Lindy Burleigh

Birth of a Terrorist

Sirens of Baghdad

By

William Heinemann 307pp £12.99 order from our bookshop

Sirens of Baghdad is a novel about a suicide bomber in Iraq and promises an insider’s view. Mohammed Moulessehoul, who writes under his wife’s name of Yasmina Khadra, seems ideally placed to imaginatively inhabit and demystify the terrorist mind. He is a former Algerian army officer and the author of two previous novels exploring Middle Eastern terrorism. This novel completes the trilogy, but readers expecting penetrating insights into the Jihadi mindset will be disappointed. Like his last novel, The Attack, it’s written in lurid, clichéd prose, and fails to illuminate the connection between radical Islam and suicide bombers. This more predictable narrative, however, lacks The Attack‘s cumulative tension and menacing, nightmarish atmosphere.

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

    • 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… ,
    • If you want ideas about what to read next, sign up to our free email newsletter, and get book reviews, archive mate… ,