Investment counselor Steve Kemp—in an attempt to rebuild his finances, restore his integrity, and steer clear of politics—returns after a decade to the Arabian Gulf. There he reconnects by chance with his old flame Helen, their love affair reignites, and together they stumble into a shared crisis. Now married to an older man, a diplomat in a punishment posting at the end of his career, Helen is torn between loyalty and desire. Kemp is focused on financing their escape: he needs a major sale. With Helen's husband's unwitting help, the perfect client appears. But time has run out. Jihadists seeping back across the desert shake the country. The regime cracks. And everyone looks to their own escape plans, while Kemp chases his deal as far as he must. A gripping novel of love and loyalties, and the place where personal integrity and politics meet, The Desert Contract is a remarkable debut.