To escape his troubled past, Norman heads to the desert to lose himself in his work. He has just received a research grant to study the ghost towns and abandoned mines that litter the landscape. But when he comes across a group of desert-dwelling outcasts and is taken captive by their charismatic leader Jacoby, he is introduced to an alternative way of life: one that both repulses and mesmerizes. As he struggles to make sense of this strange new world – with its perverse and unorthodox practices – Norman begins to realize he must either yield to the ever-watchful Jacoby, or take his chances and run.
Ireland’s refined and sparse style cuts through to the dark heart of the American dream in this chilling novel about the thin lines that separate the civilized from the primitive, and the living from the dead.
‘Like Lord of the Flies, this shows what happens to the psyche of individuals amongst gangs, and gives the audience plenty to think about’.
– New Books
‘The theme, setting and language evoke Cormac McCarthy at his most brutal, but Ghosts of the Desert is a neo-western epic of survivalism that deserves to be judged on its own merits’.
– Irish Times
‘An intensely compelling read full of muscular prose and characters who are, at once, cinematically vivid and entirely, scarily authentic. This book richly deserves and surely will find a wide, enthusiastic audience.’
– Robert Olen Butler, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Good Scent from a Strange Mountain
‘A courageous and essential writer.’
– Ann Weisgarber, author of the award-winning The Personal History of Rachel DuPree