CITY OF VEILS by ZOE FERRARIS.
Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, the City of Veils. A city of narrow streets and closed shutters, where nothing is what it seems; and the Empty Quarter - one of the most beautiful, yet unforgiving deserts on earth.
Miriam Walker, alone in an alien culture, desperate to find her missing husband. Katya, a forensic scientist battling the prejudices of a society full of sexual, religious and moral contradictions; and Nayir, devout muslim, desert guide, amateur sleuth - the man she loves.
...... Outer back cover.
FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): The woman's body was lying on the beach.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 385): The fairy tales he'd heard as a child always began with the words kan ya ma kan - it was, and it was not. He'd come to associate those words with the desert. One moment a foot would break the sand, and the next it would be gone, wiped away by an oblivious wind.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: A reading group read, I shall be returning this.
A so-so crime fiction novel, the only things that really stood out for me was the somewhat unusual setting of Saudi Arabia and the 'desert event'.
The desert event?
I really don't want to go into any more details for fear of including a spoiler BUT I will say that it involved a camel and, though the outcome didn't seem particularly realistic to me, it was very dramatic.
No, the thing that really appealed to me about City Of Veils was the details about modern life in Saudi Arabia - and, in particular, the life of the women, both Saudi and American. Fascinating reading I learnt such a lot about the culture and the gulf between the so-called fundamentalists and modernists.
Despite this being the second book to feature desert guide Nayir and forensic scientist Katya (I haven't read the first, Night Of The Mi'raj, though this didn't have any impact on my enjoyment of this novel)this was not the best written of books, and, as I mentioned before, though there were aspects to the story that I found unlikely, City Of Veils is never-the-less a tense read (once you get a third or so of the way through) that has a touch of romance thrown in for good measure.
The 73rd book read in my 100+ Reading Challenge, I shall be certain to keep an eye out for the next book in this series.