Forced to leave the University of Baghdad when the Americans invade Iraq, a young man returns home to his small desert village, where he witnesses three unspeakable acts of violence committed by American soldiers. Consumed by a desire for revenge, the youth returns to the city where is he is taken in by a radical group. Before long, he finds himself part of a terrorist operation which will take him to London. But as the time to board the plane draws near, he struggles to reconcile himself to his mission.
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Expertly evokes an urban atmosphere of paranoia and random destruction - Guardian
Remarkable...horrifying and genuinely illuminating...essential reading for anyone who wants to understand Iraq, but also an incredibly powerful piece of fiction - The Times
Intoxicating, utterly thrilling. It is not an apology for terrorism, but a provocative explanation that will bring the Iraqi experience in terrifying detail to western bedside tables - New Statesman
Khadra draws the moods and motives of his village lad-turned-apprentice jihadi with engrossing power... lets you taste the sand, dust and blood - and most of all, the despair... In his own unsettling way, Yasmina Khadra offers the kind of truth that only well-wrought fiction tells - Independent
A sad and important book - Financial Times
One of the most important books to be published in Europe this year - Independent
Yasmina Khadra is the nom de plume of the Algerian army officer, Mohammed Moulessehoul, who took a female pseudonym to avoid submitting his manuscripts for approval by the army. He is the author of four other books published in English, including the acclaimed bestseller Swallows of Kabul. He lives in France.