City of Veils: A Novel

City of Veils: A Novel

by Zoë Ferraris

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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780316089289
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Publication date: 08/09/2010
Series: A Katya Hijazi and Nayir Sharqi Novel
Sold by: Hachette Digital, Inc.
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 163,617
File size: 920 KB

About the Author

Zoë Ferraris moved to Saudi Arabia in the aftermath of the first Gulf War to live with her then husband and his extended family of Saudi-Palestinian Bedouins, who had never met an American before. She has an MFA from Columbia University and is the author of one previous novel, Finding Nouf. She lives in San Francisco.

Read an Excerpt

City of Veils

A Novel
By Ferraris, Zoë

Little, Brown and Company

Copyright © 2010 Ferraris, Zoë
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780316074278

1

The woman’s body was lying on the beach. “Eve’s tomb,” he would later come to think of it, not the actual tomb in Jeddah that was flattened in 1928, to squash out any cults attached to her name, nor the same one that was bulldozed again in 1975, to confirm the point. This more fanciful tomb was a plain, narrow strip of beach north of Jeddah.

That afternoon, Abu-Yussuf carried his fishing gear down the gentle slope to the sand. He was a seasoned fisherman who preferred the activity for its sport rather than its practical value, but a series of layoffs at the desalination plant had forced him to take up fishing to feed his family. Sixty-two and blessed with his mother’s skin, he had withstood a lifetime of exposure to the sun and looked as radiant as a man in his forties. He hit the edge of the shore, the hard-packed sand, with an expansive feeling of pleasure; there were certainly worse ways to feed a family. He looked up the beach and there she was. The woman he would later think of as Eve.

He set his tackle box on the sand and approached carefully in case she was sleeping, in case she sat up and wiped her eyes and mistook him for a djinn. She was lying on her side, her dark hair splayed around her head like the tentacles of a dangerous anemone. The seaweed on her cloak looked at first like some sort of horrible growth. One arm was tucked beneath the body; the other one was bare, and it rested on the sand in a pleading way, as a sleeper might clutch a pillow during a bad dream. The hand was mutilated; it looked to be burned. There were numerous cuts on the forearm. Her bottom half was naked, the black cloak pushed up above her waist, the jeans she was wearing tangled around her feet like chains. His attention turned to the half of her face that wasn’t buried in sand. Whole sections of her cheeks and lips were missing. What remained of the skin was swollen and red, and there were horrible cuts across her forehead. One eye was open, vacant, dead.

“Bism’allah, ar-rahman, ar-rahim,” he began to whisper. The prayer spooled from his mouth as he stared dumbfounded and horrified. He knew he shouldn’t look, he shouldn’t want that sort of image knocking around in his memory, but it took an effort to turn away. Her left leg was half buried in the sand, but now that he was closer, he saw that the right one was cut around the thigh, the slashes bulbous and curved like tamarinds. The rest of the skin was unnaturally pale and bloated. He knew better than to touch the body, but he had the impulse to lay something over the exposed half of her, to give her a last bit of dignity.

He had to go back up to the street to get a good cellular signal. The police came, then a coroner and a forensics team. Abu-Yussuf waited, still clutching his fishing rod, the tackle box planted firmly by his feet. The young officer who first arrived on the scene treated him with affection and called him “uncle.” Would you like a drink, uncle? A chair? I can bring a chair. They interviewed him politely. Yes, uncle, that’s important. Thank you. The whole time, he kept the woman in his line of sight. Out of politeness, he didn’t stare.

While the forensics team worked, Abu-Yussuf began to feel crushingly tired. He sensed that shutting his eyes would lead to a dangerous sleep, so he let his eyes drift out to sea, let his thoughts drift further. Eve. Her real tomb was in the city. It had always seemed strange that she was buried in Jeddah, and that Adam was buried in Mecca. Had they had a falling-out after they were exiled from the Garden of Eden? Or had Adam, like so many men today, simply died first, giving Eve time to wander? His grandmother, rest her soul, once told him that Eve had been 180 meters tall. His grandmother had seen Eve’s grave as a girl, before the king’s viceroy had demolished the site. It had been longer than her father’s entire camel caravan.

One of the forensics men bent over the body. Abu-Yussuf snapped out of his reverie and caught a last glimpse of the girl’s bare arm. Allah receive her. He leaned over and picked up his tackle box, felt a rush of nausea. Swallowing hard, he looked up to the street and began to walk with an energy he didn’t really have. Uncle, can I assist? This was another officer, taller than the first, with a face like a marble sculpture, all smooth angles and stone. The officer didn’t give him time to protest. He took Abu-Yussuf’s arm and they walked up together, taking one slow step at a time. The going became easier when he imagined Eve, a gargantuan woman stomping across cities as if they were doormats. She could have taken this beach with one leap. Pity it was only the modern woman who had been rendered so small and frail.



Continues...

Excerpted from City of Veils by Ferraris, Zoë Copyright © 2010 by Ferraris, Zoë. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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City of Veils 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 42 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a hard book to review as I loved the way it deals with some very difficult but fascinating subject matter concerning the treatment of women in Saudi Arabia, but I found it lacking in characterization and plot. On the plus side, the setting of the book is unusual and fascinating. The author's first-hand perspective of an American woman confined to the house at the mercy of male relatives is evocative and compelling. Of the entire book, Miriam's feelings about being deposited in the "call for" room at the airport, not being able to drive herself around, and other restrictions of life in Saudi Arabia ring true and deep. On the negative side, there are so many characters in the book that none are well developed. I felt as if we were getting a snapshot of each one rather than a video. There was so jumping back and forth that I found myself skipping chapters then going back so I could follow one character at a time. And, worst of all, the ending itself felt flat after all the build-up. There was no great crime, no great discovery, just garden-variety malice and stupidity. I give this book 5 stars for atmosphere and 1 star for plot.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a reader of murder mysteries but I picked this one up because the story takes place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and I was curious to see how that would work out. We learn how women are treated on the local police force, about the angst of a conservative muslim man having to deal with women in an evolving Saudi society, we get a glimpse of the desert and getting around in it, and, eventually how the case is solved. I can't judge the merits of the book as a mystery story because I haven't read enough of them to tell if this one is exceptional or not but I can say I enjoyed reading about the setting and the culture of modern Saudi Arabia. Well done.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoy mysteries that also allow me to learn about different historical periods, another culture, an interesting occupation, etc. I have totally enjoyed this and Zoe Ferraris's previous book, Finding Nouf. I find myself constantly telling other people about what I am learning about life in Saudi Arabia. In the midst of this, the mystery (or mysteries - counting the previous book) are well plotted with a reasonable solution.
Tigerpaw70 More than 1 year ago
Book 2 in the Katya Hijazi series "City of Veils" is a modern crime fiction that provides a unique insight into the minds of men highly influenced by their religious upbringing and customs. As a reader from the West, it is an intriguing and shocking glimpse into a life where men and women contribute in a totally different manner in day to day survival. The scorching sands of Saudi Arabia provide the backdrop in this fast-paced and compelling story. The exciting plotting with its many twists and turns and well-drawn characters are what make this exceptional novel what it is. The author has weaved seamlessly three threads together to create a sizzling thriller; it begins with the discovery of a mutilated body of a young woman on a beach. Detective Inspector Osama Ibrahim of the Jeddah Police and female officer Faiza start the investigation and are later join by Katya to interview female witnesses. Katya is very ambitious and her drive will push her too independently research the murder with the help of her trusted friend, Nayir. Another thread has Eric Walker, an American, disappearing under strange circumstances, his wife Mariam seeks help from the American consulate but is disappointed in their lack of results and eventually turns to Nayir and Katya. The author also skilfully develops the personal side of the main characters, Osama who is totally smitten by his wife is in for a rude awakening and Nayir struggles with his principals and feelings towards Katya as their attraction to each other becomes stronger.. This is a great sequel to "Finding Nouf", time well spent between the pages.
TheCrowdedLeaf More than 1 year ago
Zoe Ferraris's second novel, City of Veils, is a follow-up to her debut, Finding Nouf. A literary mystery set in Saudi Arabia, City of Veils is a different kind of suspense thriller. Among the cloaked town, hidden in the desert or behind a burqa, a killer has taken the life of a woman whose body washes onto the beach. Badly burned, beaten, and stabbed, the investigation into her murder involves more than one detective and citizen of Jeddah. Pushing the boundaries of expectations, both religious and legal, Ferraris's characters delve into the mystery of the woman's death with the hopes of bringing her killer to justice. My favorite thing about this novel was the fact that it was set in Saudi Arabia. An unlikely place to serve as the backdrop for a thriller, my interest in Ferraris was piqued and I looked on her website and checked out some interviews to discover she once lived in the town of Jeddah, and has first-hand experience of the area and the people who live there. It gave her writing an authentic voice, and though it's hard for me to imagine the rigid expectations women face in Saudi Arabia, I know from her background that what Ferraris writes under the guise of a fiction thriller, can and does occur outside the cover of a book. Aside from the location and the language placing this novel in a foreign setting, Ferraris's writing was natural and her plot was intriguing. I didn't know going into it that this was a follow-up novel, but I didn't feel disconnected, or as though I missed too much of the background story. Some of the past events were explained, so I understood why Nayir and Katya had a tortured history. I enjoyed the murder-mystery and suspense value in City of Veils. It's not your everyday sleuth adventure when a burning, grinding, sand-storm is rushing toward you. It's not a generic persons-go-missing and turn up okay later. People die and the villains are punished, and through it all, Ferraris's writing carries on from one perspective to the next, making each character determined and endearing.
GiovanniG More than 1 year ago
This novel is an eye opener. I am the proud father of seven girls (we also have a son) and must say that the way in which women are treated in the Middle East have always stunned me. City of Veils gave me a new perspective on the whole thing. Zoe Ferraris has a unique viewpoint being both a woman and having lived in the Middle East, experiencing it first-hand. Her previous novel, Finding Nouf, was a Los Angeles Times Prize Winner. Here is the summary of the novel; When the body of a brutally beaten woman is found on the beach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Detective Osama Ibrahim dreads investigating another unsolvable murder-chillingly common in a city where the veils of conservative Islam keep women as anonymous in life as the victim is in death. But Katya , one of the few females in the coroner's office, is determined to identify the woman and find her killer. Aided by her friend Nayir, she soon discovers that the victim was a young filmmaker named Leila, whose controversial documentaries earned her many enemies. But was it Leila's work with an incendiary Korainic scholar or a missing American man who got her killed? The plotline is intense, riveting and eye opening to say the least. Ferraris paints a picture and mindset that I would think most Western thinking people, men and women alike, find hard to comprehend and embrace. How do you identify a woman that is murdered that has to have her face shielded seemingly at all times? Difficult job, yes I would think. Maybe our friend Mr. Monk the obsessive/ compulsive detective can find a difference in her burka versus another woman's, but he isn't in this novel. But I digress. I enjoyed this novel on many levels because it really challenged me. The setting, the mindset, the language and customs are all foreign to me. The manner in which the detective had to go about his business, the treatment of the women all were a surprise to me and at times enlightening. Ferraris uses all these things to the reader's advantage as she takes us on a journey that I don't think many of us have a chance to go on in this genre. So for that my hat is off to her. City of Veils is a unique novel for the reasons listed and many more. Dare to be different, give this novel a go, add it to your Goodreads - to read- list and challenge yourself. I think that the suspense and mystery of the novel combined with grappling to understand the mindset of the culture prove to a winning combination. What are you reading today? Check us out and become our friend on Facebook. Go to Goodreads and become our friend there and suggest books for us to read and post on. You can also follow us on Twitter, Book Blogs, and also look for our posts on Amazon,Barnes and Nobles and the Bucks County Library System. Did you know you can shop directly on Amazon by clicking the Gelati's Store Tab on our blog? Thanks for stopping by today; we will see you tomorrow. Have a great day. http://www.gelatisscoop.blogspot.com
dianaleez on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Better than its predecessor - 'City of Veils' has better characterization and more interesting supporting characters. The plot again takes second place to place and ambiance, but there's enough story line to keep things going. Is is possible to read this book and not comment aloud as you go?
bermudaonion on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A young woman¿s body is discovered washed up on the beach north of Jeddah. It¿s pretty clear that she was murdered, but is she just another in a string of housemaids who¿ve been killed or does her death mean something else? Shortly after that gruesome discovery, American Miriam Walker is flying to Saudi Arabia to re-join her husband, Eric. She¿s only back a short time when Eric goes missing. She files a report, but it largely goes ignored until it¿s determined that his disappearance could be related to the young woman¿s death. But are they related, and if so, how?I found City of Veils by Zoë Ferraris to be a fascinating book! Not only is it a well crafted mystery but it¿s also an enthralling peek into life in Saudi Arabia. Since the author lived in a conservative Muslim community in Saudi Arabia for a year, I assume the portrayal of life there is fairly accurate. I knew a little bit about what it¿s like for a women to live in Saudi Arabia, but parts of this book were real eye-openers for me and I think Carl got tired of hearing about them. It gave me a lot to think about and a lot to be thankful for.The mystery was written so well, it kept me turning the pages as fast as I could. I had to know what had happened to the murdered woman and to Miriam¿s husband, Eric. I was totally captivated by Miriam ¿ she and her plight felt very real to me. I cannot imagine trying to deal with something like that in a country with a totally different language and culture ¿ it would be bad enough in your own country!I only have one complaint about City of Veils, and it¿s a small one. I felt like the last twenty five or thirty pages drug on a little ¿ it got a little too bogged down in details for me. The ending could have been wrapped up a little more quickly and been just as satisfying for me. Don¿t let that minor complaint keep you from reading this book, though ¿ overall, I loved it!
cathyskye on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
First Line: The woman's body was lying on the beach.I am always looking to broaden my armchair traveling horizons, so when I read that City of Veils was set in Saudi Arabia, my interest was certainly piqued. If I'm honest, it was also piqued for another reason.In the mid-1970s, I was being recruited for a teaching position in Saudi Arabia. I was very interested. I love travel, I love adventure, the vacation accrual made my jaw drop, and so did the salary. I took all the information home, and I began to read. When I'd read everything, I went back to read the one paragraph that had made my blood pressure spike. That paragraph persuaded me that I didn't have the proper attitude for the job. What in the world was in that paragraph? The instructions on precisely what kind of undergarments I was allowed to wear. Once my mother no longer bought them for me no one has the right to tell me what underwear to wear!City of Veils is written by Zoë Ferraris, who moved to Saudi Arabia shortly after the first Gulf War. She lived in a conservative Muslim community with her then-husband and his family, a group of Saudi-Palestinians who had never before met an American. But enough of the extraneous. Let's get to the book!When the body of a woman is found on the beach in Jeddah, the police are content to dismiss the case as an unsolvable murder. If the victim is yet another housemaid killed by her employer, finding the person responsible for her death will be all but impossible. At about the same time, an American woman reports her husband-- a security contractor-- as missing.Only Katya Hijazi, a forensic scientist working in the police department, is convinced that the murdered woman can be identified. She asks her friend Nayir for help and discovers that the victim was a young filmmaker whose controversial documentaries made her many enemies. As Katya and Nayir search for clues, they form a very unlikely alliance with the American woman whose husband has disappeared.I am such a stickler for reading series in order! If I'd realized that this is the second book in a series, I doubt that I would've read it. I'm glad that I was blissfully ignorant, otherwise I would've missed out on one of the best books I've read all year.City of Veils is written in such a way that you do not have to read the first book in order to understand what's going on. I'm going to get my hands on a copy of Finding Nouf simply because I fell in love with Ferraris's setting and characters.The mystery is intriguing and well-paced. It had a coincidence or two that stretched belief a bit but not enough to lessen my enjoyment. The characters are multi-faceted and fascinating. If the plot and the characters are the jewels, the setting is the Muslim culture-- and without doubt this setting shows the jewels to perfection.What I found so incredibly strong in this book is that the Muslim culture is shown from so many angles: the devout Muslim man, a more progressive Muslim man, an American man totally captivated by the place and the culture, a young Muslim woman who's comfortable with her place but still feeling the restrictions, and an American woman who is so completely a stranger in a strange land that it's painful.I had to know what would happen next, so it was almost impossible to put this book down. From my personal anecdote at the beginning of this review, you may have guessed correctly that City of Veils had me talking to myself on several occasions. It's that sort of book: you live it while you read it. It was also a learning experience on so many levels. Muslim women following several paces behind their men had always made me roll my eyes and mutter. Now I know that those several steps behind are also a safety measure. If you're a woman wearing all that garb, you can't see where you're going. (I felt a bit doltish after one of Ferraris's characters explained that to me!)If you're looking for an intriguing mystery set in a land with a fascinating culture and populated with w
TheCrowdedLeaf on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Zoe Ferraris¿s second novel, City of Veils, is a follow-up to her debut, Finding Nouf. A literary mystery set in Saudi Arabia, City of Veils is a different kind of suspense thriller. Among the cloaked town, hidden in the desert or behind a burqa, a killer has taken the life of a woman whose body washes onto the beach. Badly burned, beaten, and stabbed, the investigation into her murder involves more than one detective and citizen of Jeddah. Pushing the boundaries of expectations, both religious and legal, Ferraris¿s characters delve into the mystery of the woman¿s death with the hopes of bringing her killer to justice.My favorite thing about this novel was the fact that it was set in Saudi Arabia. An unlikely place to serve as the backdrop for a thriller, my interest in Ferraris was piqued and I looked on her website and checked out some interviews to discover she once lived in the town of Jeddah, and has first-hand experience of the area and the people who live there. It gave her writing an authentic voice, and though it¿s hard for me to imagine the rigid expectations women face in Saudi Arabia, I know from her background that what Ferraris writes under the guise of a fiction thriller, can and does occur outside the cover of a book.Aside from the location and the language placing this novel in a foreign setting, Ferraris¿s writing was natural and her plot was intriguing. I didn¿t know going into it that this was a follow-up novel, but I didn¿t feel disconnected, or as though I missed too much of the background story. Some of the past events were explained, so I understood why Nayir and Katya had a tortured history.I enjoyed the murder-mystery and suspense value in City of Veils. It¿s not your everyday sleuth adventure when a burning, grinding, sand-storm is rushing toward you. It¿s not a generic persons-go-missing and turn up okay later. People die and the villains are punished, and through it all, Ferraris¿s writing carries on from one perspective to the next, making each character determined and endearing.
smik on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fisherman reports finding a dead body on the beach near Jeddah: female, young, but with whole sections of her face missing.Nayir the desert guide is preparing to take another too wealthy family on a desert excursion, but the family keeps shortening the length of the planned trip, until eventually business gets in the way and they don't go at all.It is 8 months since he has spoken to Katya, despite all the promise of the final days of their first investigation (FINDING NOUF/THE NIGHT OF THE MI'RAJ) At first Katya had phoned Nayir every week or so, but eventually stopped as it became obvious that he was unable to respond.Katya has begun a new job. Thanks to a government initiative to get more Saudi women into the workplace, a number of positions had opened at the crime lab in police headquarters and Katya had won one of those jobs. The dead body on the beach is assigned to her boss Osama.Miriam is an American woman rejoining her husband Eric in Jeddah. Eric has a military background and is working as a security guard. He speaks Arabic and has great respect for Muslim culture and wants to be part of it.Miriam has been on holiday in the US for four weeks, and expects Eric to collect her at the airport. When he fails to turn up she is bundled into a room for unclaimed women. When Eric eventually arrives he seems distracted and has no good explanation for his lateness. Miriam and Eric live in an Islamic neighbourhood, something which upsets Miriam as she feels threatened and out of place. In the month she has been away Eric has done no cleaning and he has bought no food, so he leaves Miriam in their flat while he goes out to buy local food. Miriam thinks she hears him return and when she goes to the kitchen the food is there but Eric isn't. Her worst fears are realised when it becomes apparent that Eric has disappeared.CITY OF VEILS skilfully draws these story strands together, blending a murder investigation with a commentary on Saudi culture and in particular the status of women. We feel this commentary in the precariousness of Miriam trying to find out what has happened to Eric, in Katya and Osama trying to discover the identity of the body on the beach and what led to her murder, in Osama's relationship with his wife Nuah, and also in Nayir and Katya exploring their feelings for each other.In much the same way as in THE NIGHT OF THE MI'RAJ you suspect that Zoe Ferraris didn't actually set out to write a murder mystery, but it certainly becomes the vehicle for the exploration of relationships in an Islamic society. For me it was a pointer to how little I really understand about Islam. In some ways Zoe Ferraris seems to be pointing to the social shortcomings of Saudi society, but on the other hand you are aware that she is treating the culture with great respect. The story raises so many issues for you to think about.CITY OF VEILS is really another of these novels that crosses out of the crime fiction genre and really deserves a literary "tag" too.
dnkemontoh on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
City of Veils is the second book in this series by Zoe Ferraris. While I preferred the first book over the second, I still was caught up in reading it, fascinated with its layers of meanings/themes. The basic story centers on Katya, one of the few women in the medical examiner's office in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Katya attempts to solve a murder but lives in a society where women's lives are subject to Islamic laws. She enlists her friend, Nayir for help. As a man, Nayir is able to help her travel and gain entry to people and places that, as a woman, Katya would have difficulty in accessing.Still, the reader sees that the law is complex and just by being alone with a man is suspect in the eyes of the society. Leila, the murder victim, also led a complex life... which we learn leads to her demise.Nayir finds himself torn by his beliefs and his emotions. Which will win?Definitely worth reading.
writestuff on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
In the sequel to Finding Nouf, Zoe Ferraris once again gives readers a glimpse into Saudi Arabian society where women¿s rights and freedoms are challenged, even when it comes to solving crimes against them. The novel opens with the partially clothed body of a woman on a beach. She has been brutally murdered and her identity is difficult to ascertain. Dubbed ¿Eve¿ by the police, her murder investigation falls on the desk of Detective Osama Ibrahim ¿ a man who bucks the conservative attitudes toward woman in his job, but has difficulty accepting his wife¿s modern views. Katya, one of the few female investigators in the coroner¿s office, quickly becomes involved in the case. Her friendship with a desert guide named Nayir involves him in the murder investigation as well. As the story unfolds, it becomes apparent than any one of a number of people might have reason to murder the victim: a Koranic scholar with unpopular theories, a missing American whose wife is left to fend for herself in the paternalistic Saudi society, the brother of the victim who harbors barely contained anger towards his sister¿s activities as a filmmaker, to name a few.Fast paced, gritty, and riveting, City of Veils is a thrilling ride. Ferraris has brought back familiar characters from her first novel and continues to develop them here. She writes in multiple viewpoints ¿ a technique which allows the reader to understand each character¿s motivations, strengths and weaknesses.City of Veils revisits themes from Finding Nouf ¿ women¿s rights, the struggle between the modern and traditional cultures of Saudi Arabia, and male/female relationships in an evolving society where traditionally men wield all the power. Ferraris easily balances the mystery aspects of her book with the deeper issues of Arab culture.I really loved this novel ¿ in fact, I found it hard to stop reading once I got into the final 100 pages. Ferraris¿s writing has grown since publication of Finding Nouf which results in a novel that fully captures a veiled society while dazzling the reader with a mystery that has many twists and turns before the killer is finally revealed. Readers who love a good mystery and want to learn more about Saudi culture will not want to miss City of Veils.Highly recommended.
ethel55 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Our Bedouin friend from Finding Nouf returns. Once again, there is a tragically murdered young woman. But the real bones of this story come through the interplay of the main characters. Nayir is pleased to rekindle his acquaintance Katya (still in forensics, hoping to move to investigation) when their paths cross over a questionable death. But Nayir's charm still remains his uncertainty about how to handle interviewing or working with women he is not related to. I was very impressed with details Ferraris used in the story that underscore a very different life than the one we live in America. Both of her novels are ones I highly recommend.
maneekuhi on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I thought Ferraris' debut book, Finding Nouf, was very good, but City of Veils is so much better. The detail is very rich, not only about the people who live in Jeddah but also of the city and the surrounding desert. Reading CoV, one can't help being caught up in the frustration that women especially feel in their daily lives, subject to so many rules, pettiness, and prejudices. As expected some deal with it, others rise above it, and others let it defeat them. And though this is crime fiction, and there are dead bodies to deal with, it is this challenge that women face every day that is what this book is all about, and it is riveting. Reading CoV made me angry, frustrated, tense, and even satisfied and a bit hopeful at the end. What's the story about? A dead woman on a beach, an American husband who disappears, a young couple very much attracted to each other but struggling with differing views on their religion. Along the way, there are two scenes that will stay with me for a long time - a public execution, and a sandstorm so violent that it buries the SUV our hero was driving. Can't wait for the third book.
Smiley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Not as good as the first one, Finding Nouf, but still...Two engaging main characters that keep reminding me of the best Lord Peter Wimsey/Harriet Vane mysteries. These are set in Saudi Arabia and the meliu of the novels adds much, but it is the two characters of Katya and Nayir that will drive me to read the next book. Some interesting comments on Saudi society and how Islam may be lived day to day.
kakadoo202 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
not knowing that this was a second book with these characters. I like the inside of the women/men segragation and how women deal with it but also how complicate it is to segregate in the daily life. Plot was a little bit weak and I concentrated more on the atmosphere of the country.
ForeignCircus on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This intriguing mystery set in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia features the characters first introduced in Finding Nouf. Once again a young woman is brutally killed, and Katya and Nayir find themselves thrown together trying to discover the killer. Once again, the mystery itself is not as interesting as is the story of Katya and her life in Jeddah. In the months that have passed since the end of Finding Nouf, Katya and Nayir have drifted apart as she has focued on her new job. She finds herself working with a new detective, Osama Ibrahim, a detective with a liberal outlook at work that he soon learns doesn't extend as far into his home life as he himself believed it did. Once Nayir finds himself drawn into the investigation, he is forced to confront his feelings about a young American expat whose husband is missing, and about Katya.Ferraris paints a vivid picture of life in Jeddah, and does a good job of showing some of the many complications that women face in this strictly gender-segregated environment. Katya is a wonderful character, and I can't wait to read the next installment in her story.
shequiltz on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a rather complex and involved murder mystery story set in Jeddah in Saudi Arabia. I was intrigued by the details about the way women must dress and how they are treated in public by some men. No one, man or woman, is immune to the religious police who roam the streets looking for those who aren't acting or presenting themselves in a proper way. Enjoyed the small rebellions of some of the women who at times left their faces uncovered. The scene in the book that I found most compelling was two characters being caught in a sandstorm in the middle of the desert dunes and the things they did in an attempt to survive. I will now be reading Ferraris's first book, Finding Nouf.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
JaynaM More than 1 year ago
I was fascinated by the culture and also enjoyed the mystery, as I did with her first novel. I'm looking forward to reading the third one.
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whimsical_one More than 1 year ago
The City of Veils enunciates well the cultural milieu of the Arab woman today. WhiletThe depiction of women's rights in Arabia is well done, the characters and plot of the novel are thinly drawn.