City of Jackals

Written by Parker Bilal

Review written by Sara Townsend

Sara-Jayne Townsend is a published crime and horror writer and likes books in which someone dies horribly. She is founder and Chair Person of the T Party Writers’ Group. http://sarajaynetownsend.weebly.com/


City of Jackals
Bloomsbury
RRP: £7.99
Released: June 2 2016
PBK

Cairo-based private investigator Makana is hired by the desperate parents of student Mourad Hafiz to find their son, who appears to have disappeared without a trace.

A severed head of a young man turns up on the banks of the Nile. The head does not belong to the missing student, but as Makana investigates he begins to think that the two cases are connected, and that despite the faith Mourad’s parents have in their son, there was a lot about his life they were unaware of.

This is the fifth book in the Makana series, but the first that I have read. The backdrop of Egyptian unrest makes for an intriguing series, and Makana comes across as being a very sympathetic character. He is also quite enlightened for a man living in a repressed nation. He supports education for women, and yet so many of the young women students he encounters in his investigations face disapproval for their parents for going to university when their energies would be better spent looking for a husband. There are conflicts between the South Sudanese – Makana’s own heritage – and Egyptians but Makana treats everyone with the same respect.

References to President Bush imply that the setting for this book is some years ago, and the politics are topical to the era. It adds an extra dimension to this crime series, as does the setting; and there is also an intriguing mystery involving corruption, and the sinister things that go on in the shadows of a country full of political upheaval.

Readers interested in world politics will find much to enjoy in this series, as will the more traditional crime fan.

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