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The Ghost Runner: A Makana Investigation Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Length: 432 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
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Review

The third in this fine series ... Not for the first time, a literary novelist uses the crime genre to terrific effect, exposing official complicity in historic crimes against women (Sunday Times)

Murder mystery that expertly probes the dark side of Cairo . This atmospheric crime fiction probes deep issues (Independent)

Cairo detective Makana investigates an "honour" crime (Sunday Times, Summer Reading)

A novel that is both celebration and indictment of modern Egypt (Daily Telegraph Summer Reading)

A gripping mystery set in the Egypt tourists don't see, where women are still considered property and the rule of law is a distant fantasy (Literary Review, Books of the Year)

The third in this fine series . Not for the first time, a literary novelist uses the crime genre to terrific effect, exposing official complicity in historic crimes against women (Sunday Times)

Book Description

A question of honour. An eye for eye. The truth cannot stay buried for ever. Makana travels into the desert heart of Egypt to solve a series of brutal murders and explore the shifting sands of the past.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1069 KB
  • Print Length: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing; 1 edition (13 Feb. 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00HDFA91A
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #71,725 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Brilliantly written and I couldn't put it down. Lots of lovely twists and turns and the tension was well exploited. It was also interesting for me to learn more about middle eastern views and way of life. I had not read this author's work before so now I have a lot of catching up to do.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Bilal has created terrific character in Makana: the detective who can see the country he operates in from an outsider's point of view. And indeed Egypt is a central character in this series. As of course is Makana's homeland, Sudan. This story in the series is a very good one: the plot develops at a nice, thoughtful pace thus allowing for us also to enjoy the musings of our quiet but shrewd sleuth. The author creates a rich sense of place: we see the back alleys, meet the street characters, smell the dishes and get a firsthand sense of the political and social status quo of both the capital and by comparison the oasis town of Siwa. The mystery which Makana deftly unfolds in Siwa is a tragic and cruel one. But as is his wont he gnaws away at it, despite threats and danger, finally piecing together present and past.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Set in Egypt between 9/11 and the invasion of Iraq this is an enjoyable novel featuring Sudanese private eye Makana.
In the tradition of Raymond Chander or Dashiell Hammett, Makana is mistrustful of the man who’s hired him to look into the murder of a young girl.
The investigation takes him from Cairo to the small town of Siwa, bringing back unwelcome memories of his flight from Sudan.
There he finds a community hiding a terrible secret. In order to be allowed to continue with his own investigation, he agrees to help the local police chief to solve the murder of a prominent member of the local community.
Makana’s ambiguous role leads him into danger and he doesn't know who he can trust. Like The Continental Op in Red Harvest he ends up having to take on the whole town.
I enjoyed the vivid recreation of life in Egypt and Makana is a sympathetic protagonist with tragedy in his past, and not such a cheerful present. I’ve already downloaded the Golden Scales and look forward to reading it.
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Format: Paperback
he Ghost Runner is the third instalment of the Makana series set in Egypt. In this outing Makana investigates the murder of a young girl, suspecting her former terrorist father of committing an honour killing. Travelling to a small town in the desert he tries to piece together the family history and pick up the trail of the father. His arrival coincides with a series of deaths and it is clear that the legacy of an event many years earlier is unfolding. The Makana series has a number of appealing strengths that are once again evident in The Ghost Runner, such as its atmospheric sense of place, its contextualisation within Eygpt’s politics and history, and its well-drawn characters. In particular, Makana is a detective worth spending time with – a clever, taciturn man haunted by the loss of his family in his flight from Sudan who is quietly patient and persistent. As with the first two books, the tale extends well beyond a straight forward murder investigation, with Parker embedding the story within a wider narrative of local, national and international politics, and exploring themes of family, gender, honour, corruption and terrorism. As such, there’s an awful lot going on, though it never feels rushed or confused, and indeed the tale sagged a little bit in the middle as Makana makes little progress, before picking up in the last third as the tension and body count rises. It’s fair to say that there were quite a few plot devices used to make the whole thing hang together and the two denouements were somewhat contrived. Nonetheless The Ghost Runner is an absorbing read.
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Format: Paperback
The third in the Private Investigator Makana series by Parker Bilal. Makana is hired by a lawyer after a woman in Cairo is burnt to death in a fire (a murder, although it is meant to look like suicide…). The chief suspect is Musab, the estranged husband of the woman – he is a criminal and jihadist, who has been ‘rendered’ from Denmark back to Egypt… and then escaped custody. Musab, and his murdered wife, came from Siwa, an oasis town 350 miles from Cairo and just 30 miles from the Libyan border on the edge of the Great Sahara Desert. And Siwa, where he believes Musab will have fled to, is where Makana heads to solve the mystery.

But Siwa is a long way from Cairo, and law and order are handled very differently. Memories and feuds go back a long way. The corrupt local magistrate is murdered and Makana himself is a suspect. He struggles to demonstrate his innocence and to move his own enquiries to a conclusion. He gets involved with racketeers and cross border smugglers.

I read The Ghost Runner pretty quickly. It is a good thriller and a great page turner. There are a couple of twists at the end (and pleased to say that I spotted one of them before it unfolded – but that in no way detracted from the pleasure of the book). I ended wanting more…

The Ghost Runner is also a brilliant book for TripFiction aficionados who look for well described locations. It really brings Egypt to life. The overcrowded bustle and hustle of Cairo come through loud and clear, and is in stark contrast to the all pervasive heat and sand of Siwa. Siwa (I hadn’t hear of it either…) is a real life tourist destination with ancient archaeological ruins and a couple of very decent looking hotels. I hope the inhabitants are a deal more friendly than most of those described in the book…! It looks a fascinating place to visit.
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