Synopses & Reviews
"Ferraris uses her firsthand knowledge to write books that open up a closed world." ---Nina Sankovitch,Huffington Post
A secret grave is unearthed in the desert revealing the bodies of 19 women and the shocking truth that a serial killer has been operating undetected in Jeddah for more than a decade.
However, lead inspector Ibrahim Zahrani is distracted by a mystery closer to home. His mistress has suddenly disappeared, but he cannot report her missing since adultery is punishable by death. With nowhere to turn, Ibrahim brings the case to Katya, one of the few women in the police department. Drawn into both investigations, she must be increasingly careful to hide a secret of her own.
Portraying the lives of women in one of the most closed cultures in the world, award-winning author Zoë Ferraris weaves a tale of psychological suspense around an elusive serial killer and the sinister forces trafficking in human lives in Saudi Arabia.
"The discovery of 19 female bodies with their hands cut off in the desert outside Jeddah propels Ferraris's beautifully crafted third mystery featuring Saudi forensic technician Katya Hijazi (after 2010's City of Veils). Lt. Col. Insp. Ibrahim Zahrani, who takes charge of the serial killer case, turns to Katya for help with a personal matter. Ibrahim's illegal Filipino mistress, Sabria, has disappeared, and he can neither investigate freely nor make his queries official for fear of harsh public punishment. Eager to move beyond her limited role in the female-only police lab, Katya agrees to visit the clothing boutique where Sabria worked in a women's shopping mall. Katya also faces her own personal crisis whether to marry the traditional Nayir, who's uneasy with her unconventional behavior. By the end, the two cases change both Ibrahim's and Katya's lives dramatically. With intelligence, patience, and meticulous detail, Ferraris evokes a complex culture profoundly ambivalent about female power. Agent: Julie Barer, Barer Literary. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
PRAISE FOR CITY OF VEILS:
"A formidably talented writer....An adroitly plotted, fast-paced mystery....Ferraris's characters are compelling and utterly human."--Diane White
, Boston Globe
"Smart and thoroughly entertaining....Tension is everywhere as Ferraris builds suspense."--Sarah Weinman, Salon.com
"Armchair travelers eager to learn about a remote culture without leaving the comfort (and safety!) of home are sure to find what they're looking for."--Malena Watrous, San Francisco Chronicle
"Every detail of this novel is exact and exciting....A riveting literary mystery that will hook readers with every sordid, fascinating, even heartwarming detail until the final page....A whopping good tale....Timely, exciting, urgent...not to be missed."--Barbara Dickinson, Roanoke Times
"A sensitive look at the life in the city of Jeddah. The novel has a strong sense of place-the author knows the territory....Ferraris has good feel for her two main characters and a beautiful sense of poetic timing....A reworking of a typical police procedural scene is brilliant."--Owen Hill, Los Angeles Times
About the Author
Zoë Ferraris moved to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War to live with her then husband and his extended family of Saudi-Palestinian Bedouins. She has an MFA from Columbia University and is the author of two previous novels, Finding Nouf and City of Veils. She lives in San Francisco.