The Night of the Mi'raj, By Zoe Ferraris

Reviewed,Emma Hagestadt
Friday 24 April 2009 00:00 BST

Set in Saudi Arabia, this compelling debut poses an arresting conundrum: how is crime investigated in a culture where men and women abide by different rules? When 16-year old Nouf disappears days before her wedding, her family are desperate to find her.

Yet when her body is discovered in a ravine, they seem just as keen to keep the crime under wraps. Only Nouf's stepbrother, Othaman, suspects a cover-up. To his aid comes Nayir, a desert guide, and fiancée Katya. The prickly working relationship between two amateur detectives lies at the heart of this psychological drama.

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