From the acclaimed author of The Cover Wife comes a "fast-paced … fascinating” thriller (The Washington Post) featuring a lethal mix of mobsters, prostitutes, crooked cops, consuls, and corporate players in the mysterious and gleaming city of Dubai.
Sam Keller, an auditor at a giant pharmaceutical firm, expected a six-hour layover in Dubai. Then his company's corporate security officer asked him to extend his stay two days to keep an eye on a hard-partying colleague. Sam agrees, but against his better judgment, he decides to live it up a little, which has disastrous results. First Hatcher is murdered. Then Sam is arrested. Was he set up? Unsure whether he can trust his employer, Sam forms an unlikely alliance detective with Anwar Sharaf, a former pearl diver and gold smuggler.
Set in Dubai, Fesperman's listless, dialogue-heavy thriller concerns an American businessman, Sam Keller, who gets tangled up in competing criminal interests following the murder of a colleague. An auditor for a giant pharmaceutical company, Sam spends most of his time on the run, trying to avoid capture by either corrupt cops, Russian mobsters, or officials from his own company who have their own reasons for wanting him to fall off the radar. Sam is aided by possibly the one honest cop in Dubai, Anwar Sharaf, who quickly finds himself fleeing Sam's enemies, too. Fesperman (The Arms Maker of Berlin) does an admirable job of describing life in Dubai, a capitalistic freefor-all deeply troubled by the conflict between Western culture and religious tradition, but the plot falters early and quickly peters out. Anwar's cultural ambivalence and passion for justice provide spark, but Sam's wide-eyed, plain vanilla sensibility snuffs it out.