The crime: one scalding afternoon, the mutilated body of a young woman, half naked beneath her burqa, is discovered on a Saudi beach; soon afterwards a Western woman's husband vanishes without trace.
The place: 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.
The people: 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.