The brilliant sequel to the critically acclaimed PASHAZADE
Among many other things, Ashraf Bey is a fugitive from the US justice system (definitely); son of the Emir of Tunis (possibly); and chief of detectives in the El Iskandryian police force (apparently). Small wonder that he's a little confused...
Raf's ex-fiance Zara still doesn't want to see him, so she says. His nine-year-old niece is busy doing things with computers that are strictly illegal. And when the city suddenly starts to fall apart and Zara's father is accused of mass-murder, Raf begins to learn the true cost of loyalty...
As the US, France and Germany try to dominate both the present and future of the Middle East in this alternate 21st century - as they have the past - Ashraf Bey must become both saviour and avenger. It's not an easy trick, but someone has to do it...
Kit Nouveau didn't escape himself when he flew to Japan. He runs a bar in the Roppongi district of Tokyo and is having an affair with the wife of a High Yakusa ganglord. All things considered being held up at gunpoint isn't a complete shock. The pale girl in the black cloak appearing from nowhere and punching an ivory spike into the man's head on the other hand ...
Nijie has stolen fifteen million dollars, she's on the run, she's just killed a man and she has a cat who knows more than it should. It's a lot to deal with when you haven't even left school. But Nijie is really Lady Neku. And it is time for her to stop mewling in the darkness. And suddenly, the girl who became Lady Neku understands she's never really been anyone else. And in a sentient castle at the end of world Lady Neku otherwise known as Baroness Nawa-no-ukiyo, Countess High Strange and chatelaine of Schloss Omga realizes that a man called Kit has stolen some of her memories.
The third instalment in Jon Courtenay Grimwood's critically acclaimed series of Ashraf Bey mysteries
Detective. Diplomat. Uncle. Killer.
Ashraf Bey has been many things since arriving in El Iskandryia from Seattle. One thing he hasn't been, as yet, is a son to Moncef, Emir of Tunis - the father Raf has still to meet. Of course, Raf doesn't believe the Emir is his father anyway. (Given his mother's insistence that he's the son of a Swedish hitch hiker).
And now it may be too late, since the rumours that don't have Emir Moncef escaping assassination have him hovering on the edge of death. Despite refusing a plea for help from the Emir's chief of security, Raf still finds himself being drawn towards Tunis. It seems he has his own part in an unfolding political crisis that began decades earlier with US anti-globalisation riots and the Emir's refusal to ratify the 2005 UN Accord on Biotechnology.
The murder of an imperious North African noblewoman upsets the marriage plans of her nephew, who becomes the prime suspect. After Chief of Detectives Felix Abrinsky is called to an affluent home in Isk (El Iskandriya), Egypt, to examine the body of a recently murdered society matron, the story flashes back to the events that led up to the murder.
Young Ashraf Bey ("Raf") is united for the first time with his wealthy aunt, Lady Nafisa, who helped get him out of Huntsville, an American prison, where he went under the name of ZeeZee. (Alter ego or alternate reality? You decide.) Though Raf maintains that he worked as an attache, italicized chapters from ZeeZee's perspective paint a darker existence in Seattle.
Indeed, many of the characters have damaging secrets, including Abrinsky, who was fired from the LAPD. Raf is on his way to an arranged marriage to the beautiful and outspoken Zara when Nafisa deems Zara unsuitable for her jailbird nephew. Shortly thereafter, Nafisa is stabbed to death with her own pen. The suspicion cast on Raf is particularly dangerous for him because the higher his profile, the more vulnerable he is to his felonious former associates. Resourceful Raf determines to solve the crime himself.
In this first American installment of a trilogy published in England beginning in 2001, Grimwood (reMix, 1999, etc.) wraps gritty realism in layers of suspicion and suggestion (is Isk itself fantasy?), creating an antihero as unpredictable as Tom Ripley.
A circle may begin at any point - with a gun, or a an argument, or a butterfly blown by the wind. When someone shoots at the President on tour in Morocco, the shock is less than the mystery. Of all the recent Presidents, why this one? What to do with the shooter, dubbed Prisoner Zero? And - increasingly urgent - who IS Zero? Prisoner Zero will say nothing, and seems to have no past. He could be Arab. He could be American. He could be insane, he could be professional, he could be a lone gunman or represent a vast conspiracy. Maybe he has more than one past. Or maybe the answer lies in the future, where an emperor waits alone in the Forbidden City, for an assassin and a butterfly.
Jon Courtenay Grimwood's gripping and brilliantly clever new novel confirms what fans of his Ashraf Bey series have always known - that he is one of Britain's most innovative writers..
LizAlec is wired for sound, speed and anything else that money can buy. But she's abducted. Her mother's a French minister, who moves Heaven and Earth to find her. Fixx fixes things — recordings, people, anything that makes money. Some of him is almost human. Now he has to find LizAlec
Ex-assassin Axl Borja has agreed to do one last hit - only he hasn't told his gun yet. Cardinal Santo Ducque faces political ruin if he can't regain the Vatican's missing billions. Mai's a Japanese kinderwhore held hostage on a space habitat. As they collide their actions could change the world.