From Publishers Weekly
Grimwood's third Arabesk novel, like its predecessors, Pashazade
, skillfully blends a hard-boiled whodunit with SF and alternate history. In the Arabesk universe, where the Ottoman Empire still exists, twisted political intrigues and tensions serve as a challenging backdrop to the gritty investigations of Ashraf Bey, a genetically altered sleuth who may be related to the royal family. An attempt on the emir's life by means of a venomous snake forces Bey to probe his own parentage in order to identify the motives and the conspirators behind the attack. Bey's independent and spirited young niece, Hani, has a welcome expanded role as she tries to follow her uncle's trail. The plotting may be a tad convoluted for some, but Grimwood makes his imagined world feel real, while the ambiguity of the ending leaves room for more sequels. The author supplies Bey's backstory in a way that makes this reader-friendly for newcomers. (Dec.)
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"Skillfully blends a hard-boiled whodunit with SF and alternate history.... Grimwood makes his imagined world feel real."--"Publishers Weekly"