City of Veils

City of Veils

A Novel

Book - 2010 | 1st ed
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After the body of a brutally beaten woman is found on a beach in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Detective Osama Ibrahim, along with the help of female coroner Katya and her friend Nayir, discovers that the victim was a controversial filmmaker and must discern whowanted her dead.
Publisher: New York : Little, Brown and Co., 2010
Edition: 1st ed
ISBN: 9780316074278
Branch Call Number: F FER NVD
Characteristics: 393 p. ; 25 cm


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Aug 30, 2018

An interesting look at Saudi Arabia from women's perspective,Muslim and American Christian. The story brings out many of the restrictive policies that make life hard in the kingdom for women. The murder mystery moves along, and not a bad read.

Aug 27, 2018

I'm kind of torn about this read.

It took some work to fully dive into this book, and then it became a little long with teasing out what happened to some of the characters. I feel that it is trying to hard to show how the other half live and how Muslims are misunderstood compared to Westerners. Yes, we get to see a glimpse into how women's lives are, where they are at all times (inside their home and outside) segregated from the men, how the religious police attempt to crack down on everyone with their ideas of what is acceptable, how some Muslims may not be super strict Muslims (praying, etc) after all.

It is definitely not easy to be a women in a male dominated society in any country, least of all Saudi Arabia. We see how the female characters struggle and use covers (like saying she is married in order to work for the police) to try to make their way through a very strict and conservation nation.

Overall, the mystery makes is an interesting read and the partial glimpse into another culture was an added bonus. Other than that I don't have strong opinions or attachments to this book.

Jul 23, 2018

This book was entertaining and eye-opening, but I don't think I will read more in the series. I suppose I should have started with Book 1, but I don't know if that would have made a difference.

What worked for me?

*The setting. The author definitely benefitted from her time living in Saudi Arabia. I've never been there so I can't speak to total accuracy, but I felt like I was in a completely different world in this book. I thought she did a brilliant job showing the limitations within which women AND men must function.

*Lovely writing. There was some good writing in this book and I always appreciate that.

*The relationship between Nayir and Katya. That worked for me. It was sweet and genuine, but also complicated because of their social roles. The author does not shy away from that reality.

What didn't work?

*The plot. Fundamentally, this is a standard police procedural. I didn't really much care for the victim. In fact, I didn't much care for anyone. If you strip away the setting and the society, it was pretty "by the numbers" with some contortions along the way to make the plot work.

Katya's job. I don't know. I still felt as though the author had to take some leaps of logic and use some unrealistic strategies to get Katya involved in the investigation. Then again, if she didn't, I guess there wouldn't be a book.

Good effort and I'm glad I read it. I did learn a lot.

Oct 03, 2016

What is interesting in her novels is learning about the life of women and men in Saudi Arabia but the stories, plots etc are poorly conceived of. Not very well developed mysteries.

Jun 21, 2014

Katya Hijazi and Nayir el Sharqi once again find that their combined effort to solve a crime is more effective than working individually. This book involves Americans working as contractors in Saudi Arabia. The impact of one person's greed creates a situation that causes great sorrow to wives left to fend for themselves. A great read.

Dec 16, 2013

This is the third of an amazing series written by an author who lived in Saudi Arabia. It conveys what life is like in modern KSA, especially for professional woman and also about some Americans who go there for work and the men who fall in love with the society. The plot develops slowly and meticulously. It is a great book for learning about modern Saudi life.

Sep 06, 2013

Excellent book. Read 'Finding Nouf' first, but this can be read as a stand alone. The writer is captivating and weaves a very good story. The characters are alive and you easily become sympathic to their situations. The author gently leads us into the lives of women living in Saudi; it is a good view of what life can be like for professional women. Excellent book. Can't wait for the next one.

LaBeteNoir Mar 11, 2013

At the end of Finding Nouf, I wanted to know more about leading detecting characters. This follow up doesn't fail, good mystery story, good develpment of main characters and their personal stories. And you get to learn about another culture. Albeit a non-female friendly culture from my POV.

Nov 26, 2012

Took me a while to get into this book but it was worth it. I loved the female characters. I thought the author conveyed the atmosphere of Saudi Arabia.

Nov 18, 2012

This is the second book I've read by Ferraris. It's another glipse into a world that is both mysterious and alien to most Americans. As a murder mystery, the book is engaging, but it's more about the cultural mysteries of life in Saudi Arabia. I recommend this book and give it a B plus.

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