Jon Courteney Grimwood – Felaheen

The third book in the Ashraf Bey series started well, but left me feeling unsatisfied at the end. The narrative structure is similar to the first two books, with flashbacks providing deep background to the primary plot, and with multiple viewpoint characters exposing different sides of the story. The central mystery concerns an attempt to assassinate the Emir of Tunis, Ashraf’s father. Ashraf goes on a mission to Tunis to investigate this, and also to dig around in his own past. Although both mysteries are partly resolved in the closing chapters, there is a lot of unnecessary running around to get to that point, and some of the plot lines are wrapped up without much explanation at all. It lacks the drive and focus of Pashazade and Effendi. Still, it’s a worthwhile read if you’ve read the first two books. (Maybe not such a good introduction to El-Iskandryia and its characters, though.)