William Reeve

An Unholy Alliance

The Punishment of Virtue

By

Portobello Books 386pp £20 order from our bookshop

American journalist Sarah Chayes’s book is primarily a tale of the raw life of Afghan power and politics in Kandahar after the fall of the Taliban in 2001. It begins and ends with the murder of a police chief, Muhammad Akrem Khakrezwal, at a mosque in Kandahar. For Chayes, Khakrezwal was the one Afghan who could sort out the country’s problems. 

Sign Up to our newsletter

Receive free articles, highlights from the archive, news, details of prizes, and much more.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • Why did the 'bold and determined' Empress Matilda never manage to become Queen regnant? Peter Marshall reviews a n… ,
    • From the Archive: Martyn Bedford on Ian McEwan's 'Atonement' ,
    • In 'Silenced Voices' reports the ongoing story of the human rights lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, who has been… ,
    • The mystery of Jack the Ripper's identity has long been agonised over. But what do we know about his victims?… ,
    • A piece of Literary Review history from way back in 1983: John Haffenden talks to the great Iris Murdoch. ,
    • Britain’s only travelling lit fest, the Garden Museum Literary Festival is heading to Houghton Hall, Norfolk, for a… ,
    • 'The 19th-century German sage is not my idea of a pleasant travel companion' goes hiking with Friedr… ,