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.
About Zoë Ferraris
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.
Book World: ‘Kingdom of Strangers,’ by Zoe Ferraris
The Washington Post Book Review – July 8, 2012 (Excerpt)
The strangers in Zoe Ferraris’s engrossing new murder mystery, “Kingdom of Strangers,” are the exploited and often enslaved immigrant workers of Saudi Arabia. But Ferraris depicts the Saudis themselves as equally estranged, not from their country but from one another.
Detective Inspector Ibrahim Zahrani, for example, has never seen his daughter-in-law’s face. “Not a single piece of skin was showing anywhere on her body,” he notes, “her burqa was an impenetrable slab of black.” We soon learn, however, that her veiling is prompted by fear, not piety; Safannah’s burqa conceals a secret that could result in her execution.
Most of Ferraris’s characters are hiding something. Ibrahim is having an extramarital affair with a female colleague who has just disappeared. Katya, an unmarried laboratory technician who hopes to become a homicide detective, has to lie to work in a field open only to married women. And somewhere out there, a serial killer is hiding.
“The scene unfolded like an archaeological dig,” Ferraris writes of the first crime scene, “sprawling outward toward the desert. . . . Nineteen bodies in all.” They are the remains of young women — Filipinas, Sri Lankans and Indonesians — who have been murdered and mutilated. The number 19 seems to have Koranic significance, and the body parts are arranged to resemble letters drawn by a calligrapher. [Read the full article...]
THE BLEEDING HILLS
A Novel by Wilfried F. Voss
I have fought a good fight,
I have finished my course,
I have kept the faith.
- 2 Timothy iv. 7
The Irish War is officially a part of history, but not for Finnean Whelan, an IRA veteran of almost 40 years. British Intelligence has produced evidence that he is the mastermind behind a conspiracy to assassinate the First Minister of Northern Ireland. For Whelan this is not only a mission of revenge, but marks the beginning of a journey into the past and the return to the one true love: Ireland. [More...]
The Bleeding Hills is available at Amazon.Com, Amazon.co.uk, Barnes & Noble, and any other good bookstore.