Gritty crime thriller set in Turkey

2011-12-28 00:00

AN evil sultan is dead, and now the young successor is about to take over. But this dramatic change in the Turkish society brings with it a whole range of complications.

One of these factors is the massive harem collected by the old sultan, which has to be ­dispersed or released, and the other issue is the simmering discontent of the deceased sultan’s sister, Princess Talfa. She makes it her mission to make life at the palace as difficult as possible.

She is a master of unpleasant surprises — rat’s tails in the make-up jar, wax figurines set with children’s teeth and other unmentionable horrors. The new women are especially upset by these unpleasant happenings in their new abode.

Who better to solve the mysteries than a eunuch. Yashim, with his infinite powers of subtlety and deduction, is perfectly placed to intercept the intrigues of the palace and to elicit the confidences of the women. But his skills are not limited to petty tricks, a body with an intriguing tattoo has been found linked to a Russian organisation.

This murder could be isolated, but it could spell something much bigger and involve the Turkish Empire’s future. This gritty crime novel is inter­woven with delightful detail and historical intrigue. It is a good read for anyone who dares to delve into this genre with a difference.

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