City of Veils
Aug 1, 2011
Author: Zoe Ferraris
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: August 2010
Coming out in paperback on August 7th!
This is an interesting book. I describe it as a procedural crime thriller/mystery…but set in the Middle East. All of the characters are from the Middle East except for one lone American woman. It makes for a compelling drama as it’s not just your usual crime whodunit book, it also goes into the entire aspect of how a crime, brutal though it may be, is still treated much differently in Saudi Arabia than it would be here. The process is completely different and the detectives need to be very careful in how they handle the situation so that they are even able to go forward with the investigation and not have it brushed under a table.
I enjoy that they do have one female protagonist, Katya, in a career position within the police force, rather than simply all men. While it’s not rare in America, I could easily see this book staying more traditional to the country. Though still unusual, it is a reality that some women do make successes of themselves, even while watching each step they make. I also enjoyed that Zoe makes sure not to make all Middle Easterners zealots to religion. A few characters in the book are very nonchalant about it.
There are a lot of characters in this book and it can be a little hard to get a handle on their personalities, issues and how integral they are to the storyline. Zoe wrote a book before this (which the Dew did not review), Finding Nouf, which apparently had many of the same characters in it and I’ve been told that while this is a stand-alone book – reading that one first helps character branding.
A good crime procedural – with a little extra and different thrown in there to shake it all up.