In Khartoum the trumpeters, layers of red sand glittering on their faces, are posted at each corner of the palace roof. Trapped between the desert and the Jihad, oblivious to the heat and the impending dust storm, General Gordon is waiting, hopelessly, for Wolseley's camel corps to cross the shimmering land and rescue him. He begins to hallucinate betrayals and beheadings; unwittingly he is about to touch and change lives far beyond his own including those of a London doctor, John Clark and his wife Mary, and especially the young boy from the English dockyard slums who now stands beside him, his reluctant last ally.
Born in South Africa, Gillian Slovo has written ten novels. ICE ROAD was shortlisted for the Orange Prize and RED DUST was filmed with Hilary Swank and Chiwetel Ejiofor. She is the President of English PEN.