“This tense, thought-provoking and extraordinary book is an absolute must” — Daily Mail
Justin Huggler’s gripping debut novel is published by Short Books on 6 February 2014
Zoe Temple, a young journalist who dreams of being a war correspondent…Lieutenant Rick Benes, an American officer trying to get his platoon home alive…Adel, an Iraqi who wants revenge for the death of his father…Mahmoud, an Iraqi driver in a secret love affair with a Christian woman…Nouri, an innocent man tortured in Abu Ghraib… In occupied Baghdad, their lives will come together—in a world of violence and mistrust, where every decision can be fatal, and love is found in unexpected quarters. And when a shocking incident at an American checkpoint leaves three people dead, it sets in train a series of events that will have far-reaching consequences for them all.
The Burden of the Desert is fast-paced, and asks questions that will linger long after the last page is turned. Justin Huggler was a war correspondent in Iraq for the Independent newspaper, and in his first novel he memorably evokes the atmosphere of a military occupation whose aftershocks are still being felt today.
“Exciting and terrifying, wondrous and sobering…action and adventure aplenty to keep fans of this genre turning the pages late into the night” – ForeWord Clarion Reviews
“The author has an uncanny ability to stimulate readers’ senses with his vivid depictions…at times, readers may feel as if they are right there alongside the soldiers” – Kirkus Reviews
“Rarely is something this informative also this exciting…so mesmerised that I couldn’t help but read all 600+ pages in one late, late sitting” — The Bookbag