The Englishwoman

You do not know the dangers of beauty to these men,’ a local policeman warns.
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You do not know the dangers of beauty to these men,’ a local policeman warns. Thirty-one-year-old Sally Vyse, a former music journalist, makes a one-way journey from London to Somaliland, carrying with her the deeds to an old colonial mansion that she inherited from her late mother. She is received by Ibram, a young Islamist and leader of a small band of jihadists who have set up base in the mansion. A powerful sexual attraction develops between them, and, at the same time, Sally bonds with an eleven-year-old boy who is being trained up as a suicide bomber. But why has this white, middle-class Londoner with no political or religious affiliations made this perilous journey in the first place? And why does she turn down the opportunity to escape when death becomes the likely outcome? Sean Burke was born in Cardiff, Wales in 1961. He was Reader in English Studies at the University of Durham where he taught from 1992 to 2006 and has since worked as a freelance writer. He is the author of three books on critical theory, including the classic The Death and Return of the Author. His debut novel, Deadwater, an acclaimed work of literary noir set in the Cardiff docklands, was translated into French as Au Bout des Docks. The Englishwoman is his second novel.

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