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Felaheen Paperback – May 1 2004

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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Grimwood's third Arabesk novel, like its predecessors, Pashazade and Effendi, 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.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.


"Skillfully blends a hard-boiled whodunit with SF and alternate history.... Grimwood makes his imagined world feel real."--"Publishers Weekly"

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
excellent Arabesk alternate history Ottoman Empire Noir Dec 27 2005
By Harriet Klausner - Published on
Format: Paperback
The assassination attempt using a poisonous snake could have come from anyone who had access to Emir Moncef. The viper bites his calf, but he survives because his twelve year old son witnessed the incident and screamed for help. His wife and his heir believe the obvious culprit is either a family member, an un-loyal servant, or another member of the inner retinue. However, an unrecognized son by a different woman Kashif Pasha believes the NR is behind the assault.

To protect the Emir and to uncover the assassin, former cop turned private investigator Ashraf Bey, who may be another unacknowledged offspring of the prolific Emir is hired. The genetically altered Ashraf struggles to uncover who wants the Emir dead; he leans towards the North African rebellion as the source so he goes undercover as a laborer in the lair of the enemy the metropolis of El Iskandryia while his maybe ten years old niece Hana al-Mansour better known as Hani decides to become Uncle Raf's "apprentice".

The Third Arabesk alternate history Ottoman Empire Noir (see PASHAZADE AND EFFENDI) is a terrific who-done-it starring a fabulous hard boiled sleuth who is softened by his niece. The story paints quite a vivid picture of a world in which the Ottoman Empire still exists in the twenty-first century. The complex sty line takes the audience all over from Manhattan to the Ifriqiy Desert to El Iskandryia and elsewhere without missing a beat so that the reader knows this is the real stuff. Reading the previous novels would be worth the effort as they are amongst the best in the sub-genre, Jon Courtenay Grimwood cleverly intertwines the key elements into this excellent entry. FELAHEEN makes three winners in a row.

Harriet Klausner
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fast and twisty Sept. 9 2009
By Constant Reader - Published on
Format: Paperback
A wild tapestry of a thoroughly enjoyable story. There are elements of sci-fi, alternate history, fantasy, mystery, quest, fairy tale and more. The hard-boiled tagging of this book shouldn't put off readers who don't usually incline to that breed of book -- it's our hero's will more than any beat-em-up and leave-em-dying that's really hard-boiled. There is violence, but it's neither excessive or gratuitous.

The warp-speed tale is colorful, incredibly convoluted and quick, and challenging: you've got to stop every so often to figure out if you've kept up with all the inferences and developments. With all this, there's more than a sprinkling of dry humour and sarcasm to whet the sharpness of this tale. And if you want to see a really hot and hellish restaurant kitchen, this is the place.

Despite the alternate history aspects - the Ottoman Empire and Imperial Germany still exist - this is a recognizable modern world, advanced technology, bio-medical tinkering (one fantasy element), and the contemporary range of mores we are now familiar with in the Muslim world.

A final note - I was pleasantly surprised that this not a travelogue with action thrown around some famous sites. It takes place where it needs to. Not a pyramid or sphinx in sight, but wonderful dramatic support from the deserts, kitchens as noted already, and boulevards.

An altogether breathless and entertaining experience.
Arabesk is a great alternative history read - three very enjoyable books. June 14 2013
By Lockett F. Ballard - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The final book in the trilogy is as good as the first three with even more bits and pieces of the characters coming into light in this oddly absurd world of north Africa with an alternative Ottoman Empire history in the late 20th century. Fascinating characters with, one could say, 25 shades of grey making up the different aspects of their being. The finale had me on the edge of my seat - would he survive?
Felaheen Sept. 30 2012
By Kindle Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having enjoyed the first 2 I was waiting for this one.It didn't disappoint,fast moving and continuing on.If you havent read the others I think you won't make heads or tails of it but as a set great.An original idea with Arabic tones but not religious was interesting.