cover image The Sand Men

The Sand Men

Christopher Fowler. Solaris, $9.99 trade paper (320p) ISBN 978-1-78108-374-1

Fowler (Nyctophobia) tackles corporate greed and conspicuous consumption in this suspenseful, unusual story set in and around a luxury Dubai resort. Lea Brook, teen daughter Cara, and husband Roy trade their lives in London for the sterile, landscaped gated community Dream Ranches. It houses top-tier employees of Dream World, which is only months away from opening its opulent doors. At first, the new surroundings are exciting, but Roy works around the clock, Cara is withdrawing, and Lea isn't content to be a good little housewife. When Lea finds out that daughters of Dream World employees have gone missing, and their fathers are killed in workplace "accidents," she starts to dig; but Dubai is a man's world, and no one wants to hear speculation from a "bored" housewife. People suspicious of Dream World start to die, and Lea fears that their delicate, carefully constructed world will soon fall apart. Lea's determination to find out the truth about the missing girls in the face of some very powerful men makes for a harrowing read, and palpable tension builds steadily throughout, all the way to the oddly hopeful, surprising conclusion. (Oct.)