Kingdom of Strangers (Katya #3)
By Zoe Ferraris
Little Brown and Company, 2012, 363 pgs. Mystery
A woman’s body discovered in a desert sand dune outside Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, leads to the discovery that a serial killer has been systematically killing women for more than ten years. His victims are the most vulnerable in Saudi society, women who have come to the Kingdom to work as maids for wealthy families. When they disappear everyone assumes they have run away so they are rarely reported missing. Even identifying the bodies is nearly impossible. As Katya works on the serial murder case, the distraught head of the homicide department comes to her for help in finding his missing mistress – a crime which he can’t possibly report since adultery is illegal in Arabia.
In this third in the series of mysteries featuring Katya, a forensic specialist, and Nayir, her fiancée, Ferraris gradually reveals the horrific murders and simultaneously introduces the reader to the complex and frightening realities of life in the Kingdom for expatriate workers. And Katya, too, offers the reader a view into the difficulties of life for Saudi women. Recommended for mystery readers looking for a complicated plot in a highly unusual setting. SH