Synopses & Reviews
Masterfully blending speculative fiction and hard-boiled mystery, Jon Courtenay Grimwood' s acclaimed "Arabesk" series plunges readers into a world eerily familiar and shockingly unpredictable. Here a troubled detective follows a trail of clues through a city where innocence itself may be a thing of the past.
It's the twenty-first century and El Iskandryia an alluring metropolis built on seduction, corruption, and lies is the double-dealing heart of an Ottoman Empire that still rules the world. But these days a sense of dread hangs over El Isk and over Ashraf Bey, the city's new Chief of Detectives. A trial is set to take place, and it's up to Raf to decide the case. There's only one problem: the suspect is the billionaire father of the woman Raf should have married.
Industrialist Hamzah Effendi is accused of crimes so horrible that even El Iskandryia wants him eliminated. But Raf finds that protecting the sensual and impetuous Zara Quitrimala from the secrets of her father's past may be even more dangerous. For Raf must now solve a series of brutal murders that are somehow connected to the case and to Zara. And the closer Raf gets to the truth, the more elusive the answers become and the closer he comes to his own demise.
"In the entertaining second entry in Grimwood's Arabesk trilogy (after Pashazade), Ashraf Bey is now the chief of detectives in the fictional Middle Eastern city of El Iskandryia, located in an alternate future where the Ottoman Empire still exists. While tensions between fundamentalism and nationalism roil the metropolis in a way that will be familiar to followers of current events, Bey must identify and thwart a vicious serial murderer who mutilates his victims. Suspicion attaches to the cryptic owner of Hamzah Enterprises, the father of the woman Bey has fallen for. Terrorist outrages rock El Iskandryia kidnappings, arson, bombings while the inquiry takes the sleuth on a journey through the seamy underbelly of his adopted society. As with Pashazade, the book gains strength from its depiction of the warm if prickly relationship Bey has with a young girl he has assumed responsibility for, as well as from some surprising flashes of humor. Less of a classic whodunit than its predecessor, this unique blend of mystery, speculative fiction and political intrigue should attract readers across several genres. Agent, Mic Cheetham. (Aug.)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Filled with Middle Eastern atmosphere, in terms of both its danger and its beauty, this addition to the 'Arabesk' trilogy belongs in most sf collections." Library Journal
"All brilliant light and scorching heat...Grimwood has successfully mingled fantasy with reality to make an unusual, believable, and absorbing mystery." Sunday Telegraph (London)
About the Author
Jon Courtenay Grimwood lives in England. The first book in his acclaimed "Arabesk" series, Pashazade, was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award, the British Science Fiction Association Award, and the John W. Campbell Memorial Award. Effendi, the second book in the series, was shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the British Science Fiction Association Award.