New York Times and USA Today best-selling author
Gold Medal Winner in the Florida Book Awards for Popular Fiction
Silver Medal Winner in the Foreword INDIES Book of the Year Awards for Thriller & Suspense
Torn between two cultures—allegiance to two families—a child in the middle
Nicole Nelson and Ahmed Masud are a dynamic, highly successful Philadelphia couple. They are partners in a thriving plastic surgery practice, are very much in love, and they adore their young son, Alex. But cracks are beginning to appear in their fairy-tale life: lingering post-9/11 prejudice against Arab men, accumulating malpractice lawsuits for Ahmed, and most recently, pressure from Ahmed’s wealthy family in Cairo for him to return to Egypt—permanently—with his son.
The Masud family pressure becomes a demand as the Hosni Mubarak regime is seriously threatened by protestors in Egypt. Ahmed’s family owes their control of the Egyptian cotton empire directly to Mubarak cronyism. If Mubarak goes down, the Masuds will surely lose their wealth, maybe even their lives. They need Ahmed back in Egypt to implement their plan to move their fortune and family out of Egypt and into South America.
Ahmed must make a decision—stay with Nicole in America or obey his father. And what about their son?
Tragic consequences, which Ahmed could have never foreseen, propel both the Masud family and the Nelson family on a path toward unspeakable tragedy.
Set during the Arab Spring in 2011, this improbable thriller from bestseller Gussin (And Then There Was One) focuses on a family: Ahmed Masud, an Egyptian who came to the U.S. as a surgical resident in 1996; the wife he adores, Nicole Nelson, his partner in their Philadelphia plastic surgery practice; and their bright five-year-old son, Alex. One day, during Ahmed's regular Sunday phone call to his father and siblings in Giza, his father insists that he return to Egypt, with Alex, to help deal with a crisis resulting from the popular revolt against President Mubarak, whose son is a close family friend. This demand causes a dramatic personality change in Ahmed: he insists that Alex be enrolled in an Islamic school, and he becomes verbally and physically abusive to Nicole. Conveniently, Nicole's twin sister, a top pharmaceutical company executive, hears from her boss that he happened to see Ahmed and Alex boarding a private jet. Nicole sets out on a desperate quest to rescue Alex as a power struggle consumes the larger Masud family. Readers should be prepared for plot contrivances and thin characterizations.