Corporate auditor Sam Keller, careful to a fault, has decided to live it up for a change. And what better spot for business-class hedonism than the boomtown of Dubai, where resort islands materialize from open ocean, fortunes are made overnight, and skiers crisscross the snowy slopes of a shopping mall.
But when a colleague is murdered during a night on the town, Sam soon finds himself waist-deep in a bewildering, lethal mix of mobsters, prostitutes, and crooked cops.
Offering a chancy way out is Anwar Sharaf, the unlikeliest of detectives. A former pearl diver and gold smuggler with an undignified demeanor, Sharaf is sometimes as baffled as Sam by the changes to his homeland. But he knows where the levers of power reside. And as the unlikely duo work their way toward the heart of the case, each man must confront the darkest forces threatening Dubai from within.
A stunning portrait of a world where the old and new continually collide, and Dan Fesperman’s most suspenseful novel yet.
©2010 Brilliance Audio, Inc.; ©2010 Dan Fesperman
I read it because I was going to Dubai and I liked the sound of the overview. I found I was listening to it every spare moment. I not only enjoyed the story but learnt alot about the culure and landscape of Dubai. It really enhanced my visit. I'm looking forward to listening to some of his other books.
Actor/director/teacher. Split my time between Beijing and Seattle now. Listen to Audible on the subway and while driving. Love the reviews.
This is a nicely crafted thriller and the Dubai setting makes it particularly fascinating. The hero is a little slow figuring out what seems obvious to us, but he is appealing in spite of this. Though there is not a great deal of action, the plot develops steadily and carries us along without ever bogging down. I was, however, somewhat disappointed with the lack of a satisfying confrontation between the adversaries at the end.
The book is also well served by the reader. He establishes strong vocal characters, manages dialects well and is a pleasure to listen to.
This is a terrific audiobook. Christopher Lane is the perfect narrator for it. He has mastered numerous mid-Eastern accents, and does women just as well as men. The story has wonderful twists and turns, some of them straining credulity a bit, but when you're having fun, who cares? The ending actually is a little abrupt, as you simply want the book to keep going. I haven't read anything else by this author, but I will. I recommend it highly to anyone who enjoys funny, irreverent, well-narrated thrillers.
I like books that take me to odd places and make me feel as though I understand them, all while entertaining me with a good yarn. This book works well that way. The multiple points of view allow insight into many aspects of Dubai culture and history and current events (million-dollar car wrecks alone are worth the price of admission), I care about what's going to happen to the characters, and they get in enough tight spots the author has to be inventive to extricate them over and over again. The narrator can handle the accents well enough to convince me he knows what he's talking about.
I thought this story was entertaining and it also gave me a much better idea of what Dubai is really like. My husband travels there on business, but this book makes me understand much more what this city is all about. East meets West is not always a success.
The overall pacing of the story was well done and the characters, the good guys anyway, were well drawn out. I think the author could have developed the villains motivations more.
Narrator was very good and kept me listening.
Yes...this book transcends the novelty of the setting and winds up being a generally well done and fun novel with flawed but lovable characters.
Anwar Sharaf becomes your favorite. He has a great backstory and perfectly conveys the conflict between traditional values and modern living, while being a loving father and loyal ally to Sam.
No, but I thought the performance was excellent.
I picked this up after a trip to Dubai. I had meant to read it on the plane but wound up listening afterwards and I'm glad I did--the places meant a lot more to me after my visit. I was pleasantly surprised that this was such a good story, regardless of the location.
I'm an avid listener. Audio books are a mini-vacation for me. They fill my "need to read" when I don't have time - which is most of the time. Great element of multi-tasking!
Don't expect a lot of Middle Eastern cinematic descriptions, nor exotic locales. This is a good thriller, but could have just as easily been set in Cleveland. Well-drawn characters, but pretty stock types. Several dove-tailed plot lines seemed a bit contrived to bring them to a single conclusion, but there is enough high stakes intrigue to keep it interesting.
"Better than I expected after reading other reviews"
I have to admit I'm pretty partial to anything Fesperman writes and having been to pretty much every place he writes about I do think he creates a good sense of place.
I felt this in particular about his take on Dubai in this book. As you listen you see the construction sites, the ostentatious spending, the battle between tradition and modernity as well as the seediness. There are Beduins, migrant construction workers and characters typical of life there.
I like the fact that the 'hero' of the story is an auditor, a more original character than using a journalist. And the main characters work for me.
It's well-told, topical and as usual a story that could sort of could happen in real life (only that it probably wouldn't).
Waiting for more Fesperman to come!
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