Best-selling author Christopher Fowler returns with a brand new thriller set amongst the Ozlike world of Dubai’s glittering skyscrapers and deadly sand dunes.
High-luxury resorts are growing from the ancient sands of Dubai; new playgrounds for the world’s super-rich. Dream World, the latest and largest of these bubble towns of unreality to emerge, is ambitious, grandiose and in trouble. Roy Brook was a failing architect, now he’s Dream World’s latest hire and rising star, brought in to fix the failures that threaten the site’s grand opening. But for his wife, Lea, life has been irrevocably changed; living in a gated community, she finds herself a virtual prisoner in a land where the wives appear happy to follow behind their husbands in the isolated shade of their luxury homes.
At least there are a few friendly outsiders who don’t enjoy the conformity of the ex-pat community - until one night, when the most outspoken one, Milo, is killed in a suspicious hit-andrun. Milo’s death is the first in a string of terrible accidents that divide the foreign workers, as they start to blame migrants, Arabs and even each other. Lea is convinced that deliberate acts of cruelty are being committed – but is there a real threat to her life, or is she becoming paranoid? And what role does her estranged 15 year-old daughter Cara play?
What happens in a world where only the rich are important? Welcome to a future that’s five minutes away, where rebellion against conformity can lead to the unthinkable...
‘The ultimate gated community is a human being with a closed mind.’ – JG Ballard
The Sand Men is a captivating new style of thriller from the legendary author of the Bryant and May series. Set in a world of cruel juxtapositions where underpaid manual labourers slave over grandiloquent palaces for the world’s 1%; where nature is subverted to create a futuristic world in which manicured lawns meet dry desert dunes; and where a man can accidentally freeze to death on burning hot sand.
This is a Ballardian twist on Desperate Housewives for the Gone Girl generation, set in a world of uncertainties and paranoia, where cultures clash and human universals are stripped bare. Fowler artfully sets questions about environmentalism, economics and sustainability against fundamentally human concerns for family, friendship and identity, in an infinitely commercial and gripping thriller that will have readers secondguessing what they think they know, right up to the final pages.
In a world where everyone is trying to out run something, who can you trust?
About the author
Christopher Fowler is the award-winning author of over thirty novels and twelve short story collections, and the Bryant & May mystery novels, which record the adventures of two Golden Age detectives investigating impossible London crimes. His latest books are the sinister comedy-thriller ‘Plastic’, the memoir ‘Film Freak’ and the haunted-house novel ‘Nyctophobia’. Other work includes the ‘War of the Worlds’ videogame, a graphic novel and a Hammer horror radio play. He has a weekly column in The Independent On Sunday. He spends his time between London and Barcelona. Find out more at