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Review: City of Veils

September 2, 2010

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!

Review copy provided by Hachette Books.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.
38 Comments leave one →
  1. September 2, 2010 5:09 am

    yay, I’m so happy you liked this book. Since I liked the previous book, I’m so getting this one.

  2. September 2, 2010 5:27 am

    I have this one on my wishlist. It sounds like a very interesting read!

  3. September 2, 2010 5:38 am

    I think this must be a first – this story set with a Saudi background. Must be a very nice storyline.

  4. September 2, 2010 7:01 am

    I love mystery thrillers that take place somewhere distinctive. A place like Saudi Arabia just adds to the atmosphere and the complications. Plus you learn a thing or two. Great review!

  5. September 2, 2010 7:15 am

    Saudi Arabia is one of those places that just doesn’t come up much in my reading. This book sounds fascinating!

  6. September 2, 2010 7:36 am

    That you kept wanting to share details with Carl speaks very highly for this book.

  7. September 2, 2010 7:42 am

    Great review. Wish I had time to pick it up today!

  8. September 2, 2010 8:08 am

    This is on my TBR List. It looks so good.

  9. September 2, 2010 8:14 am

    Don’t worry, I can tell you really liked this one. I like the cultural backdrop.

  10. September 2, 2010 8:18 am

    I’ve had my eye on this book and the one before it, FINDING NOUF, for a while. Hope to get to them soon. I love books that make the setting such an important component to the outcome. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Kathy!

  11. Kaye permalink
    September 2, 2010 8:22 am

    Oh, I am so happy that you liked this one. I just won it and am looking forward to its arrival! Thanks for the great review.

  12. September 2, 2010 8:44 am

    I also think a mystery set in Saudi Arabia would be fascinating. The culture is so different from our own, and I think it would be really cool to kind of get a peek into that and see how this story works itself out. Wonderful review, Kathy! I think I am going to have to read this one now!

  13. September 2, 2010 9:34 am

    I’m so happy you liked this! It’s on my wishlist and it sounds so good.

  14. September 2, 2010 9:52 am

    Have you no pity, Kathy? My list grows longer and longer . . . I’ve never read anything set in Saudi Arabia and have oftened wondered about life there. This book sounds like just the ticket.

  15. September 2, 2010 10:45 am

    I still haven’t read her first book, and it’s been sitting on the shelf for a few years!

  16. September 2, 2010 10:54 am

    I have to get around it. Thanks for the review.

  17. teenagersmom permalink
    September 2, 2010 11:56 am

    This is the type of stories I crave. Fabulous review! I’m adding to my list.

  18. September 2, 2010 12:25 pm

    Once again, you are so far ahead of me—reading interesting books, turning pages faster than I have ever been able to. Thanks for a great review.

  19. September 2, 2010 1:26 pm

    Back from visiting family and now time to catch up 🙂 Your review caught me from the moment you stated that “Carl got tired from hearing about them.” That’s an indication that it’s an eye opener and something worthy to be shared & read.
    Putting this one on the list too.

  20. September 2, 2010 1:35 pm

    Glad you enjoyed this one. I’ve got the first in the series and can’t wait to read it.

  21. September 2, 2010 3:32 pm

    I just finished her first book, Finding Nouf, and enjoyed it thoroughly. You don’t often get a close look at the social customs of Saudi Arabia in fiction. Glad you enjoyed this one, I really look forward to it too.

  22. September 2, 2010 4:09 pm

    Hmmm…a Saudi Arabian mystery. Sounds fun.

  23. September 2, 2010 6:13 pm

    I think I need to read this one – you had me from the first sentence of your review!

  24. September 2, 2010 6:13 pm

    This book does sound fascinating! Wonderfully written review, Kathy, as always! 🙂

  25. September 2, 2010 9:41 pm

    That sounds great, Kathy! I’ll remember that one.

  26. September 2, 2010 11:30 pm

    Did you read the first book of this series? I didn’t know this was a sequel until recently. It didn’t strike me as the kind of book that would have a sequel. But I’m still eager to read it.

  27. September 3, 2010 4:23 am

    Well, off you go into my wishlist, my dear book. We will catch you, when you fly by 🙂

  28. September 3, 2010 6:28 am

    Oh, I so want to read this one. I thought I’d get to it last month, but that didn’t happen. Glad u loved it Kathy.

  29. September 3, 2010 12:21 pm

    Oh I just got this in the mail! After reading your review I am now very anxious to read it. I’ll have to bump it up to the top of my list.
    Natalie :0)

  30. September 3, 2010 2:37 pm

    Heard about this one. Great review. I think I will recommend this to my book club.

  31. stacybuckeye permalink
    September 3, 2010 2:50 pm

    I’ve seen other positive reviews of this one. Glad you liked it.

  32. September 3, 2010 6:24 pm

    This book caught my eye a while back. I was actually looking at the audiobook version. Since it’s as good as it looks (you confirmed it), I may keep trying to get my hands on a copy.

  33. September 4, 2010 12:35 am

    Great review Kathy! I’m really happy you enjoyed this one, I want to read it too.

  34. September 4, 2010 12:50 pm

    I have been eyeing this one for a while. Glad it will live up to my expectations.

  35. September 4, 2010 1:34 pm

    I love books about this part of the world but have never read one set in Saudi Arabia. This one sounds like a great read that will give me a real feel for the setting.

  36. September 6, 2010 6:28 pm

    I haven’t read much that took place in Saudi Arabia and this one sounds like a great read! 😀

  37. September 7, 2010 12:25 am

    I’ve been reading so much non-fiction about the Middle East that I think it would be nice to read some fiction set there also!

  38. September 8, 2010 7:37 am

    The setting and learning about the culture are enough to make this book appealing to me. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

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