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Finding Nouf | [Zoe Ferraris]

Finding Nouf

Nayir al-Sharqi, known by his friends for religious piety and his Bedouin-like knowledge of the desert, lends his assistance to a wealthy family when their soon to-be-married daughter Nouf goes missing. After a short search, the girl is found dead, apparently drowned in the desert during a freak deluge. Something about her death doesn't sit well with Nayir, however, and he makes an uncomfortable alliance with a female coroner's technician to determine what really happened.
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Publisher's Summary

Zoe Ferraris' debut novel is hailed as a startling, richly textured work. With Finding Nouf, Ferraris delivers an electrifying page-turner that is at once a murder mystery and an intriguing glimpse into the culture of Saudi Arabia.

Nayir al-Sharqi, known by his friends for religious piety and his Bedouin-like knowledge of the desert, lends his assistance to a wealthy family when their soon to-be-married daughter Nouf goes missing. After a short search, the girl is found dead, apparently drowned in the desert during a freak deluge. Something about her death doesn't sit well with Nayir, however, and he makes an uncomfortable alliance with a female coroner's technician to determine what really happened.

The riveting mystery in Finding Nouf is complemented by the novel's engaging protagonist, whose romantic awakening will linger long in readers' thoughts.

©2008 Zoe Ferraris; (P)2008 Recorded Books, LLC

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (134 )
5 star
 (43)
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4.0 (80 )
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4.2 (82 )
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3 star
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2 star
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1 star
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Performance
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  •  
    Gail Kelleher 12-30-08 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    60
    ratings
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    609
    8
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    "transported"

    I thoroughly enjoyed this mystery. While there is a whodunit at the center of the storyline, I was captivated by the many details of daily life in Saudi Arabia. Inside the head of a righteous Muslim, the retrictions on women from clothing to needing a driver or male escort to the difficult, if not impossible, effort to get to know a member of the opposite sex. Give it a listen!

    11 of 11 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Norm Florissant, CO, United States 02-08-11
    Norm Florissant, CO, United States 02-08-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    45
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    "Good mystery with Saudi accuracy"

    The butler didn't do it, and I had a hard time figuring it out until near the end. I lived in Saudi Arabia for a year, and the culteral backdrop is accurate in my opinion.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Holly san diego, CA, United States 05-26-09
    Holly san diego, CA, United States 05-26-09 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    2
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    "stunning"

    A stunning view of a world to which few of us are privy. Excellent narration and a fascinating story. Loved it.

    4 of 4 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pita Miami 02-26-15
    Pita Miami 02-26-15 Member Since 2013

    Life long compulsive reader & lover of recorded books

    HELPFUL VOTES
    182
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    Story
    "Original murder mistery set in Saudi Arabia"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Finding Nouf to be better than the print version?

    I read this book in print originally. I would say that I got equal pleasure from listening to it. This is a murder mistery set in another country with a very different culture. The characters are native. So the reader gets a peek into another world along with the mistery. The pace may be considered slow by some readers and this is more noticeable in the recorded version than in the print version.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The author of this book was married to a Saudi and lived in Saudi Arabia. She manages to take the reader into daily life in that country while at the same time developing a murder mistery. This book provides a very rich, very different kind of experience that I thoroughly enjoyed.


    Have you listened to any of Pete Bradbury’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    The narration was OK (not exceptional).


    Any additional comments?

    I recommend this book. It is an immersive experience. For those who like an intelligent thriller with something extra...this is it!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nan Ayers San Mateo, CA 10-08-12
    Nan Ayers San Mateo, CA 10-08-12 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
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    "Should be read by everyone"
    What did you love best about Finding Nouf?

    The perspective of life in Saudi Arabia - the role of women.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Nayir - his knowledge of the desert and the fact that, while being very traditional, he is able to be open to the changes around him - particularly those of the roles of women.


    Which character – as performed by Pete Bradbury – was your favorite?

    Nouf's sister.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Only that I have been telling everyone I know to read it.


    Any additional comments?

    Unique approach by a detective, dealing with the death of a young woman, in a totally "veiled" society. I feel that everyone should read this for a better understanding of this part of the world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 05-15-12
    Ellen Chesterton, IN, United States 05-15-12 Member Since 2008

    I'm a bibliophile since early childhood. Love speculative fiction, odd premises, mystery novels that teach about different places and times.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "An Interesting View into Another Culture"

    I find the best detective stories are often not about the crime. Instead they're about the world in which the crime happens.
    This is a view into the world of Muslim women that I suspect is neither romaticised or vilified. The whole premise turns on the men in this woman's life who have no idea who she is. It's not a quiveringly good book but it's a good read and a fascinating glimpse into another world.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Juanita Hillsville, VA, United States 10-18-11
    Juanita Hillsville, VA, United States 10-18-11 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "DO "Find Nouf""

    This is a fascinating glimpse into a world we westerners know so little about. The author does a great job pulling us into the realities of modern day Islamic culture through her characters and she creates a commonality that leaves one caring about people we probably never would give a second thought to. An enjoyable and thoroughly interesting story!

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toni Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 02-03-11
    Toni Mississauga, Ontario, Canada 02-03-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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    "Loved It"

    Enjoyed this book. Great combination of mystery, character development. Loved the author's explaination and description of a muslim world where you finish the book with a better understanding of the role of women, the strength of women without judgement. Can't wait for more books from this author.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 01-23-12
    Judith A. Weller LaVale, MD United States 01-23-12 Member Since 2008

    jw1917

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Not as Good as City of Veils"
    If you could sum up Finding Nouf in three words, what would they be?

    Interesting story but it drags in spot. At times character introspection makes the story lag way too much.


    Did the plot keep you on the edge of your seat? How?

    This is not a story to keep you hanging on the edge of your seat. The solution is pretty obvious early on. Consequently it has moments where the story really drags. It is less of a mystery than an exploration of chraacters. I got really fed up with Nair and his thoughts. I am not a reader who like to spend too much time with characters whose thoughts fill too many pages.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    At first I didn't like the narration but I guess it suited the story which was very male oriented. However, the narrator is not good with female voices. Simon Prebble he is not. The narrator was OK but not great.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    It took me several days to listen to this book as I would get bored with it frequently.


    Any additional comments?

    A better book by this author is City of Veils which is a very gripping mystery story and moves along well. This book has too many spots where it drags.

    4 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 03-10-15
    Marjorie Santa Rosa, CA, United States 03-10-15 Member Since 2015

    Life's good when I am listening to a great book.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Murder Mystery in Saudi; An Enjoyable Listen"

    I recommend this murder mystery. The setting is contemporary Saudi, Arabia which is a unique backdrop for a mystery. The story provides an interesting glimpse into Saudi culture including male/female roles within the Muslim faith. One of the main characters is a woman who is a forensic scientist and through her character as well as through the male protagonist, the reader is allowed to explore a bit of the inner conflict which arises out of the Muslim beliefs of both the young men and young women. Both main characters are thoughtful, intelligent adults who face several ethical dilemmas throughout the novel. The murder mystery was intriguing and kept me guessing until close to the end of the book. In addition, the reader had a steady and pleasing voice. Overall, between the murder mystery, the culture and the psychological/religious considerations, the book is well done. It's not an edge-of-the seat mystery, but more a steadily paced, light-weight, murder mystery with some interesting twists. Thumbs up.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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