It's 1909, and Cairo is the murder capital of the world. Deaths are two a piastre. But the death of an effendi is something different. Effendis - the Egyptian elite - are important. Especially if they happen to be foreign.
When effendi Tvardovsky is shot at a gathering of financiers in Crocodilopolis, the ancient City of the Crocodiles, Mamur Zapt Gareth Owen - Chief of Cairo's Secret Police - is called in to investigate. In some countries, if someone goes for a walk or a boat ride with the Head of the Secret Police and doesn't come back, it's best not to ask any questions. And there are powerful people who might prefer Tvardovsky dead.
There are still crocodiles - of all kinds - in Egypt. And when the crocodiles start cooperating, it's time to really watch out....
"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.
Michael Pearce grew up in the (then) Anglo-Egyptian Sudan among the political and other tensions he draws on for his books. He returned there later to teach and retains a human rights interest in the area. His career has followed the standard academic rake's progress from teaching to writing to administration. He finds international politics a pallid imitation of academic ones.From AudioFile:
Gareth Owen, the Chief of Cairo's Secret Police (whose position is also known as the "Mamur Zapt"), is called on to investigate the death of a Russian financier--one of the elite of Cairo, who, at this time (1909) are referred to as "effendi." He soon finds that there are many possible motives for this "accidental" shooting to have been murder. Nigel Carrington's narration employs not only a precise British accent, but also believably creates the voices of local Egyptians and foreigners from Russia and elsewhere. While his timing, phrasing, and emotional shading cannot be faulted, he cannot overcome the book's failure to involve the listener in a setting that is very foreign to most Western listeners. This is ultimately an uninvolving production. M.A.M. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine-- Copyright © AudioFile, Portland, Maine
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