book cover of Dirt
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(The first book in the Jonny Murphy Files series)
A novel by

A compulsive, searing political thriller set on a kibbutz in Northern Israel, where the discovery of the body of an Israeli-Arab worker sets off a devastating chain of events...

Belonging could cost everything...

1996. Northern Israel. Lola leaves an unhappy home life in England for the fabled utopian life of a kibbutz, but this heavily guarded farming community on the Arab-Israeli border isn't the idyll it seems, and tensions are festering.

Hundreds of miles away, in the Jerusalem offices of the
International Tribune newspaper, all eyes are on Israel's response to a spate of rocket attacks from Lebanon, until cub reporter Jonny Murphy gets a tip from a mysterious source that sends him straight into the danger zone.

When the body of an Arab worker is discovered in the dirt of the kibbutz chicken house, it triggers a series of events that puts Lola and the whole community in jeopardy, and Jonny begins to uncover a series of secrets that put everything at risk, as he begins to realize just how far some people will go to belong...

Genre: Thriller

Praise for this book

"A powerful political thriller that brims with authentic detail. Clever, compulsive and achingly atmospheric." - Kia Abdullah

"Full of danger and pulsating characters." - Louise Beech

"A bitingly sharp, pacy thriller. Devilishly good. I inhaled it." - Freya Berry

"A first-class political thriller." - Steve Cavanagh

"Sarah Sultoon draws on her time spent as a journalist in the Middle East to bring northern Israel, its people, its beauty, and its complexities to life in vibrant colour in this twisting whodunnit." - Antony Dunford

"An immersive and evocative political thriller that thrust me into a unique, razor-edged world, with a plot filled with tension and complexity. The narrative twists around itself, becoming increasingly claustrophobic and fraught, until it arrives at its explosive denouement." - Philippa East

"Unsettling, riveting, gets under your skin." - Peter Hain

"An extraordinary piece of writing from a political thriller writer at the very top of her game." - Victoria Selman

"A compelling thriller that weaves a complex tale - escalating to a shocking finale." - Eve Smith

"A powerhouse writer." - Jo Spain

"Shocking and visceral, this novel details with the horrors of war a brave, important and utterly compelling book." - S J Watson

"A fantastic page-turner and an intriguing look at a complex and dangerous world. Sarah Sultoon creates intelligent, memorable characters and fascinating stories." - Holly Watt

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