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Kingdom of strangers : a novel
Zoe Ferraris
Adult Fiction FERRARI

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From Publishers' Weekly:

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) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

The discovery of 19 women's bodies in the desert near Jeddah, all carefully arranged and missing hands, points to an organized serial killer long operating in Saudi Arabia. But the investigation is hampered both by strict Saudi gender segregation, under which a male coroner may not autopsy female bodies, and by the preoccupation of lead investigator Ibrahim Zahrani, whose beloved mistress has just gone missing. Officials are further discombobulated when Dr. Charlie Becker, the U.S. serial killer expert sent to help, turns out to be a woman. Forensic scientist Katya Hijaz sidesteps regulations to work on the case, even as she assists Zahrani surreptitiously with his personal quest, and her consultations with Becker and insights from her fiance, Nayir Sharqi, turn out to pay dividends. VERDICT In her third novel featuring Hijaz and Sharqi (after Finding Nouf; City of Veils), Ferraris advances their personal relationship, as each expresses qualms about their pending wedding, in another mystery that lays bare the closed Saudi society in which the author herself once lived. Compelling cross-cultural suspense. [See Prepub Alert, 12/12/11.]-Michele Leber, Arlington, VA (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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main characters Ibrahim Zahrani
Male
Arab
Mistress goes missing; tries to keep things a secret; asks Katya for help;.
Inspector

Katya
Female
Arab
One of the few female police officers; agrees to help and keep things quiet.
Police officer



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