Format: Hardbound
Pub. Date: 6/20/2008
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Type: Fiction, Mystery ~ Library Book
Pages: 305
Read: 11/13/2012
Rating: Liked it ♥♡

This is a mystery set in Saudi Arabia, Nouf Shrawi is missing, a pious desert guide named Nayir has been asked by Nouf’s brother, who is Nayir’s friend to look for her. After she is found dead, Nayir is asked, unofficially, to look into her death, a lab technician named Katya is also asked to help, Nayir reluctantly accepts her help since contact between men and women who are not related is forbidden.

Besides being a fascinating mystery story, this book also gave me a look into a country with customs and rules much different than my own. At times I wondered what the Saudis would think of me, living alone, supporting myself with my own job and having a driver’s license also!

Ms. Ferraris explains these customs to us by making them part of the story, in the first chapter, Nayir is thinking about Nouf, imagining her walking through the desert with sunburned ankles, then asks forgiveness from God for picturing her ankles. The religious police are mentioned, we understand their role and the power they have by the characters’ comments about them and their reactions to the thought they might be around. In another situation, Katya sits outside with her father, without her face covered and counts the number of old friends of her father who won’t come near because her face is showing. None of this distracts from the story, Ms. Ferraris makes them a part of the story, the customs of the land play a part in what happens to Nouf and Nayir and Katya are bound by them while at the same time they are trying to solve the mystery.

This is the first in a series. I thought it was enjoyable and well written and recommend it.

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About Belleza

I got the name Bella because my grandfather called me Suzabell. I use that as a username and my friends on the site started calling me Bella. Thus was born: Bella Foxx's Life, now known as "just a city girl" since I have made the big jump from the country and am now living in the City, UES. I like to make jewelry (check out my blog "Bella is creative" started April 17, 2008) and write. I like to do cross stitch and knit. I sew, I don't really enjoy it, but I enjoy the clothes. I like to read the Bible, books, magazines, online newspaper articles, blogs, jokes on candy wrappers, ads on the subway, billboards, backs of food boxes, lists of ingredients and recipes, cleaning directions, sayings on shirts. I post my reviews on "Just a girl, living, reading, watching, and writing", on Shelfari, Library Thing and Goodreads.. I am allergic to practically everything: grass, trees, weeds, animal dander, dust, mold, wheat, apples, nuts, fish and coconut. The fish and coconut are so serious I carry an Epi-pen and wear a Medic-Alert bracelet. And last but not least. I love the Yankees.

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