House of Sand and Fog takes us through the explosive collision of three fragile people's lives. Colonel Bahrani, a once wealthy soldier working for the shah in Iran, has been reduced to a struggling immigrant, determined to restore his family to their former status. Kathy Nicolo, a recovering alcoholic, refuses to let her hard earned stability, represented by her home, slip so easily away from her. Lester Burdon, an already married man who becomes infatuated with Kathy, and is determined to help return her house to her at all costs. Their inability to communicate causes an enormous eruption of anger and violence over this tiny home, which represents each of their dreams. With neither listening to the other, they are doomed from the moment of the auction. .
Kathy's home, given to her by her father after his death, has been wrongly taken away from her and auctioned by the county. Colonel Bahrani, who is determined to raise his and his family's standard of living, acquires this home in hopes of fixing it and selling it for a large profit. "However, Kathy will go to desperate measures to reacquire her home, even if it means using the family as hostages." (Brooke N.).
The conflict between good and evil is a major issue in this novel. Kathy represents the good and the innocent victim, who has had her house wrongly taken from her. And colonel is the evil because he knows that Kathy has been wronged but refuses to give her the home back without it profiting him a great deal. At one dramatic part of the book the positions of good and evil swap. Kathy, with the assistance of Lester, becomes the evil. This comes with the taking of the colonel's family hostage. The colonel then becomes the innocent victim and attempts to keep his family safe and calm during this crisis.
The colonel brings a second conflict into the story, which is money. "In his attempt to create a lifestyle for his family similar to that in which they left behind in Iran, the colonel feels that he needs more money.