normalcy.

You called the attempted interview “a bachelor’s decision.” Has your understanding of David’s kidnapping changed?
Kristen: At first, I couldn’t believe he made that decision, but he made it imagining a positive outcome, and, ultimately, with the intention of moving away from covering war zones and having a more stable life.

» Politics and Prose, 5015 Connecticut Ave. NW; Thu., free, 7 p.m.; 202-364-1919.

» Borders, 1801 K St. NW; signing only, Fri., 12:30 p.m., free; 202-466-4999.

Photo by Erik Swain