FowlerC-AuthorPicLet’s start with an introduction: Who is Christopher Fowler?

If you want the official version, Christopher Fowler is the award-winning author of over 40 novels and short story collections, including the Bryant & May mysteries, recording the adventures of two Golden Age detectives in modern-day London. His most recent books were the haunted house thriller Nyctophobia and The Burning Man. Other work includes screenplays, videogames, graphic novels and audio plays. He won the CWA Dagger In The Library this year for outstanding work and has a weekly column in The Independent On Sunday. He lives in King’s Cross, London and Barcelona and daily updates his fairly unusual blog.

Your latest novel, The Sand Men, is published by Solaris. I finished it recently, and enjoyed it. How would you introduce it to a potential reader?

I like thrillers that ask awkward questions about our world. It’s about what happens when old and new cultures clash, in this case, Dubai’s fast-forward rush into the future, and the damage it inflicts on people. Continue reading

Quick Review: THE SAND MEN by Christopher Fowler (Solaris)

FowlerC-SandMenAn interesting, slow-burn mystery in Dubai

In Dubai there’s a new world of high-luxury resorts emerging for the super-rich – but at what price to everyone else?

Lea, Roy and their 15 year-old daughter Cara live in a gated community reserved for foreign workers. Roy has been hired to deal with teething problems at Dream World, a futuristic beach complex. In the oppressive heat, the wives appear happy to follow behind their husbands, cooking and arranging tea parties, but Lea finds herself a virtual prisoner in a land where Western women are regarded with indifference and suspicion.

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 dies in a suspicious accident. It’s the first in a string of terrible occurrences that divide the foreign workers. Lea’s neighbours start to blame migrants, locals 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 if the thing she fears most is really happening? 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…

This is the first of Christopher Fowler’s novels that I’ve read, and I must say I rather enjoyed it. The Sand Men wasn’t quite what I’d expected: in good ways, and one I thought could have been expanded upon. Continue reading