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The Garden of Burning Sand [Paperback]

Corban Addison
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
RRP: £7.99
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Book Description

11 Sep 2014

In Zambia, American lawyer Zoe Fleming and policeman Joseph Kabuta have uncovered a crime that has no rhyme or reason: a young girl, attacked and left for dead.

Zoe and Joseph - their pasts, cultures and upbringings radically different - must work together. Their task is not only to help the girl, Kuyeya, recover but, against overwhelming odds and terrifying danger, to ensure justice doesn't fail her again.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Quercus (11 Sep 2014)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 1780876963
  • ISBN-13: 978-1780876962
  • Product Dimensions: 19.4 x 12.8 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 30,991 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


'Chock full of suspense and emotion' Pride.

'A compelling novel with a conscience and a heart, gripping in its drama and unique in its insights into a hidden and dangerous world. Resonant with authenticity, The Garden of Burning Sand rewards the reader on every level' Richard North Patterson, author of Eden in Winter.

From the Inside Flap

On a dark night in Lusaka, Zambia, an adolescent girl is brutally assaulted. In shock, she cannot speak. Her identity is a mystery. Where did she come from? Was the attack a random street crime or a premeditated act performed by someone who knew her? The girl's case is taken up by Zoe Fleming, a human rights lawyer working in Africa. A betrayal in her own past gives the girl's plight a special resonance for Zoe, and she is determined to find the perpetrator and seek justice. Also investigating on behalf of the Zambian police is Joseph Kabuta. At first reluctant to work together, they team up. Yet their progress is thwarted at every turn and it soon becomes clear that their opponents are every bit as powerful and determined as they are corrupt. In this brilliant follow-up to his debut, A Walk Across the Sun, Corban Addison again explores an urgent human story within the framework of a compelling thriller.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An unexpected joy 15 Nov 2013
By Wegason
***I recieved this book for free under the Goodreads First Reads giveaway scheme in exchange for an honest review.***

I put it off for three maybe four books but I shouldn't have. I was wrong to be disappointed. It is a very good story that carefully, skilfully, and compassionately explores the issues affecting women and girls in sub-Saharan Africa, and how the decisions we make as relatively rich westerners, who have access to healthcare, a relatively corruption free justice system (some police officers aside) and education, affect those who have none of these things and a lot less beside.

The story follows a rich young American female, the archetypical 'sploilt brat with a trust fund' trying to do good in the world and help those less fortunate than herself. Except that she doesn't come across as spoilt, or a brat.

The exposition of the justice system in Zambia, the difficulty to achieve convictions, the superstitions that surround medical science as practiced in the west, and the horrors that AIDS and HIV has on societies in Africa are eye-opening, evocative, and effective.

The main character is developed well, others not so much, it is a first person book written in the third. I enjoyed it, it was interesting and informative. The story was good with a great deal of suspense, mystery, and twists that did mean the ending was not a foregone conclusion.

I heartily recommend it and will probably be purchasing Mr Addison's first novel, A Walk Across the Sun, to see if it is just as good, or better.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ...a real story of us 25 Oct 2013
Set in Zambia, Corban Addison's book `The Garden of Burning Sand' beautifully captures the ugly legacy of the AIDS epidemic on a society with a complex political, cultural, and economic fabric. Told through Zoe Fleming, a human rights lawyer working in Zambia, the story of a brutal assault of an adolescent girl navigates the many layers of Zambia's social hierarchies.

Granted, the story includes the standard stereotypes of novels set in Africa which perpetuate the danger of a single story for Africa that author Chimamanda Acdichie has rightly pointed out, are often incomplete. The braai chomping expatriate socialist behind brick-walled houses; the hard working medical doctor with no medical facilities about him; the youthful pre-election political thugs roaming the streets threatening the western damsel in distress and of course, the must have corrupt politician manipulating the wheels of justice all make an appearance

To the author's credit however, he goes further than most in developing more complete characters for his African story. The stereotypes are not the only story. The police, politicians, players and prostitutes are weaved in and out of the story in a style that leaves you in no doubt that the author has done his homework. He has gone native with this story and captures the essence of the dichotomies of society in Zambia - the daily struggle of the have-nots' the power and privilege of the haves; the wanton recklessness of those in denial of the HIV virus; and the faith of those working towards an HIV-free generation.

The books true genius, however, is the author's ability to humanize the AIDS epidemic.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book 18 Oct 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the second of Corbin,s books that I have read. I enjoyed every page and didn't,t want it to end. Can't wait for his next book.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Burning issues here 22 Sep 2014
By J. Wise
FIRST, a complaint: this book’s got the wrong cover. With that typeface and florally stuff along the top it looks for all the world like a chunk of holiday-read chick-lit. But it isn’t. It’s a solid piece of suspense writing set in Zambia and churning with human issues we’d struggle to get our heads round in our damp and cosy island.

A poor little rich kid Yank lawyer teams up in more ways than one with a local cop to find out how and why a young girl is assaulted and battered. A straightforward crime investigation, you’d think, but this is Zambia and things don’t pan out the way they might elsewhere. In a country where AIDS has taken a huge toll, there’s a culture clash between science and myth. Politics is dangerous and corrupt. Poverty is rife, but so is obscene wealth. And there are serious class issues, too, not to mention an alarming level of casual, lethal violence.

Zoe Fleming has to negotiate all this, and as she works through the case we get to see the roulette-wheel life of prostitutes, the acceptance of inequalites and the ever present threat of death from all manner of causes we’d have to struggle to imagine.

A gripping, emotional, educational eye-opener. With the wrong cover.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The Garden Of Burning Sand by Corban Addison is my favourite novel of the year so far… and I so very nearly didn’t read it. Initially I thought it was going to be too heavy for my tastes, but I am so pleased I dipped into this book because it reinforced my conviction that to do nothing is failure, whereas to do something, no matter how little, is success.

I have already posted this review on [...]
The Garden of Burning Sand is a Legal Thriller set in Lusaka, Zambia.

Apart from having a beautiful title and enthralling plot, it gets to the heart of child abuse and the importance of humanitarian aid and individuals being proactive in the struggle to protect these children. It is compulsive reading and Addison very definitely pulls you along with very little coaxing as the story unfolds and takes us from Lusaka to the countryside and the past. He paints two pictures of Zambia; Firstly, of this beautiful country of extremes and people with heart, and secondly of a country trying to claw itself away from an AID/HIV epidemic, corrupt and ineffectual justice system and those who suffer most- the orphaned children.

Zoe Fleming is a human right’s lawyer working to prosecute those guilty of Child Abuse. Joseph Kabuta is in the Zambian Police Force and working to the same ends as Zoe. When a young orphaned girl with Downs Syndrome is brutally raped and dumped, Zoe and Joseph are determined to find and prosecute the rapist.

In Zambian law they must prove the girl is legally a child before they can prosecute the rapist. This leads to a double pronged investigation which takes them from Lusaka and into the country to trace the girl’s family and her journey to the capital city, as well tracing the Rapist from the meagre clues available.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 1 day ago by pauline
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Good read. Not as gripping as Walk across the sun but I like his writing style
Published 12 days ago by Busy mom
5.0 out of 5 stars excellant
a thoroughly good read very absorbing
Published 26 days ago by Suzy1
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly enjoyable read
One of the best books I have read in a very long time. Wish the author had more that I could read
Published 2 months ago by SandraB
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read.
Lots of twists and turns in this tragic story. Could not put it down.
Published 2 months ago by cml
5.0 out of 5 stars I want more!
Wow - I was captured from the start and couldn't put it down to the last word. The only regret is that it's read now. Read more
Published 2 months ago by leave alone
5.0 out of 5 stars captivating
I couldn't help being tied in knots reading this novel although a work of fiction it was inspired by real issues and offered an authentic glimpse into the horrifying world of child... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Toni Osborne
4.0 out of 5 stars A highly moving story
Zoe Flemming is a highly regarded attorney who has made a life for herself in Zambia. She is sent to investigate a horrific crime. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Go Book Yourself
5.0 out of 5 stars A riveting read
A truly wonderful read , I was drawn into the book immediately and lived in it , even when I had put it down . Extremely informative , which I found fascinating . Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jenny
5.0 out of 5 stars The garden of burning sand
Great book, detailing the differences between the privileged western populace and the underprivileged African nations. Read more
Published 4 months ago by hiking enthusiast
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