Kingdom of Strangers: Book summary and reviews of Kingdom of Strangers by Zoë Ferraris

Kingdom of Strangers

A Novel

By Zoë Ferraris

Kingdom of Strangers
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  • Published in USA  Jun 2012,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

A secret grave is unearthed in the desert revealing the bodies of 19 women and the shocking truth that a serial killer has been operating undetected in Jeddah for more than a decade.

However, lead inspector Ibrahim Zahrani is distracted by a mystery closer to home. His mistress has suddenly disappeared, but he cannot report her missing since adultery is punishable by death. With nowhere to turn, Ibrahim brings the case to Katya, one of the few women in the police department. Drawn into both investigations, she must be increasingly careful to hide a secret of her own.

Portraying the lives of women in one of the most closed cultures in the world, award-winning author Zoë Ferraris weaves a tale of psychological suspense around an elusive serial killer and the sinister forces trafficking in human lives in Saudi Arabia.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. With intelligence, patience, and meticulous detail, Ferraris evokes a complex culture profoundly ambivalent about female power." - Publishers Weekly

"Accomplished prose, an intricate mystery and insider Saudi scoop make for an unusual and winning combination." - Kirkus Reviews

"A formidably talented writer... An adroitly plotted, fast-paced mystery... Ferraris's characters are compelling and utterly human." - Boston Globe

"Smart and thoroughly entertaining... Tension is everywhere as Ferraris builds suspense." - Salon.com

"Armchair travelers eager to learn about a remote culture without leaving the comfort (and safety!) of home are sure to find what they're looking for." - San Francisco Chronicle

"Every detail of this novel is exact and exciting... A riveting literary mystery that will hook readers with every sordid, fascinating, even heartwarming detail until the final page... A whopping good tale... Timely, exciting, urgent... not to be missed." - Roanoke Times

"A sensitive look at the life in the city of Jeddah. The novel has a strong sense of place - the author knows the territory... Ferraris has good feel for her two main characters and a beautiful sense of poetic timing... A reworking of a typical police procedural scene is brilliant." - Los Angeles Times

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Author Information

Zoë Ferraris Author Biography

photo: Yasmina Ferraris

Zoë Ferraris moved to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War to live with her then-husband and his extended family, a group of Saudi-Palestinian Bedouins who had never welcomed an American into their lives before. She first conceived the idea for Finding Nouf at a jacket bazaar in Jeddah, where her ex-husband bought a "Columbo" coat and proposed setting off to solve mysteries - though to Zoë the only mystery at the time was why they were at a jacket bazaar in the hottest country in the world. She has an M.F.A. from Columbia University and received first prize for mystery fiction at the Santa Barbara Writers' Conference in 2003. She currently lives in San Francisco with her teenage daughter.

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