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Kingdom Of Strangers Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
By now it is clear who is the undisputed hero of this series: Katia, a female forensic scientist, working for the police, mostly stuck in a lab, but keen to have a more active role in the investigations. (The first novel centred more around Nayir, a desert guide who got involved in a murder investigation and met Katia, but by now, Katia is the central pillar of the stories)
This time, the novel starts with the gruesome discovery of 19 dead bodies in the desert. A serial killer in Saudi Arabia - almost unheard of. And he's been busy, undiscovered, for ten years...
Meanwhile, the newly arrived inspector Ibrahim, tasked with leading the investigation, is having an affair outside marriage - and, when he turns up at his lover's flat, she is missing.
The novel is quick to set up its main plot strands, but chisels away at them at a pace that is steady, confident and not too rushed. It's not the sort of novel where each chapter ends on a cliffhanger, and each cliffhanger is more unbelievable than the last. Instead, the tension is amped up at a steady, confident pace, and the novel is engrossing all the way through.Read more ›
That's even more the case in Kingdom of Strangers, which opens with the discovery of nineteen female bodies - all of them seemingly runaway immigrants not missed by anyone - uncovered in the sand dunes in the desert by Inspector Ibrahim Zahrani. The number nineteen also has mystical significance relating to the Quran and various other clues suggest further patterns, making this particular and unusual case of serial killing even more potentially explosive. While this is a strong central crime for investigation, Zoë Ferraris manages however to subtly show a much more extensive problem relating to the place of women within Saudi society through related cases and even through the everyday lives of her characters.
I say "subtly", but there's nothing subtle about the actual nature of the shocking treatment endured by women in Saudi society there, and indeed in some extreme cases of religious devotion, treatment that is even sanctioned and instigated by women themselves. What is subtle however is how the author manages to delve behind the veil of the burqa, mainly through Katya, a forensic scientist on the police force in an uncertain position in her life and career, and show that there is much more going on there than most men would like to believe.Read more ›
This is a great read, I could not put it down and while I initially thought oh dear, another serial killer novel, the setting of the story in Saudi gives it a welcome twist. This is one author to watch and I look forward to seeing whether she will develop beyond this genre. Highly recommended, you won't be disappointed
One of the things that made them brilliant was the way Zoe Ferraris wrote so dispassionately about Saudi society helping you understand how immensely different it was culturally and how easy it is for a westerner to not have a clue. By doing that you were left with a sense of shock and horror at a society that totally controls the way someone thinks, the role of women, the sense of suffocation for men and women, of a society wracked by hidden fault lines.
The only other person who I feel has done this really well is Hilary Mantell in her Eight Months on Ghazzah Street.
This time round feel she has missed a trick by using common stereotypes and is a tad lecturing. Less can be more when you complete the dots for yourself.
As a crime novel works well enough although if I was being picky would suggest some of the coincidences are over egged.
This series is really worth reading and would suggest to anyone considering it to start at the beginning of the series.
Also to buy the paperback rather than the Kindle version as you will really want to lend this to your friends.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Read this as part of my book club and loved it. It was quite different to anything we've read before and I felt like I learnt a lot about Saudi culture. Read morePublished 7 months ago by Louise Clayton
This book gives an inside view of what it must be like to be a woman living in the Middle East. How lucky we are being born in UK.Published 15 months ago by J W.
An absolutely un-put-down-able series of books about murder investigations in Saudi Arabia - beautifully developed main characters and a happy ending (eventually). Read morePublished 18 months ago by Sybilla Warren
A fabulous book, giving insights into a totally alien world view. Had to buy the others in the seriesPublished 23 months ago by lou
I again enjoyed her insight in to a different form of living in Saudi Arabia. It is very different than what we know in the West.Published on 19 Jun. 2014 by Brendan Power
The novel provides an engaging glimpse into the life in Saudi Arabia. The story is very well written, the male characters realistic and the plot immersing. Read morePublished on 9 Mar. 2014 by Dona Rendell
Came across this book by accident - but what a great read. A detective story which highlights the restrictions placed on women (and some men) in Saudia Arabian society. Read morePublished on 23 Feb. 2014 by P. Clifford
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