The Camel of Destruction (A Mamur Zapt Mystery)

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9780006478928: The Camel of Destruction (A Mamur Zapt Mystery)

Cairo in the 1900s. As the long period of indirect British rule draws to an end, tensions mount. The attempted assassination of a politician raises the possibility of a terrorist outrage at the city's religious festival, the Return of the Holy Carpet from Mecca. As the Mamur Zapt, British head of Cairo's secret police, begins to investigate, he finds himself in a race against a deadly group of terrorists to protect the city from a catastrophic attack.

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About the Author:

Michael Pearce was raised in Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, where his fascination for language began. He later trained as a Russian interpreter but moved away from languages to follow an academic career, first as a lecturer in English and the History of Ideas, and then as an administrator. Michael Pearce now lives in London and is best known as the author of the award-winning Mamur Zapt books.

From Publishers Weekly:

British author Pearce (The Snake-catcher's Daughter) offers the seventh fascinating installment in his series featuring Capt. Gareth Owen, the Mamur Zapt, who serves as head of the political branch of the British police in 1910 colonial Egypt. Having jurisdiction over crimes that may have political ramifications, Owen becomes enmeshed in a homicide investigation when a Ministry of Agriculture employee is found dead at his desk. Both government officials and private businessmen want Owen to sweep the matter under the carpet. A dramatic drop in cotton prices that jeopardizes the economy and the growing debts of the poor create a volatile environment that threatens the stability of both the Egyptian ruler, the khedive, and his British "advisers." Utilizing a network of informers and undercover operatives to untangle the victim's financial and real estate dealings, Owen must head off the feared "Camel of Destruction," a metaphorical beast who heralds chaos. Owen is confident enough to bend rules when necessary, as well as adept at assessing the underlying motivations of bureaucrats and the mysterious members of the Khedivial Agricultural Society. Able to think several steps ahead, he's at ease in dealing with all segments of the culture he both rules over and serves. Pearce vividly captures a little-known time and place with three-dimensional characters, financial turmoil that is surprisingly resonant and an intriguing puzzle that is not, alas, matched by an equally clever resolution.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

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